The Wolfpacker

July 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 135 of 155

Football Recruiting Takes Off B The Wolfpack's Class Swells To 14 By The End Of June BY MATT CARTER efore the Kay Yow Spring Game April 21, NC State did not have a single verbal commitment in the 2013 football recruiting class. Three days after the scrimmage, offen- sive lineman Cole Blankenship from Davie County High in Mocksville, N.C., com- mitted. Since then the class has exploded, with 13 more recruits joining. Here is a break- down of State's verbal commitments in alphabetical order. Tight end Chris Burton, Danville (Va.) George Washington High The 6-3, 245-pounder picked State June 4 over a final five that in- cluded East Carolina, South Carolina, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt. All of the col- leges except South Carolina had offered. Burton runs the 40-yard dash in 4.75 seconds and caught 16 passes for 315 yards as a junior. He was MVP at his position at the NUC Five-Star Show- case in Robbinsville, N.J., in April and is rated by as a three-star prospect and the No. 27 player in Virginia. "NC State has a great academic pro- gram, and I built relationships with all their coaches," Burton noted. "It's close to home. I'm used to my family coming to see me play at every game. It's a great blessing that I could have them drive an hour and a half and still see me." Athlete Bra'Lon Cherry, New Bern (N.C.) High The old football adage is that speed kills. Cherry also showed that speed gets noticed. When the 5-11, 175-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds at State's camp June 23, the Pack decided he was too fast to pass up and offered two days later. Cherry immediately accepted. State was his first major offer. "I liked the environment," Cherry stated. "I liked the school. I want to be an engineer, so it goes good with 134 ■ THE WOLFPACKER Name my education. I liked the whole facilities and coaches." Cherry was an all-conference selection after accumulating more than 700 total yards and 10 touchdowns rushing, receiv- ing and returning kicks as a junior in New Bern's triple-option offense. He has shined before on the combine/ camp circuit. He ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash and a 4.19-second shuttle, leaped 37.5 inches and did 15 reps at 185 pounds on the bench press at the Shrine Bowl combine at Eastern Alamance High in Mebane, N.C., in April. Cherry also had the second highest SPARQ rating, a measure of overall ath- leticism, and the top mark for the 2013 class attendees among more than 1,300 participants at a Nike Football Combine in Charlotte in March. He also posted the sec- ond-fastest electronically timed 40 at 4.56 seconds, and added a 4.27-second shuttle clocking and a 35.8-inch vertical jump. Running back Matt Dayes, Weston (Fla.) Cypress Bay High Dayes did not visit NC State June 28 unofficially with teammate Alex Montgom- ery, a three-star wideout, with the intention of verbally committing to NC State. The trip, however, proved to Dayes that State had too much to offer to pass up. "The coaches, the facilities, the academ- ics — everything about it was just good for me," Dayes noted. "Coach [Mike] Archer Cole Blankenship Chris Burton Bra'Lon Cherry Matt Dayes Marcus Edmond Jerod Fernandez Ford Howell Da'wan Hunte Jalen McDaniel 2013 NC State Commitments Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown WR 5-11 RB CB LB LB OL TE 6-2 6-3 Pharoah McKever Dakwa Nichols Quinton Patterson Patrick Roane Jack Tocho WR 6-2 WR 6-6 RB LB CB OL DB 5-10 5-9 6-0 6-0 6-1 5-10 6-0 6-6 6-0 295 245 175 195 Weston, Fla. 170 210 225 180 190 210 180 215 290 185 was really happy about it." The 5-9, 195-pounder speedster ran for more than 500 yards as a junior, de- spite missing more than half of the season with an injury. He also runs track, compet- ing in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and the 4x100-meter relay. He claims a per- sonal best of 10.8 seconds in the 100-meter dash. Dayes chose NC State over offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Memphis, South Florida, West Virginia and Western Kentucky. He had previously visited Kentucky. He is ranked by as a three- star prospect, the No. 45 running back in the land and the No. 97 player in his home state. Cornerback Marcus Edmond, Hopkins (S.C.) Lower Richland High The 6-0, 170-pound Edmond verbally committed to State June 18 over offers from Arizona and Wake Forest. "They are the best fit Mocksville, N.C. Danville, Va. New Bern, N.C. Hopkins, S.C. Lake Mary, Fla. Memphis, Tenn. Miami Fayetteville, N.C. Tabor City, N.C. Rockingham, N.C. Shelby, N.C. Hope Mills, N.C. Charlotte for me that I see," Edmond said. "I can go in right away and play, and the coaches are real with you. They told me what they wanted, and they set stan- dards. I feel like I fit their standard." Edmond is listed by as a three-star prospect and the No. 16 player in South Carolina after re- cording 33 tackles, 12 passes bro- ken up, three interceptions and two forced fumbles on defense, while accounting for 1,595 total yards and 14 touchdowns as an option quarter- back. He was also the 3-A state title winner this spring in the 400-meter dash in track with a time of 47.87 seconds. Linebacker Jerod Fernandez, Lake Mary (Fla.) High Fernandez made his verbal com- mitted to NCSU June 8. He nearly pledged for the Pack in April, but of-

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