FBall Recruiting: Wolfpack addresses special teams needs

Today is one of the biggest days of the year in college athletics – National Signing Day for college football programs.

We have been entertaining a season long “Football Recruiting” thread on our message boards that is now nine pages long and can be seen by clicking here.  But, today is when all of the ‘commitments’ become ‘signees’ and you can genuinely pencil them into blocks on depth charts.

Early in the year, many national blogs and recruiting publications were highlighting football’s ‘worst’ recruiting classes; and NC State was perpetually included in those rankings.  SFN preached ‘PATIENCE’ at that time and we continued to do so throughout the season.  Of course, finishing 9-4 with wins over Florida State, UNC-CH and West Virginia helped support the call for a a wait-and-see approach. 

At the end of today, I think you will see NC State’s recruiting rankings generally fall out between #55 and #60 in the country.

Our readers know that we are not pie-in-the-sky apologists who can rationalize every piece of news as ‘positive’ for our beloved NC State.  So, we hope that our failure to be excessively alarmed about this year’s recruiting rankings carried a little bit of credibility with our readers.  It was obvious that this year just wasn’t shaping up as an huge recruiting year for the Wolfpack – especially if you care about rankings.   There were many reasons for this that weren’t necessarily awful news for the Wolfpack:

  • Skill position players usually get the highest volume of the most disproportionately high rankings — and the Wolfpack didn’t need a huge haul of skill position players with the depth we have built at QB, RB, WR & TE.  It isn’t a bad thing that we’ve got plenty of talent at the skill positions.

  • Volume of recruits boost rankings — and the Wolfpack only had 19-20 scholarships available with which to recruit this year.

  • Previous transfers don’t get counted in recruiting rankings – and the Wolfpack picked up a stud linebacker from Syracuse that is projected to be a starter for the next three years at middle linebacker.  Hmmm…an unproven freshman with a great ranking?  or a proven linebacker that started as a true freshman in a BCS conference?

  • Special teams players never get rankings commiserate with their potential impact on the field – and almost 15% of NC State’s recruiting class are special team players that were ranked in the top five of their positions nationally at kicker, punter, and long snapper.

  • Tom O’Brien has a long term track record of developing fantastic FOOTBALL PLAYERS regardless of rankings.  We don’t subscribe to the theory that every 2* prospect can become Russell Wilson or BJ Raji, nonetheless, Coach O’Brien has earned the benefit of the doubt by showing he is significantly smarter than the recruiting services throughout his entire career.  Why would this year be any different?

  • Recruiting quality often lags performance on the field – and NC State has been struggling on the field the last few years but delivered a 9-4 season with Coach O’Brien’s fourth team (full of three full recruiting classes)  Conversely, State already has two solid commitments for 2012 coming off the heels of this season’s success.

We will have a lot more on National Signing Day as the next 48 hours unfold.   In the meantime, we’ll leave you with an article on a player that could account for 50+ more yards PER GAME than last year for the Wolfpack.

As a sophomore, he averaged 43.8 yards per punt. And as a junior, he earned all-state by averaging 44.6 yards, including 29 placements inside the 20.

In July, he participated in the Wolfpack summer camp in Raleigh and N.C. State offered him a scholarship.

Recruiters were aware of him; kicking guru Chris Sailer ranked him the No. 2 punter in the 2011 class after participating in his kicking camp in Las Vegas.

Clemson, East Carolina, Florida, South Carolina and Duke expressed interest, while Northwestern offered. He took an official visit to the Chicago-based Big Ten Conference team and enjoyed the trip.

But he wanted to play closer to home. After all, he was born in Wilmington and plans to major in computer engineering, following in the footsteps of his father.

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Football Recruiting

34 Responses to FBall Recruiting: Wolfpack addresses special teams needs

  1. adwomack 02/02/2011 at 7:01 PM #

    rtpack24′s post is the most impactful 16 words I could imagine –

    “The total number of 5 star players starting in the Super Bowl this Sunday is 1.”

    No, its a very misleading stat. There are only so may 5 star recruits each year, and there are 30 NFL teams. And yes, many do not turn into superstar NFL players, but that does not mean that they are not very valuable COLLEGE football players.

    In the last 5 years(not including this year’s game) the average star ratings in the BCS Championship game was 3.5 stars for the FOUR year’s proceeding.

    That is a valuable stat. I believe 3.2 was the lowest average.

  2. baxter 02/02/2011 at 8:20 PM #

    That stat isn’t relevant when you consider that going to a powerhouse school often causes your “rating” to be inflated. The largest schools are going to draw talent regardless, but if you get Texas, Alabama, USC, OSU on your offer list, the rankings will go up.

  3. Primewolf 02/02/2011 at 8:28 PM #

    I tend to agree with adwomack. TOB needs to step up the recruiting and show he can get some highly talented, sought after players.

    For those of you like STATEFANS and old Mac that like to quote how many no stars and low starts make all-ACC or all NFL teams please see my post in Statefans article on “ESPN all acc team…”. You expect that if you do the math right since the pool of not ranked or lowly ranked players is so much greater than the pool of exceptional players.

    For the guy who said we led the state last year in recruiting, he is missing a few years. We did that in TOB’s second year and it has been downhill after that.

    On a side note, my theory is that after we beat Carolina for the instate talent in TOB’s second season, that is when they got serious with their curent recruiting, payoff?, open the door to thugs, and promise nfl connections, agents and the like. they have kicked our butt seriously since then.

    Some of you like to argue, but, but we beat UNC every year and that proves rankings don’t matter. I hope our streak continues, but we have been lucky in a few that could have gone either way and one that should have gone their way. It will even out, I promise you. Hey, if we didn’t have RW, whom TOB did not recruit, he would have been fired by now. My guess is that we would have won 2-3 fewer games per year, and that difference would have cost him his job.

    Best of luck to TOB, but he needs to recruit more talent, if we are ever going to challenge for anything, IMO.

    Look at his BC record, it was absmal against UM and VT. Do you really think he is going to get us to compete with the best teams in the conference that bring in so much more talent. You can only coach up so much, speed, power and raw talent isn’t aren’t very coach-up able.

  4. Old MacDonald 02/02/2011 at 9:23 PM #

    ^But who says the guys doing the “star ratings” know what they are doing in the first place? Wht credentials do they have? And they are rating thousands of players into 3 catagories (2, 3, or 4 stars) — what kind of evaluation system is that? Plus they do other stupid shit like not rating kickers and punters on the same terms as other players. Also, these rankings that come out don’t take into account who won’t qualify, how many you took in the class, etc, etc. There are just so many ridiculous mistakes made in the process I can’t evn cover tham all — and that’s not even getting into the overarching premise that the guys who do the “star ratigs” know more than college coaches about evaluating the potential of high school football players. It is laughable if you stop to analyze it.

    I will never understan why people waste time with this star rating garbage.

  5. novawolf 02/02/2011 at 10:41 PM #

    Funny how when we get players with stars we commend ourselves, yet when we get players with 2 stars we claim stars aren’t important. The number of stars usually correlates to the numbers of offers that the players get and who those offers are from…and it’s not a coincidence. Coaches know what they’re doing…that’s why they offer to players that they want. If you got to scout, and go inside the individual players you’ll find that Carolina didn’t offer to many of the NC guys that we got…yet we offered to almost all of the NC guys that baby blue got. Unfortunately it seems Butch got the players that he wanted and TOB got the players that were left. Sure TOB can coach them…he’ll have to.

  6. Wufpacker 02/03/2011 at 1:53 AM #

    The following recruiting stats are from a post on the previous page:

    Recruiting Rankings Per ESPN(Top 25)

    2006 25 13 6
    2007 11 25 18
    2008 2 12
    2009 13 8 19
    2010 24 19 6
    2011 13 10 1 (Current Projections)

    Perhaps I’m missing your point, but I’m not sure how looking at how highly rated the classes have been for FSU, Clemson and Carolina for the past several years is supposed to make us feel better.

    I think most of us would agree that based on those numbers, all three would be considered to have underachieved. Despite that they have STILL brought in those classes pretty consistently each year.

    IMHO, FSU has just upgraded with respect to coaching. Clemson likely will very soon (honestly can’t believe they haven’t turned on Dabo yet after 6-7). Hopefully Carolina will give Butch a lifetime contract, but even they’ll get tired of his act eventually if he doesn’t improve the results on the field.

    So, why should we be happy that they’re loading up all that talent despite sub-par results? Frankly, it scares the hell out of me that Clemson and Carolina both could probably upgrade their coaching staffs and instantly be able to jump into the top 10, and FSU is probably already on their way back to the top 5.

    Hell, how good will their classes be then for crying out loud?

  7. otisthetowndrunk 02/03/2011 at 11:03 AM #

    Good to see ToB addressing weaknesses on our special needs team.

  8. HPWolf 02/03/2011 at 1:05 PM #

    UNC recruits are now saying that Butchie told them there would be no Bowls or scholarships lost WTF!!!
    Did they believe this?
    No way do they get off that free and clear.

  9. freshmanin83 02/05/2011 at 1:36 AM #

    This is starting to remind me of Dr. Suess with stars upon thars.

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