Four football players enroll early

NC State Athletics has announced that four new football players who will be eligible for the fall have enrolled for the new semester at NC State and will be eligible for spring practice.

Sam Jones, (6-7, 295, Fuquay Varina, NC), OL/DL “originally signed with NC State in the spring of 2008, but attended Hargrave Military Academy last semester. An all-conference performer at Fuquay-Varina High School, Jones played defensive end and offensive tackle.”

Jones has been projected as an offensive linemen for years…but one can only wonder if the program’s recent success of building talent on the offensive line and relative lack of young talent/depth at the defensive tackle position may play a role in Sam’s future position? I don’t know.

[Update] As a response to ^these comments DireWolf added the following in our comments section:

I’ve met Sam Jones twice through a friend that works with him and Sam has stated he will be playing left tackle. As we know these things change all the time, but this was about a month ago that he said this.

We couldn’t be more excited about Sam’s long anticipated arrival into the program! By all accounts Sam appears to be a great kid who loves NC State. If Sam plays with half the perserverence that has has shown during his journey to finally get into NC State he will finish his career as one of the best linemen this school has ever seen. The public will never know the full story of the frustrations, hurdles, and institutional incompetence that Sam had to overcome to become eligible to play in Raleigh. We are not going to dwell on this topic, but we discussed some of it at length in this key entry that may be of interest to you.

Nathan Mageo (6-3, 285, Pago Pago, American Samoa), DT “transfers from New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico. He tallied 26 stops, including a dozen tackles for loss, during his sophomore campaign.”

As a junior college graduate playing a position where the Wolfpack clearly needed an immediate injection of depth and talent, Mageo has the best opportunity to make the most immediate impact of the four early enrollees as he looks to blunt the losses of Antoine Holmes and Keith Willis, Jr.

sets him apart is his technique and non-stop motor. On film, Mageo consistently keeps a good pad level and does a tremendous job of getting under the offensive linemen. He’s able to then use his strength to shed blockers which allows him to disrupt plays in the offensive backfield.

“Although Mageo moves fairly well, it’s at the point of attack where he’ll be most effective for NC State. He is able to occupy blockers and eat up space which should mesh well with defensive coordinator Mike Archer’s philosophy. Because the Pack will be so thin at defensive tackle next season, Mageo will likely be counted on for early contributions and he certainly appears to have the talent

Mageo is a native of American Samoa, so Wolfpack fans will immediately harken to memories of Ricky Logo – who played the same position for the Wolfpack from 1989-1992. Mageo impressed recruiters/coaches with his tenacity and technique. Similar to Logo, he is both strong and has the advantage of a low center of balance that helps him get under offensive linemen. He also had offers from Division One programs such as Kansas State, Hawaii and Baylor.

James Washington (6-0, 180, Orlando, FL), RB “rushed for 1,597 yards on 175 carries during his senior campaign at Boone High School, an average of over nine yards per carry. He also scored 17 touchdowns en route to leading his squad to the 6-A state semifinals. As a junior, he tallied over 1,700 yards.” Although not a speed burner with breakaway abilities, he is a prototypical Tom O’Brien back who has a tremendous natural instinct for the game and does all of the (not so) ‘little things’ like block, catch, and get the extra yards with some elusiveness.

Donald Coleman (6-0, 205, Detroit, MI), DB chose to come south instead of accepting scholarship offers to various Big Ten teams. He “spent his senior campaign as a safety and running back at The Hun School in Princeton, N.J. In eight games last season, he rushed for 803 yards and seven TDs, while forcing five fumbles and racking up 74 tackles on defense. Previously, he played linebacker at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s in Michigan.” Coleman is a hard hitter who has strong closing speed and will most likely redshirt at safety (especially if Javon Walker returns as expected from injury).

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Football Recruiting

39 Responses to Four football players enroll early

  1. Alpha Wolf 01/08/2009 at 9:47 AM #

    Sam Jones is a great kid and is extremely well thought of in Fuquay-Varina. Folks should not mistake his easy-going nature for a lack of intensity, because Sam is indeed a hard-working and intense guy who just happens to be easy-going. I predict he’ll end up being a name Wolfpackers remember for quite some time after he leaves Raleigh.

  2. old13 01/08/2009 at 10:22 AM #

    It’s good to see these players coming in now to 1) help add depth to the team for 2009 by being in spring camp and 2) freeing up some 2009 scholarships (assuming they count against 2008.) Sounds like all of them will eventually make an impack. I especially appreciate all that this statement says: “By all accounts Sam appears to be a GREAT KID who LOVES NC STATE. [emphasis added]“

  3. TheDireWolf 01/08/2009 at 10:26 AM #

    I’ve met Sam Jones twice through a friend that works with him and Sam has stated he will be playing left tackle. As we know these things change all the time, but this was about a month ago that he said this.

  4. Par Shooter 01/08/2009 at 10:50 AM #

    Welcome to all of these guys. Looks like they will all be solid contributors to the program for the next few years. Can’t wait to see them all in red & white.

  5. Alpha Wolf 01/08/2009 at 11:11 AM #

    Sam is in Facebook, for those that have an account.

  6. wpackman33 01/08/2009 at 11:20 AM #

    This is off the topic a bit but have we heard anything about the status of j. eugene, w. young, and what n. irvings future plans are? Also, is t. baker doing well with recovery from his injury?

    Sorry, now back on topic…
    I’m excited for these new players coming in. I’m actually excited about most all of TOB recruits. I can see him taking a 2 or 3 star and making him a solid quality player that will be hard-working and consistent. I love the direction our football program is taking. Can’t wait til next fall.

    Go Pack!!!

  7. Alpha Wolf 01/08/2009 at 11:52 AM #

    Toney says he is ready to go and could have played later in last year’s regular season.

    I read reports that W. Young said he would be back.

    Irving and Eugene, don’t know.

  8. Noah 01/08/2009 at 12:05 PM #

    Eugene will be back. Baker is probably going to change positions.

    I think it will be tempting to look at Jones on the DL, but I think he will ultimately be a tackle.

  9. Jeff 01/08/2009 at 12:20 PM #

    Interesting news about Baker, Noah.

    Someone asked me about Baker changing positions while in Birmingham and I found the question interesting.

    Noah, please feel free to confirm/correct the following conclusions that I draw from this:

    * Baker’s injury has taken a little out of his step?

    * we feel very good at TB with Eugene, Underwood & Brandon Barnes and also at FB with Jackson, Gentry, others.

    * I would presume that LB &/or maybe safety would be the only positions to move Baker? Particularly in light of our depth of young talent at wide receiver?

  10. SEAT.5.F.2 01/08/2009 at 12:49 PM #

    If your going to burn Jones’ RS then do it where he is going to be a tremegdous asset to the team for years to come. TOB and Willis know they have only two lettermen DT coming back-they need 5-6 to make the world go round (plus scout teamers other the Rudy).

    4. Mageo
    5. Fr who will committ soon (Randolph, O’Neal, Roberson or Jackson)
    6. A DE that can slide in/out (Kuhn/Sweezy) or burn another RS (Slay)

  11. choppack1 01/08/2009 at 12:59 PM #

    Interesting info on Baker considering a position change. I guess the position that comes to mind first is the spot where we lose 2 on the 2 deep – Robbie Leonard and Goodman’s LB spot.

    In the safety spot backing up Clem, we had Byers and Floyd – and Floyd after getting burned on his first play vs. the U, actually had some good plays out there (although w/ his size, he looks like he good play the Leonard LB spot as well.)

    Regarding DL – a lot hinges on Young’s decision, but I’d be surprised if we don’t see Kuhn there if Young stays.

  12. choppack1 01/08/2009 at 1:09 PM #

    Regarding DT – it looks like Crawford was probably a scholarship recipient. He was ranked at this position by Scout.com.

    I know nothing about him – I’ve heard one poster here mention that the coaches were happy w/ him, but I know others don’t don’t consider him an option. It would be real nice if he’s going to be a solid contributor. DT is a scary place to be thin. I can’t think of a place it’s harder to find contributors AND where a weakness is as dangerous other than center.

  13. Noah 01/08/2009 at 1:48 PM #

    Baker is going to get a long look at FB, from what I’ve been told. He might ultimately get moved back to TB.

    His knee injuries were probably more significant than what was initially reported.

    I haven’t seen him play in more than two years. So, I can’t say anything for certain about his recovery. But people who know far more than I do say he’s going to get a look at FB.

  14. Jeff 01/08/2009 at 1:53 PM #

    ^ FB is a great fit for him. Before this season (when I was hoping that he was going to play) I was imagining him in the I formation in front of Andre.

  15. Noah 01/08/2009 at 1:58 PM #

    He’s extremely strong and he’s always been much more of a power runner than a dancer. Even before the injury, I never really saw that much wiggle from him.

    The only downside is that FB is such a brutal position.

  16. choppack1 01/08/2009 at 2:20 PM #

    fullback is brutal. It never really struck me just how brutal it was until watching Oliver Hoyte play it for the Cowboys. I don’t see how their career lasts longer than 3 years.

  17. Alpha Wolf 01/08/2009 at 2:22 PM #

    Toney would be a good fullback and would definitely be a threat out of an I-formation (my personal favorite.) A Eugene/Baker/Wilson backfield coupled with good TE’s and receivers would be a scary proposition and a pretty volatile playbook. Anyone who got the ball could do real damage.

  18. Noah 01/08/2009 at 2:34 PM #

    Playing FB is one of those ways to make sure that you spend your last few decades walking with a limp and being unable to move your arms.

    Horrible on the knees, hips and shoulders.

  19. howlie 01/08/2009 at 4:46 PM #

    Great news on these four. One question:

    It would seem Coleman would be coming in early because he recognizes the need we have in the DB backfield. Even should Javon return, won’t there still be a likely role that Coleman would need to be used in the 2-deep?

  20. Noah 01/09/2009 at 12:37 AM #

    Coleman is coming in from The Hun School in Princeton. He graduated from high school last year but didn’t have any big-time offers. He elected to enroll as a post-graduate student at The Hun School to raise his visibility.

    He is a little bit of a ‘tweener for most programs. He’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-0, 210. That means he could be as short as 5-10 and weigh anywhere from 190 to 220. He claims that he runs a 4.5. All those who believe Internet 40 times, raise your hand…I have some wonderful investment opportunities for you.

    He probably is a little small to play linebacker for most people. He is probably a step slow to play safety for those same people. However, our defensive schemes use the strong safety spot to play a sort of hybrid OLB/SS mix. There’s another guy that we’re bringing in next year that also fits that profile to a “T.”

    In a cover-2, both of your safeties split the field and they both end up playing free-safety. They provide over-the-top coverage. We don’t do that. We use our strong safety to come up and blitz, provide run support and also to man up on the TE on the strong-side.

    The flip-side of this on offense is Darryl Cato-Bishop. He’s probably a little small to play TE and probably not quite what you’re looking for at FB either. But he’s a great combination of both if you can use an H-back.

  21. Greywolf 01/09/2009 at 12:48 AM #

    Chop,
    “Regarding DL – a lot hinges on Young’s decision, but I’d be surprised if we don’t see Kuhn there if Young stays.” Meaning Kuhn moves to tackle? Makes sense with Jeff Rieskamp at end.

    Alpha,
    “A Eugene/Baker/Wilson backfield coupled with good TE’s and receivers would be a scary proposition and a pretty volatile playbook. Anyone who got the ball could do real damage.” Brandon Barnes in there would worry the shit out of me if I were preparing to play the Wolfpack. I’d like to see some Graham in motion coming back behind the Tailback. Brandon Barnes with speed to burn going one way, TJ Graham going the other way and T Baker up the gut and Russell Wilson making you pay for what ever over pursuit you thought would be a good idea. It ain’t going to happen but it would be fun to watch. I’d hate to look like Oklahoma or somebody.

  22. vtpackfan 01/09/2009 at 8:09 AM #

    Noah, are we not just playing “nickle” on every down?

    It’s funny that Archer came from the Steelers, adopted a 3-4 and tried it at KU and wound up with TOB who loves a 4-3 (maybe, or just loves stopping the run). This “nickel” package is the hybrid between the two because the SS having TE allows him to cheat up some making it close to 4-4 with an emphasis on coverage guy’s.

    The best was the fan reaction to our the perception we couldn’t blitz. Archer called on every LB, SS, and CB to take a chance and keep the QB/OL guessing. The problem was that we simply didn’t have the personnel to get any where near it besides Irving, whether the guys were blocked or not.

    I’m very optimistic about this class and recruiting in general. TOB took a shot at the bigger names, exactly like last year, but came up the bridesmaid or a little worse in many cases (lets face the facts that we went after more then a couple UNC recruits just as hard).

    The good news is that the back up plans are very comparable to the guys we missed on with a little less scouting scoring and projection. TOB and his staff did an outstanding job of zeroing in on this tier of athletes that were either highly regarded character recruits or the late undiscovered bloomers that he has become infamous nationwide in spotting from his contacts all over the eastern and central states. It’s a solid class and hopefully we sign or sign in place all of them.

  23. Classof89 01/09/2009 at 9:29 AM #

    “lets face the facts that we went after more then a couple UNC recruits just as hard”

    Any theories on why TOB and staff got their clocks cleaned in NC this year? (heck, even Duke got one of the top 10 players in the state). Did staff decide most of these players weren’t a really good fit for us (sour grapes theory?), or was it just an unfortunate coincidence this year (top 10 players were all at positions we were deep at, all happened to come from programs with strong links to UNC, etc.).

    I mean, we more than held our own in NC last year, so I’m willing to chalk up this year to some sort of fluke. However, I will be VERY worried if next year we again don’t land any of the consensus top 10 players in NC…You can’t build a program entirely on “character recruits” and “late bloomers”…I see those as the cake, but you need some stars as the icing on the cake…

  24. Noah 01/09/2009 at 10:56 AM #

    Any theories on why TOB and staff got their clocks cleaned in NC this year?

    The momentum of a recruiting class sort of makes it like steering an aircraft carrier. It’s doesn’t corner real well. Pretty much the direction you start out in…that’s the direction you keep going in.

    At the beginning of the year, the plan was to take a smaller class and really load up next year. Next year’s class is FAR superior in terms of both numbers and talent to this year’s class.

    But, we had some people quit and some people flunk out and some people to have arms fall off and a couple of guys got eaten by lions and two kids ran off to join the circus. Aliens abducted one of our backup centers and our third-string TE spontaneously combusted.

    At one point this year, we were down to what…something like 45 scholarship players that were available?

    So, we HAD to address the depth issue. The problem is that this is something you really need to discover in May or June…not October. You’re really behind the eight-ball if you’re having to make your initial contact with a kid that late in the game. There’s just too much ground to make up.

    I don’t believe that we have a commitment from a single guy that’s a “reach.” I think that every player that we have a commitment from is a legitimate ACC-caliber target. I don’t think there are many future superstars in this class, but I think this is one of those classes that will be counted on HEAVILY for depth.

    If I had to draw an analogy to another sport, this is a class that’s a lot like the back half of your pitching rotation. There aren’t any #1 or #2 starters, but we’re getting some good inning-eaters that can go .500 and have an ERA around 4.25. We’ve also got some guys that can grind out at-bats, give you some good defense, provide reasonable middle-relief, and maybe steal a base when you need it.

    No Tony Gwynn’s, but there’s a Claudell Washington, a Larry Bowa, maybe a Tommy Herr, and a Bud Black.

  25. ChiefJoJo 01/09/2009 at 10:57 AM #

    So I would think this opens up 4 more scholarships for this 2009 class, does it not? (early enrollees count against the 2008 numbers)

    I gotta think Sam Jones has the perfect frame for a LT, and will most likely stay there. Our OL looks to be getting better–something we expected would be a focus under O’Brien.

    Interesting about Baker. When Noah said he was moving to another position, I immediately thought FB. He was always a more physical runner, and never had great speed, so maybe this actually gives him a better chance to play.

    I am concerned about DT next year. So we’ll have Cash, Burgess, Crawford, Mageo (JUCO), & Chandler (FR). Unless the staff plans to bulk up Kuhn and move him back inside (possible), I think we need another body we can reasonably depend on in there. Unless he improves drastically, Crawford is not what I’d call dependable–more lke serviceable. Imagine if Cash went down… not a pretty picture. DT is not a position you want to be vulnerable and if we don’t shore this up, it could undermine likely personnel improvements elsewhere(LB, DB) on defense.

    On NC recruiting, my guess would be that we struggled selling that we are an up & coming program back in the early fall when we looked pathetic, and kids were beginning to lean one way or another. By the time our season turned around, a lot of kids had committed or at least decided. Of course, you also have to consider that UNC has a lot to sell too, and Butch has always been an excellent recruiter. It is a bit troubling how UNC cleaned our clock in recruiting, but beating them on the field twice , plus our program’s resurgance can’t hurt for 2010.

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