The Wolfpacker

September 2015

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 13 of 95

14 ■ THE WOLFPACKER N C State went through a busy seven-day stretch starting July 24 in football recruiting, landing five verbal commits, three in the 2016 class and a pair to kick off the 2017 collection. The first two to pledge for State were offensive lineman Kollin Byers from Shelby (N.C.) Crest High and wide receiver Daeshawn Stephens from Durham (N.C.) Hillside High. Both two-star prospects committed after getting offered during the Alpha Wolf Showcase at NC State July 24. Byers had previously committed to Charlotte in June over an of- fer from Appalachian State, but the opportunity to play for a power conference school that happened to be close to his heart was impos- sible to ignore. "This is my dream school to play at," he confirmed, adding his family are supporters as well. "They love it." The 6-4, 250-pound Byers helped Crest to a 3-A state title last fall and was part of a blocking unit that provided the holes for running back Tre Harbison (who has committed to Virginia) to rush for 1,843 yards and 36 touchdowns in 2014. At NC State's summer camp, Byers ran the 40-yard dash in 5.03 seconds and the shuttle in 4.81 seconds. He had a nine-foot, one-inch standing broad jump and 29-inch vertical leap. Stephens had collected mid-major tenders from Appalachian State, James Madison, Miami (Ohio) and Old Dominion before the Pack offered. "It's a great in-state program," Stephens said. "I just love the atmo- sphere, and the coaches are cool." He caught 75 passes for 968 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior, and if he signs with the Pack in February it will mark the third straight year a Hillside product ended up at NCSU. Three-star safety Kalen McCain started the trend in 2014, and four-star offensive tackle Emanuel McGirt inked last February. Stephens (6-1, 205) has a six-foot, seven-inch wingspan and showed good explosiveness at State's camp by broad jump- ing nine feet, three inches and registering a 32.6-inch vertical leap. Top junior corner Chris In- gram from Mooresville (N.C.) High was also at the Alpha Wolf Showcase and commit- ted a day later. rates the 6-0, 175-pound In- gram as a three-star prospect, the No. 9 junior in the state and the No. 28 corner nation- ally in the 2017 class. He had early offers from Clemson, Duke and North Carolina. "Over the past year and a half, State has been recruiting me, and everything just seems right," Ingram stated. "I loved all the coaches and what they stand for as men. I like the program and see how it's building. Everything Coach Doeren has shown to me, I believe he is a man of his word." As a sophomore at Mooresville, Ingram piled up 33 tackles, one stop for a loss, three interceptions, seven passes defended and three fumble recoveries. He also averaged 11.2 yards on 15 punt returns and brought one back for a touchdown. Junior tight end Damien Darden from C.B. Aycock High in Pikev- ille, N.C., was also tendered by NC State at the Alpha Wolf Show- case. It was Darden's first offer, although Duke and East Carolina were showing early interest. He made a return visit to Raleigh July 29 and committed then. The 6-3, 245-pounder caught 22 passes for 320 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore, and also contributed 37 tackles, five stops for loss, three sacks, two fumble recoveries, one pass breakup and one blocked punt. "He is just starting to figure out his potential now," C.B. Aycock coach Scott Brooks said. "The sky is the limit for this kid." NC State concluded its commitment binge by adding three-star linebacker Brock Miller (6-3, 210) from Fort Pierce (Fla.) John Carroll High. Miller made the decision public July 30 after taking a three-school swing through NC State, Virginia and Virginia Tech the previous weekend. While that represented Miller's final three, he had offers from California, Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Rutgers and Wake Forest, among others. "It was just the best fit for me overall," Miller said. "I got to visit the campus three times and see everything over those visits. I got to see all of the academic stuff and the dorms and on top of that all the football stuff again. That was a plus to see that. "From a football standpoint, I think they were the best fit for me. They are in the best side of the ACC playing FSU and Clemson every year and on the rise with Coach Doeren after going 8-5 last year and looking to do better than that this year." Miller amassed 118 tackles (78 solo), including 24 for loss and nine sacks. He added 17 quarterback hurries, four passes defended and a fumble recovery. As a receiver, he caught 15 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for two scores on offense. He was a second-team all-state Class 3A and Treasure Coast Newspapers first-team all-area selection in 2014. He also plays bas- ketball in high school. — Matt Carter Wolfpack Football Recruiting Gets On A Roll TRACKING THE PACK Three-star linebacker Brock Miller from Fort Pierce (Fla.) John Carroll High was a second-team Class 3A all-state selection as a junior. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM ■ 2016 NC State Football Commitments Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) Dylan Autenrieth TE 6-4 215 Dallas, Ga. (N. Paulding) Kollin Byers OL 6-4 250 Shelby, N.C. (Crest) Bryce Dixon TE 6-3 225 Cary, N.C. (Green Hope) Bryce Folsom OL 6-4 265 Alpharetta, Ga. (Chattahoochee) Harrison Gee OG/C 6-3 275 Burlington, N.C. (Williams) Tim Glass S 6-1 200 Danville, Va. (George Washington) Garrett Hooker LB 6-2 230 Thomasville, N.C. (Ledford) Brock Miller LB 6-3 210 Fort Pierce, Fla. (John Carroll) Dylan Parham QB 6-5 205 Raleigh (SE Raleigh) Joe Sculthorpe OG/C 6-3 285 Hampstead, N.C. (Topsail) Daeshawn Stephens WR 6-1 205 Durham, N.C. (Hillside) James Valdez CB 5-11 190 Orangeburg, S.C. (Orangeburg-Wilkinson) Justin Witt OT 6-6 265 New Lenox, Ill. (Lincoln-Way West)

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