The Wolfpacker

March-April 2020 issue

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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MARCH 2020 ■ 31 Signee Spotlight: DEFENSIVE LINEMAN DAVIN VANN At this time last year, Cary (N.C.) High defensive lineman Davin Vann was in the midst of the recruiting process and in search of his future college home. Vann was still a few months away from earning his coveted NC State offer. He was fresh off of winning a NCHSAA 4A state title in wrestling and also went on to finish second in the state in the shot put (57 feet, 5.75 inches), but was rated as just a two-star recruit on the gridiron by However, the Wolfpack decided to take a chance on Vann anyway and offered him late in the spring. He verbally committed on June 7, 2019, and then went on to have an outstanding senior campaign. After dominating his competition on the football field, he earned a spot in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, was elevated to four-star status, and finished ranked as the No. 12 senior in North Carolina and the No. 32 defensive tackle in the country. "It's great to see, and he's a kid that really worked hard through- out his time playing high school football," Cary High head coach Jason Wilkes said. The 6-foot-2, 275-pound Vann recorded 100 total stops (42 solo), 25 tackles for loss, 17 sacks, seven forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and a blocked field goal during his senior year. Having some other good defensive linemen on the squad helped Vann make more plays. "That really freed us up to move Davin around to differ- ent places," Wilkes said. "He could take advantage of some mismatches." Wilkes was happy to see Vann go on to play in the Shrine Bowl, where he proved he could make plays against the best of the best from South Carolina despite a setback during his preparation for the game. "The coaches said he was dominant throughout the week, but then he rolled his ankle during practice," Wilkes said. "He was able to get treatment and go out there and play. He dominated in my opinion. "He was able to go out there and showcase what he could do and what we knew he could do against the top talent in this region." Vann had some decisions to make this winter. Part of him wanted to enroll early at NC State, while another part of him wanted to defend his state wrestling title. Vann opted to pass on enrolling early, but af- ter a few wrestling matches he eventually chose to concentrate solely on indoor track and field. He won the state title in the shot put with a toss of 56-10¼ at the NCHSAA indoor state track and field meet Feb. 15. Getting healthy and ready for his freshman year has also been a key focus for Vann. Wilkes said new NC State de- fensive line coach Charley Wiles had evaluated Vann when he coached at Virginia Tech, so there is already some fa- miliarity between the prospect and his new position coach. "Staff change happens for various reasons," Wiles said. "I know [defensive coordinator Tony Gibson] is excited about getting him and using his personality where he can play both inside and outside. "I think he is a guy that can come in and contribute early, just because of his physical ability and his drive to be one of the best out there." — Jacey Zembal THE WOLFPACKER FILE PHOTO

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