The Wolfpacker

July 2016

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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134 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER T he class of 2017 in the state of North Carolina does not appear to be as deep as recent years, but there is enough talent for NC State to continue to mine it for top prospects. Here are The Wolfpacker's top 30 players in the state. 1. JUSTIN FOSTER, DE Boiling Springs Crest High Foster would call himself a linebacker, but last year he showed that he is effec‑ tive in the box and coming off the edge. He certainly runs well, but he has grown to 6‑4, 258 pounds when he checked in at the Nike Opening in Charlotte this past April. Many are projecting him as a defensive end, and he has the pass‑rushing abilities and instincts to make the transition. He recorded 67 total stops, 12 tackles for loss, three sacks and two forced fumbles a ju‑ nior while helping lead Crest to a second straight 3‑AA state title. rates Foster as the No. 7 out‑ side linebacker and No. 79 overall player in the country. Clemson and Tennessee have long been Foster's top two schools. 2. RYAN JONES, ATH Charlotte Mallard Creek High Jones' preference would probably be to play wide receiver. His upside, though, may be higher on defense. Last fall, he went up against a pair of ACC‑bound receivers — UNC's Myles Dorn at Charlotte Vance and Clem‑ son's Diondre Overton at Greensboro Page — and effectively shut down both from the cornerback position. At 6‑2, 219 pounds, Jones would have great size for a defensive back, whether it's corner or safety. The only question is his athleticism, which rates as average. He was laser‑timed at 4.87 seconds in the 40‑yard dash at the Nike Opening and had just a 28.5‑inch vertical jump. On the field, though, there are few ques‑ tions about Jones, who gave an early com‑ mitment to UNC. ranks him as the No. 31 wide receiver and No. 197 overall prospect in the senior class. 3. BRELIN FAISON-WALDEN, S Greensboro Grimsley High Faison‑Walden lines up primarily at line‑ backer for Grimsley High, but his future projects at safety in college. He had two interceptions and re‑ covered three fumbles last season for Grimsley. His combination of phys‑ icality and a 6‑1, 190‑pound frame should suit him well at safety. On film, he shows a desire to tackle, leveling several ball car‑ riers with hard hits. Although he has not done any camps or combines this spring, he seems to have the speed for the position. Faison‑Walden has collected offers from Alabama, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, NC State, North Caro‑ lina, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech, among many others. He has taken at least two unofficial visits to NC State, including the spring game in April. rates Faison‑Walden as four‑ star prospect and the No. 23 outside line‑ backer nationally. 4. JAKE LAWLER, DE Charlotte South Mecklenburg High Lawler may be the most explosive de‑ fensive end in the state. He's recorded a standing broad jump of 9‑8, and he had a 31.0‑inch vertical jump at the Nike Open‑ ing in Charlotte. He is also very quick‑ twitch, posting an impres‑ sive shuttle time of 4.36 seconds at the Opening. The only drawback on Lawler is his limited size and reach at 6‑2½, 225 pounds. Lawler had 85 tackles, including 13 sacks, as a junior. He is listed as the No. 8 weakside defensive end and No. 133 over‑ all player in the land by Rivals. He has verbally committed to UNC, where both of his parents attended college. 5. SHERROD GREENE, LB Rocky Mount High Greene had a monster junior season to lead Rocky Mount to a 3‑A state title. He posted 154 tackles, 11 stops for loss, five sacks and a pair of forced fumbles. At 6‑1, 220 pounds, Greene runs very well and shows sideline‑to‑sideline capabilities from the middle of the defense. He was laser‑timed at 4.80 seconds in the 40‑yard dash at the Opening, which was faster than Jones' time. He also had a 35.5‑inch vertical leap. rates Greene as a three‑star recruit and the No. 20 inside linebacker in the country. He had a top four of NC State, UNC, Virginia Tech and South Carolina prior to Alabama offering in mid‑June. Greene made an unofficial visit to NCSU in late June. 6. MATTHEW BUTLER, DL Garner High Butler may have as much upside as any player in the class, and not coincidentally his stock rose perhaps more than anyone among colleges during the spring evaluation period. He is a versatile defensive line project who could play strongside end or three‑ technique defensive tackle. He's 6‑4, 265 pounds and was timed at 4.80 seconds in the 40‑yard dash during a Shrine Bowl combine. He's agile, quick and explosive for a defensive lineman, having posted a 32.5‑inch vertical jump at the Nike Opening in Charlotte. He also comes across as very coachable. As a junior, Butler had 60 tackles, in‑ cluding 18 stops behind the line of scrim‑ mage and 9.5 sacks. rates But‑ ler as a three‑star talent and the No. 16 ■ FOOTBALL RECRUITING The Top 30 Players In North Carolina ■ No. 21-30 In North Carolina No. Name Pos. Hometown/High School College 21. Damien Darden TE Pikeville/C.B. Aycock NC State 22. Eric Douglas OL Charlotte/Mallard Creek South Carolina 23. Sage Surratt WR Lincolnton/Lincolnton 24. Jayden Borders WR Shelby/Shelby East Carolina 25. Jaylin Dickerson S Southern Pines/Pinecrest South Carolina 26. Jacobe Clement CB Charlotte/Mallard Creek NC State 27. Caleb Farley QB Maiden/Maiden Virginia Tech 28. Chase Monroe LB Davidson/Davidson Day 29. Bryson Speas OL Greensboro/Dudley Virginia 30. Jeremiah Hall TE Charlotte/Vance Oklahoma

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