The Wolfpacker

July 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 105 of 155

change takes place just two months before National Signing Day. Tom O'Brien accepted the head coach- THAN EXPECTED A BETTER NC State's Class Of 2007 Proved To Be Underrated BY MATT CARTER transition from one coaching staff to another represents a challenge when it comes to assembling a re- cruiting class, especially when the ing job at NC State on Dec. 8, 2006. For the next month, his primary recruiters were Curt Cignetti and Dick Portee, a pair of holdovers from Chuck Amato's staff. Nei- 104 ■ THE WOLFPACKER ther would be retained by O'Brien when he began piecing together his new staff in January. However, Cignetti and Portee both played a crucial role in keeping together a recruit- ing class that was being built by Amato. By the time signing day arrived in February, the Pack suffered just one defection. Defensive end Linwan Euwell from Southwest Edge- combe High in Pinetops, N.C., switched to UNC, where he was hampered by a knee injury and had a nondescript career. catches for 1,323 yards and 17 touchdowns. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN Tight end George Bryan started 40 of the 51 games he played in, and totaled 126 career O'Brien signed a class of 25 players, including a pair of linemen that committed to him at Boston College and followed the coaching staff to NC State — defensive end Jeff Rieskamp and defensive tackle/interior offensive lineman Wayne Crawford. Three players did not qualify. Corner- back Dominique Ellis (East Wake High in Wendell, N.C.) and defensive tackle Kyle Linney (Alexander Central High in Tay- lorsville, N.C.) did matriculate a year later and counted toward the 2008 class. Of- fensive lineman Justin Whaley (Hunt High in Wilson, N.C.) decided to enroll at North Carolina Wesleyan instead. What was left on the first day of practices was a class of 22 recruits, including two junior college transfers and one prep post- grad. The class was unheralded and ranked No. 9 in the conference by, but over the next five years hit turned out to be pretty good. Here is a look back at the class of 2007.

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