The Wolfpacker

March 2018

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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26 ■ THE WOLFPACKER ■ 2018 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE hard, but benefited by having a strong group of prospects located within 35 minutes of campus. That included three in- state recruits that were invited to the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 6 in San Antonio. Person, Wilson and Raleigh Sanderson defen- sive lineman Alim McNeill were all selected to the game and are all four-star prospects. ranked Person as the No. 5 prospect in North Carolina in the class of 2018, while Wilson was No. 8 and McNeill was No. 11. Leary, Person, Wilson, McNeill and Graves of Appomattox (Va.) County High were all Rivals. com four-star prospects. Landing players of such high quality will give NC State a selling point to the next wave of players in the class of 2019. "This year was very strong locally for us," Doeren said. "It's great to get a lot of those guys to stay home." The electric Person — who also was also ranked as the No. 4 all-purpose back and No. 85 player overall nationally by — was named the North Carolina offensive MVP in the Carolinas Shrine Bowl in Spar- tanburg, S.C. He played his last two years of high school for former NC State great Dewayne Washington, who forged a 12-year career in the NFL. "Ricky is not just a big downhill runner — he's deadly in the open field," Friedman said. "He can break tackles, and he can make guys miss. He has very good vision when getting a handoff in the backfield. "As long as he is healthy, I see him able to contribute on all three downs as a running back." Wilson originally committed to North Carolina, but flipped to NC State late in the process. He is coming off a torn ACL suffered in the latter half of his final campaign and won't be practicing this spring. ranked Wilson as the No. 13 outside line- backer and No. 166 overall pros- pect in the country. "He does have the potential to grow into a defensive end, but it all depends on how he comes back from his ACL in- jury," Friedman said. "Before the ACL injury, he was an out- side linebacker with range and long speed. "He maybe wasn't the quickest guy, but is certainly powerful and really does a good job of knocking guys backward." McNeill actually played linebacker for Sanderson High at 6-2, 272 pounds. He could end up at defensive end or de- fensive tackle for the Wolfpack. ranked McNeill as the No. 16 defensive tackle and No. 249 overall player in the nation. "He can make a bunch of tackles," Doeren said of Mc- Neill. "The beauty of him is because of his skill set he can play defensive end, and he's big enough he could play defensive tackle." Seven defensive backs were signed, and that doesn't include Tennessee safety transfer Stephen Griffin, a rising redshirt junior who will be eligible next year. Graves headlines the prep signees and was ranked as the No. 18 athlete in the country by "He can play any position in the second- ary," Friedman said. "He is somebody who if he went the cornerback route, he could be a lock-down guy. He has size and length, and quickness and ball skills. "At safety, you can take advantage of his instincts. If he plays safety, I expect him to have double-digit interceptions in his career. I just think he'll be a cornerstone of that de- fense." Dunn was a two-star prospect due to his specialty — doesn't rate punters or kickers higher than a two stars — but he has essentially been put in a posi- tion where the kicking job will be his to lose. "Probably in 22 years of my coaching ca- reer have I not seen somebody so celebrated in a class," Doeren said. "I'm excited about Chris. He's a talented young man and dedi- cated to his craft. "He has a great leg and is super accurate." The junior college transfers could fill some gaps that were created from the departing seniors. "We knew we'd be losing some starters on defense that were older players," Doeren said. "Joe Babros is a high-motor defensive lineman who is very mature. Miller is another young man that is an older player." ■ ■ 2018 NC State Signees Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School/Previous School) Cary Angeline TE 6-7 240 Chester Springs, Pa. (Dowington East/USC) Joe Babros* DL 6-4 243 Mission Viejo, Calif. (Mission Viejo/Saddleback CC) Tyler Baker-Williams DB 6-1 201 Raleigh (Southeast Raleigh) Kahric Belle OL 6-6 292 North Miami Beach, Fla. (North Miami Beach) Joseph Boletepeli* DL 6-4 257 Wake Forest, N.C. (Heritage) Devin Carter WR 6-4 205 Clayton, N.C. (Clayton) Malik Dunlap DB 6-3 190 Charlotte (Harding University) Christopher Dunn* PK 5-8 170 Lexington, N.C. (North Davidson) Derrick Eason DL 6-4 245 Norfolk, Va. (Norview) De'Von Graves* DB 6-1 198 Appomattox, Va. (Appomattox County) Gabriel Gonzalez OL 6-5 275 Mebane, N.C. (Eastern Alamance) Calvin Hart Jr. LB 6-1 207 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (American Heritage) Tanner Ingle DB 5-10 185 Orlando, Fla. (Dr. Phillips) Devin Leary QB 6-2 190 Sicklerville, N.J. (Timber Creek) Val Martin DL 6-2 290 Marietta, Ga. (Marietta/Iowa Western CC) Davontae McCrae DL 6-5 258 Miami (Northwestern) Alim McNeill DL 6-2 272 Raleigh (Sanderson) Kishawn Miller* DB 5-9 168 Buffalo, N.Y. (Mill Creek (Ga.)/Georgia Military College) Taiyon Palmer DB 5-11 175 Lawrenceville, Ga. (Archer) Trent Pennix ATH 6-2 200 Raleigh (Sanderson) Ricky Person Jr.* RB 6-1 212 Wake Forest, N.C. (Heritage) Jasiah Provillon WR 6-3 180 Irvington, N.J. (Irvington) Teshaun Smith DB 6-3 170 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Western) Jalynn Strickland* OL 6-6 318 Waycross, Ga. (Ware County) Payton Wilson* LB 6-4 236 Hillsborough, N.C. (Orange) * Early enrollee Sicklerville (N.J.) Timber Creek High four-star passer Devin Leary, who had a highly productive prep career with 9,672 yards and 117 touchdowns through the air, will compete to be NC State's quar- terback of the future. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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