Recruiting: the lost years impacting the current years

This entry will on a topic that we have discussed at various times over the last couple of years but I think remains relevant in light of NC State’s current struggles on the football field — recruiting.

Before this season started, we observed and discussed the talent deficiency within the Wolfpack program from the perspective of pre-season expectations in this entry. These points could be summarized by the following:

The ONLY NC State player to make the TOP 41 is Jacoby Brissett who received only one vote that was for a ranking somewhere between #11 and #15. Brissett completed 41 of 74 passes for 455 yards and three touchdowns as a Florida Gator but has yet to play a single down of football in the ACC. The junior was not recruited by Tom O’Brien and announced his transfer to west Raleigh after Dave Doeren took over in west Raleigh.

Additionally, just last November our own WV Wolf penned this entry that we ask you to spend a moment reading where he asked the question – “How bare was the cupboard?” when Dave Doeren took over. WV Wolf’s approach was to analyze talent within the NC State program during past coaching transitions through the lens of future NFL players. I really liked this approach as it generally ignores imprecise recruiting rankings and sets a relatively consistent standard across past years and coaching eras inside of the Wolfpack program.

So what did Coach Doeren have to work with when he arrived in Raleigh and how does that compare with the talent levels the previous 3 head coaches inherited?

10 players on Tom O’Brien’s first team in 2007 made it to the NFL.
13 players from Chuck Amato’s first team in 2000 made it to the NFL.
8 players from Mike O’Cain’s first team in 1993 made it to the NFL.

With all due respect to the players on the current roster, who on the 2013 Wolfpack team will be suiting up on Sundays? The first name that comes to mind is our kicker. Maybe Shadrach Thornton, maybe Dontae Johnson, maybe one or two of the guys on the d-line, maybe a healthy Rob Crisp. But all those are really big maybes.

Again, you should really go read that piece (linked here) to get a good feeling for the detail that WV highlighted.

This brings us to today — whereas earlier this week I was working on a quick entry that I found expanding as I wrote into a larger analysis regarding the quality and quantity of FBS level talent currently within NC State’s upper classes. The entry started to get so detailed that I realized that the odds were low that I’d ever finish it. Well, thank goodness for the fact that ‘great minds think alike’ as this afternoon our good friends at Pack Pride had done the work for us and it is linked here.

Folks, the numbers are INSANE. Of the 65 signees from the 2010, 2011 and 2012 recruiting classes that comprise what are our senior classes, redshirt juniors, juniors and redshirt sophomores, only 28 remain enrolled at NC State and only 25 are contributors on the 2-deep roster. Those three recruiting classes were ranked 48th, 75th and 61st — and that was including the full allotment of players!! Those rankings equate to LAST in the ACC in 2 of the 3 years, peaking at 9th in the ACC for the 2010 class.

Tom O’Brien’s final “full” recruiting class, the attrition has been brutal. We’re talking about players who enrolled three years ago… the team’s true juniors and redshirt sophomores, players with upside left to develop and at least a couple of seasons of eligibility remaining. Just eight of the 23 signees are even still on the roster after one of them, defensive end Joe Wright, was recently dismissed from the team.

Of those eight, none are listed as a starter on the two-deep depth chart. Tailback Shadrach Thornton is the team’s top rusher, and David J. Grinnage is a quality contributor. Also, junior linebacker M.J. Salahuddin would be starting at middle linebacker, but he’s out for the season with a knee injury. Clark, Tu’uta, Davis, Kennedy, and Sessoms are all reserves, but only Davis receives consistent playing time.

I know that is is VERY HARD to watch and suffer the pain that we have endured on the field over the last few seasons, but what else can we expect when you take an objective look at where the program currently stands?

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Home Forums Recruiting: the lost years impacting the current years

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    This entry will on a topic that we have discussed at various times over the last couple of years but I think remains relevant in light of NC State’s c
    [See the full post at: Recruiting: the lost years impacting the current years]


    I read the article about an hour ago. The comparrison between BC, Duke and our beloved pack is sickening. Add up the number of Freshmen and Sophmores starting and on the two deep. NCSU 26, BC 16, Duke 15. With most of our 25 on defense and the mistakes that are attributed to youth that explains a lot about our Defense. But you can call for Huxtable to be fired if you want.

    WV Wolf

    I appreciate the kind words about my old article.

    10 players on Tom O’Brien’s first team in 2007 made it to the NFL.
    13 players from Chuck Amato’s first team in 2000 made it to the NFL.
    8 players from Mike O’Cain’s first team in 1993 made it to the NFL.

    Unless I’m missing somebody, Dontae Johnson (who I underestimated although I mentioned him as a possibility) is the only guy from Doeren’s first team in the NFL. Of course it will be a few years before we can get the final total.


    Very eye opening. This should give some idea of the miracle that our run at FSU truly was.

    “but only Davis receives consistent playing time.”
    I have a mind-fart myself every now and then but who did you mean? The only Davis on the roster is true freshman, Elliot Davis who I believe is being red-shirted.


    And to top it off we are the 125th youngest team out of 128 in FBS. That is in freaking credible. And yet there are those who whine about the loss to BC and Clemson. I think we have done an incredible job just to be where we are. Time for the whiners to sit down and take a chill pill. When DD has had 4 full years THEN we evaluate. Until then cut them all some slack!!!!!! Players and coaches!!!

    Smarter than the average bear

    john of sparta

    who on the 2013 Wolfpack team will be suiting up on Sundays? The first name….. Maybe.


    Drew Davis RS Sophomore DE from Broughton High School in Raleigh


    That explains a lot. Unfortunately, too many fans fail to take this into account. Patience is (understandably) scarce among the Wolfpack faithful.


    Vaguely remember somebody telling about Frank Beamer’s tenure at Va. Tech. It went something like this, first you lose by a lot, then you lose by a little, and then you start winning by a little and then you win by a lot.

    I’m hoping we can follow a similar pattern with Doeren.


    TOB’s retirement from recruiting was masked by Wilson and Glennon and I’m pretty sure our roster depth and quality will be a good bit better heading into next Fall than it was when DD arrived. This is why DY got rid of TOB. She could see the future by looking at recruiting and she saved us a year in the rebuilding process by pulling the trigger when she did.

    I still question whether Huxtable can do the job.


    Where is Reggie Herring when you need him?

    Smarter than the average bear


    Looks like Frank Beamer was interrupted before he finished talking: “Then you win by a little, then you win some/lose some….”


    We’ve all known the cupboard was pretty bare outside of a couple of positions. That’s why Yow made the move when she did.

    That move was a calculated risk. She had something better to sell to the next coach than if the thing ran its course and hit rock bottom. We should have (and probably did) get a hotter name than we would have had we let TOB lie in the bed he made recruiting wise.

    The hope had to be though that a better coach would be able to keep the ship minimally afloat, pick up the recruiting. It’d take a slight dip at worse (5-7 land?) and then start heading back upwards. That seemingly hasn’t happened.

    I hope this staff recruits better than TOB. It shouldn’t be hard. Unfortunately, I’m not sure they’re maximizing what they have, which admittedly isn’t much.

    Regardless, we all know that we’re going to have to recruit our way out of this mess. That will require fan patience. The process would be much easier though if we could get that “0 for ACC” monkey off of our backs. I’m not convinced we should actually be winless at this point.



    1) DD said it on Monday
    2) The PP article laid it out very well.

    We’ve got to be patient. It is rough to watch on Saturdays, but we are trying to build a quality team from nothing. He’s building a program. It’s going to take a few years.

    How long does that take? No idea. But you have to figure the first year he was at a disadvantage recruiting because he didn’t know the area and didn’t have the contacts. So his second year would be when we should start to see him making inroads into quality recruiting in the geography. Each following year he should get better.

    We got very lucky with Brissett. Without him, we are basically the same team as last year. Some average offensive talent, and very little ACC quality defensive talent. Probably the worst team in the league.

    I think it would be one heck of a coaching accomplishment if we made a bowl this year.


    ^ “We got very lucky with Brissett. Without him, we are basically the same team as last year.”

    With Brissett, we’re still basically the same team as last year. You can make a legitimate case that the offense is better. But so far, we have very little to show for it. Until we win an ACC game, we’re always going to be basically the same team as last year. Hopefully, that will change by the end of the year. If it doesn’t, it will be appropriate to examine some other possibilities as to why that is the case, beyond just recruiting. Until then, yeah, ok, recruiting’s the deal.



    And don’t interpret this posture toward our program as cart blanche to just do your best and we’ll see. No, DD has standards he has to meet, don’t worry. But let’s make those standards realistic.

    Even, when year three doesn’t turn out to be the golden year we want (see cutcliffe) we need to keep a realistic timeframe in mind. I mean, Mullen has had much higher ranked recruiting classes at Miss St., and he’s 33-27 overall regular season through his first five seasons. Year six is his results year.


    If only out of politeness, it would have been appropriate to link jrcox4’s outstanding work placed in the forums THIS WEEK.


    How long did it take Cutcliffe to get Duke to where they are today? Was it four or five years? And then he won 10 games last year, won the division, and won some Coach of the Year awards.
    Remains to be seen if he can sustain it or even repeat it, but if I remember right, they only won 1 game the year before he was hired.

    He’s proven to be a heck of a coach, hope we are as fortunate. But I think that’s the sort of timeline we are looking at, give or take a year.


    Drew Davis RS Sophomore DE from Broughton High School in Raleigh

    I can’t believe the gremlins went back and put Drew back on the roster after I looked. 😉


    I go back to what I said (without statistical backup) last summer – ANYTHING in 2013 or 2014, in terms of results, is pure bonus. Playing with house money. The cupboard simply is THAT EMPTY.

    We need to see SOMETHING tangible in 2015, and if on the right track, we should be at least pretty good by 2016.

    All that is not to say we certainly WILL get payoff from this pain. We just can’t know yet. It would be just as much of a dart toss to say that Doeren WILL build a winner as it is on the flip side (to say that Doeren will NOT).

    Time will tell. I just don’t think on-field results so much as give us a hint until next October.


    DD and staff are doing a very good job of recruiting talent. But you cannot recruit 85 players in one year and you have to take your lumps when you play freshmen is as many roles as we do currently. It’s frustrating to see us lose but I still back DD and this staff because I think they can get the job done.
    Patience is not something we have as State fans. Yow will give DD 4 years to solve this problem. I think this will work out in the end.


    Gray – bs. We’re plenty patient. The fact that we still had north of 45k last Saturday shows just how patient we are… All we’ve done is be patient.

    I just hope us fans get a little something for our efforts…2 conference wins would give some indication the on field results can reach the recruiting results.

    Dd’s recruiting has been good so far. He deserves a chance to get his players in provided we can finally win a conference game or two… Still 5 conference games left and a chance to build some mo.


    For the record, a second consecutive winless ACC season wouldn’t make me pull the plug. But I would be skeptical going into 2015, and that would be very bad for program building.

    That’s also pretty much the only scenario where I could see Doeren not getting (or deserving) 4 seasons, minimum.


    Agreed bjd.

    However, it will be very difficult to recruit in an environment if we are 1-15 or 0-16 in conference over 2 years. Looking ahead to year 3 it will be difficult to recruit if we haven’t won more than 3 conference games in 3 years.

    My main point of concern right now is that we are seeing almost a replica of last years season where we played hyper-focused and out of our heads for our first big game, then the wheels fell off. There are 5 games to change that and give the fans something to excited about.


    Patience is not something we have as State fans.

    Gray – bs. We’re plenty patient.

    “Some of the State fans can be patient part of the time.
    And part of the State fans can be patient some of the time.
    But all the State fans can’t be patient all the time.”

    Was it Abe Lincoln who said that? Maybe Bob Dylan misquoting Lincoln? Who knows. We know for sure it was Greywolf who screwed it up correlating it to State fans.

    No matter it’s not a question of being patient. It’s a matter of keeping our word. We said (through our authorized spokeswoman, Debbie Yow) we would give Doeren 5 years. What the hell is all the talk about reneging on our deal if he doesn’t win a conference game in his first 2 years? Is that in his contract?

    Doeren apparently is setting up our offense to be run by a dual threat QB. Our defense is being installed to able to stop the epidemic of spread offenses. IMNSHO Doeren is building to have a top 25 program and isn’t nearly as concerned about winning a couple of conference games as we are. I’m equally sure he is trying to win every game inside the parameters of the offense he is setting up and the defense he is setting up. AFTER his basic offense and defense is installed I would not be surprised at all to see personnel groups that are formed to stop the run where appropriate and groups to thwart the passing game of some teams. We are not there yet. IOW Doeren’s priorities may not be what our priorities are.

    I disagree with the “you gotta win to recruit well” line of thinking. Winning may make recruiting easier but DD and crew are proving right now that he can recruit with or without winning seasons. He does have the number one defensive recruits 2 years in a row. That’s about as good as it gets on that side of the ball. We may be missing out on some of the Marvin Austins of the state but if so, too bad… or good.

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