The Wolfpacker

November 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 111 of 131

■ FOOTBALL RECRUITING The Pack Is Working To Fill Out Its Recruiting Class Running Back After the verbal commitment of Josh Mercer from Guyton (Ga.) South Eff- ingham High, NC State is believed to be finished with running backs recruiting. State also has pledges from Matt Dayes of Weston (Fla.) Cypress Bay High and Da- kwa Nichols of Rockingham (N.C.) Rich- mond County High. All three players are rated three-star prospects by Dayes is also listed as the No. 43 running back nation- ally in the 2013 class, while Mercer is rated No. 50 at the position. Wide Receiver NC State is holding a spot for one more receiver prospect, hopefully Johnathan Alston of Bunn (N.C.) High. The 6-2, 200-pounder has narrowed his choices down to North Carolina and NC State, and a decision was expected by the beginning of November. Alston is a versatile prospect who could Wide receiver Johnathan Alston of Bunn (N.C.) High is expected to choose either NC State or UNC by the beginning of November. still active with several prospects. Here is a breakdown by position of some of the notable targets still being pursued by NC State. A Quarterback The only known offer out at this point is to junior college standout Jake Waters of Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Waters is a feel-good story on the re- cruiting trail. The native of Council Bluffs did not garner much interest coming out of high school. So the 6-2, 215-pounder enrolled at Iowa Western, an upstart foot- ball program, to pursue his college football dreams. Through seven games this year, he had completed 128 of 176 passes (72.7 per- cent) for 1,923 yards with 24 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also had rushed 22 times for 198 yards and four more scores. His play has earned him offers from Kansas State, NC State, Penn State, Akron 110 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER lthough NC State has commitments from 19 players, the coaching staff is PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN and Florida Atlantic. NC State's offer came Oct. 1. "The recruiting coordinator [Jerry Pe- tercuskie] just called me, said they saw my film and really liked it," Waters said. "He thought I'd be a good fit and offered me. "That was the first time I had heard from them. I was surprised a little bit because I think they usually talk to the coaches, and the coaches kind of know, but they called and offered right on the spot. I was pumped, and I was excited knowing all of the good quarterbacks that went there." Waters has lined up an official visit to Kansas State for the weekend of Dec. 7-9. He is expected to enroll at the school of his choice in the spring and will have three years to play two in college. "I'm looking for a fit football-wise. I wanted to come in and have the opportunity to compete for a starting spot right away," Waters said. "It's got to be a good fit in all aspects — I've got to feel comfortable with the coaching staff, the campus, the lifestyle and the academics." Despite the offer to Waters, it is believed that State is still hoping to sign a high school quarterback as well. also play safety or linebacker on defense, but his first preference is to play receiver in college. listed Alston as the No. 65 athlete in the country and the No. 25 player in the state's 2013 class. He is also regarded as a three-star prospect. Arkansas, Georgia, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Tennessee, among others, offered Alston, but NCSU may have the slight edge entering crunch time in his recruitment. He attended the Wolfpack's home upset over No. 3 Florida State Oct. 6, and that trip tilted the needle to- ward NC State. Alston caught 27 passes for 523 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior. He added 67 tackles, including 12 for loss and six sacks, on defense. If Alston were to pick UNC, the Wolf- pack would likely be done recruiting wide receivers. Tight End NCSU traditionally has tried to sign one tight end a year under Tom O'Brien, and the Pack secured its tight end in June when three-star prospect Chris Burton of Dan- ville (Va.) George Washington High picked State. Burton is rated as a three-star pros- pect by Offensive Line NC State is looking to bring in one more offensive tackle, and the coaches have a

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