The Wolfpacker

July-August 2020 Issue

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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8 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER S tarting May 26, NC State landed nine verbal commitments in football while losing one member. The result is the Wolf- pack has 13 pledges in a class that was ranked No. 35 na- tionally as of July 1. Three-star offensive tackle Jaleel Davis (6-5, 300 pounds) started the wave by picking NC State May 26 over offers from Georgia Tech, Kansas, Maryland, South Carolina and Tennessee. ranks Davis as the No. 22 prospect in North Carolina and the No. 54 offensive tackle nationally. "The coaching staff played a big role," Davis said. "They were constantly checking in on me. It just felt like home." Two days later, Davis was joined on NC State's offensive line pledge list by two-star Thorn- ton Gentry, a 6-5, 290-pounder from Chapin (S.C.) High. He also had offers from Kansas State, Missouri, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Appalachian State and Central Florida. Gentry's father, Justin Gentry, is the head coach at Chapin. "He's always been a pretty good thinker and analyzed things pretty well," the elder Gentry said. "We knew he would make the right decision based on the right circumstances." NC State's highest-rated commitment came June 2 from four- star wide receiver Micah Crowell from East Forsyth High in Kern- ersville, N.C. Crowell is listed by as the No. 9 prospect in North Carolina, and the No. 26 wide receiver nationally and No. 146 overall player in the country. Crowell missed his junior season with a knee injury, but as a sophomore the 6-2, 205-pounder emerged as a prized prospect by catching 25 passes for 511 yards and seven touchdowns while helping East Forsyth go 15-0 and win the first of two straight 4-A state titles. He is the son of former Virginia standout and NFL receiver Ger- mane Crowell, who had 1,338 receiving yards for the Detroit Lions in 1999. His uncle Angelo Crowell was an All-ACC linebacker for the Cavs and played five years in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills. "His body looks great, and it just creates mismatches," East For- syth head coach Todd Willert said. "Then he does have that speed. … It doesn't look like he is moving fast, but the kid is fast." Crowell picked NC State over Wake Forest after also having of- fers from traditional powers like Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma and Penn State. Former Tennessee commit Nate Evans from Cox High in Vir- ginia Beach, Va., flipped his pledge to NC State June 4. The 6-1, 175-pound Evans is listed by as the No. 19 prospect in Virginia and the No. 56 cornerback nationally. He is the younger brother of former Florida State corner Levonta Taylor, a five-star prospect in the 2016 class who signed with the Los Angeles Rams in April as an undrafted free agent. Older brother Keontae Jenkins was rated as a four-star talent by in the 2020 class and signed with Texas Christian. NC State cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell, who started recruit- ing Evans when he was a sopho- more and Mitchell was at Virginia Tech, led the way on the flip. "Ultimately, I felt if I was two hours away rather than eight hours away it would be good for my mom," Evans noted. "My broth- ers are both going almost 24 hours away, a whole day away." Three-star linebacker Caden Fordham from Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles High announced for NC State June 9 over offers from Colo- rado, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Louis- ville, Maryland, Miami, Wake Forest and West Virginia. The 6-1 Fordham has added more than 20 pounds to become a 200-pound plus linebacker. He compiled 64 tackles, six stops for loss and five sacks as a junior. He also posted four interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and a blocked punt. His father, Todd Fordham, was an All-ACC offensive lineman at Florida State who started 44 games during a 10-year NFL career. "My freshman and sophomore years, I went up there for camps," Fordham said. "When I did, I went out to eat. Downtown Raleigh just felt like home." On June 19, brothers Travali Price and Jayden Tate from North Lincoln High in Lincolnton, N.C., announced their commitments to NC State. Both are projected as defensive linemen in college, with Tate also potentially being a long snapper. The 6-4, 260-pound Price piled up 84 stops, 21 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, plus registered 27 quarterback hurries, during his ju- T R A C K I N G THE PACK A Wave Of Football Commitments Kernersville (N.C.) East Forsyth wide receiver Micah Crowell — a four-star talent, the No. 9 prospect in North Carolina, and the No. 26 wide receiver and No. 146 overall player nationally according to — chose NC State June 2. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN

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