The Wolfpacker

March 2018

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 27 of 79

28 ■ THE WOLFPACKER ■ 2018 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY MATT CARTER N C State started nine seniors on defense last season and had three more on of- fense. Twelve seniors on the first string is a high number in college football. Couple that with the early departures of a pair of juniors to the NFL — running back Ny- heim Hines and right tackle Will Rich- ardson — and the Pack will inevitably be younger and less experienced in 2018. Perhaps anticipating that, NC State will have six additions that are older than your typical newcomer. Two of them have actu- ally been on campus since this past sum- mer. Tennessee transfer Stephen Griffin, expected to play nickel, sat out last year and will be a redshirt junior. Defensive tackle Larrell Murchison, a junior college transfer from Louisburg (N.C.) College, also redshirted after being a National Sign- ing Day addition in 2017 and has two years of eligibility left. Murchison figures to be a prominent contender to help fill out the defensive line rotation that lost four senior starters who were all invited to the NFL Combine. He'll have some company with the addition of a pair of junior college transfers in the 2018 class. Defensive end Joe Babros is already on campus. The 6-5, 243-pounder had 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in eight games as a sophomore at Saddleback Com- munity College in his hometown of Mis- sion Viejo, Calif., and he signed with NC State over offers from Colorado State, Iowa State, Nevada and North Texas. Defensive tackle Val Martin (6-2, 290 pounds) was the last recruit to emerge on NC State's recruiting board. He had 49 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and one fumble recovery for 11-1 Iowa Western Community College, one of the nation's premier junior colleges. The Marietta, Ga., native chose the Pack over offers from Washington State and Florida Atlantic, and was scheduled at one time to officially visit West Virginia. Martin has three years to play three while Babros has three to play two. Their additions coupled with Murchison will al- low defensive line coach Kevin Patrick to potentially avoid relying on a group of redshirt freshmen and true freshmen to fill out the depth chart unless those rookies are ready to play. Griffin could slide into a starting spot in the secondary that lost starting safety/ nickel Shawn Boone. The Pack also lost two starting corners in Mike Stevens and Johnathan Alston. Rising junior Nick Mc- Cloud has plenty of experience and could start, but the other corner spot is wide open. Thus junior college transfer Kishawn Miller, who intercepted three passes (in- cluding one pick-six) and had four passes broken up as a sophomore at Georgia Mili- tary College in Milledgeville, Ga., could get into the mix. Both Babros and Miller were ranked by some services among the top 100 junior college recruits in the country. Offensively, the one position that took the heaviest hit was tight end, where stal- warts Cole Cook and Jaylen Samuels have graduated. Enter Cary Angeline, who should be eli- gible after the first four games, if not ear- lier, next fall. Angeline left USC during his redshirt freshman season, but prior to that he impressed enough to be its Offensive Service Team Player of the Year (USC's version of the scout team) and he is a for- mer top-250 player in the 2016 class by multiple outlets. Local Talent Base Is Increasing The football talent around Wake County had a breakthrough in college football last fall. Stanford running back Bryce Love, a product of Wake Forest High, finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting. Mi- ami wide receiver Braxton Berrios, a Ra- leigh Leesville Road High alum, won the ACC's Jim Tatum Award as the league's top scholar-athlete. At Clemson, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence — once Love's teammate at Wake Forest — is on track to be a top-five pick in the NFL Draft when he leaves college. At NC State, running back Nyheim Hines from Garner High is already moving on to the NFL after rushing for more than 1,000 yards as a junior en route to garnering second- team All-America honors from the Ameri- can Football Coaches Association. And it appears more are to come. In the 2018 class, five Wake County products signed with NC State — four-star running back Ricky Person Jr. and three-star defen- ■ FOOTBALL RECRUITING Wolfpack Turns To Veterans In Recruiting Class Former USC tight end Cary Angeline was a four-star recruit ranked No. 177 overall nationally coming out of high school, according to 247 Sports. PHOTO COURTESY CHRIS ANGELINE

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