The Wolfpacker

July-August 2022

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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8 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY ETHAN MCDOWELL N C State's 2023 recruiting class more than doubled in size during June. After adding a trio of line- men and a pair of defensive back pros- pects, the Wolfpack already has put to- gether a solid, North Carolina-centered class with plenty of room to grow before it is complete. The 2023 class got an early start last summer with the commitment of quar- terback Lex Thomas, and the three-star signal-caller from Wake Forest, N.C., has been a vital part of the program's recruiting efforts ever since. Thomas is the younger brother of NC State stars Drake and Thayer Thomas, and he was quick to join his siblings as a member of the Wolfpack when he committed in July of last year. The 5-11, 176-pound Heritage High School pros- pect was at almost every NC State camp this summer to help recruit his peers to join him in Raleigh next year. "That's the whole reason I'm out here," Thomas said after one of the first camps in June. "I'm trying to reel them in, tell them what it's like to play with us and, being the quarterback, catching the ball from me." During his junior season, Thomas threw for 2,492 yards and 30 touch- downs in 11 games. He showed off that arm talent throughout NC State's month of camps and was especially im- pressive with his accuracy on deep balls. Havelock High School's Javonte Ver- een joined Thomas when he commit- ted to NC State this spring over offers from Georgia, Maryland, Louisville and others. The tight end is one of two On3 four-star prospects in the class so far. Going into the summer, he was rated the No. 121 player nationally and the No. 4 recruit in North Carolina by On3. "This is a special place," Vereen said. "The coaches are special. The relation- ships with the coaches are going to be special. We have the opportunity to do something real big here, and we just need the guys to pitch in and actually come here." Vereen is a potential matchup night- mare for opposing secondaries. He showed the ability to run past a de- fender, and, at 6-3 and 210 pounds, use his physicality to create separation. As a junior for Havelock, Vereen averaged more than 30 yards per reception, rack- ing up almost 1,000 yards on 31 catches. During one of NC State's camps, Ver- een and Thomas had the opportunity to start building a connection. "He throws great footballs," Vereen said after the camp. "He's a good quar- terback." Thomas also left the camp with a good impression of his future team- mate's skills on the field. "He has good hands, and he's easy to throw to," Thomas said of Vereen. Da r i o n R ive rs wa s t h e s e c o n d prospect to join the class — the 6-6, 255-pound West Charlotte offensive lineman committed to NC State in early March. On3 also ranks Rivers as a four- star — the No. 20 offensive tackle in the country and No. 11 prospect in North Carolina. "I didn't have a dream school until I came here," Rivers said during one of NC State's June camps. T R A C K I N G THE PACK NC State Loads Up On Football Commits In June Cornerback Brandon Cisse received an offer from NC State after turning in a 4.45 40-yard time at its camp. He committed to the Wolfpack on June 14. PHOTO BY MATT CARTER

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