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Pete Thomas, pictured above in his Colorado State days, will battle Manny Stocker for the starting nod in 2012. Who else might be on board?
The transfer of quarterback Tyler Brosius to Walters State Community College to give baseball a try has repercussions not only this season for N. C. State, which had to elevate true freshman Manny Stocker to second string and burn his redshirt, but it also figures to hamper the team's depth at the position for the foreseeable future. Redshirt senior Mike Glennon will likely be holding a clipboard in the NFL next year-he certainly will not be back for the Pack-leaving Stocker and Colorado State transfer Pete Thomas, who will be a redshirt junior, as the only two scholarship signal callers projected to be on the 2013 roster.
Coach Tom O'Brien has indicated his desire to sign one quarterback in every class, but so far the Wolfpack have whiffed in the 2013 quarterback market, with losing Raleigh Wakefield's Connor Mitch from their own backyard standing out as the biggest disappointment. Mitch has given a verbal to The Ol' Ball Coach and, barring a change of heart, will take his talents to Columbia. Looking at a cross-section of the QBs Rivals and Scout claim to have been offered by the Wolfpack reveals that there are talented prospects remaining unsigned, but that number is dwindling. Targets Alton Meeks (Cincinnati), Justin Holman (Central Florida), Carlis Parker (Virginia Tech), and Joe Viviano (Harvard) are all off the board.
Who remains? The Pack's top target is Eddie Printz, who threw for 3,350 yards last year for Lassiter High in Marietta, Georgia. Printz, listed at between 6-2 and 6-4 depending on the source, threw 28 touchdowns against just 9 interceptions a year ago. Though Printz has been timed at 4.6 in the 40, he is considered a traditional pro style quarterback; nonetheless, that speed should translate into better mobility than what the Pack has now in the stationary Glennon.
Rivals thinks quite highly of Printz, ranking him 29th among senior signal callers; Scout ranks Printz as the 55th best quarterback in the class of 2013. The Pack has a lot of competition for his services, as Scout lists 12 offers, including 5 from SEC schools. But State also has a Lassiter High pipeline. Printz's former teammates Charlie Hegedus and Niles Clark are freshmen for the Pack, and Camden Wentz also went to Lassiter. Lassiter is a solid program; Hegedus and Wentz were able to play right away for the Pack and Printz, coming from a pass-happy offense, is probably more ready to contribute if need be as a freshman than most QB recruits. State and its unsettled QB situation would seem to be the perfect opportunity for Printz; hopefully his former teammates can help convince him to run with the Pack.
Other potential options for the Pack include Kelly Hilinski (Scout #72/Rivals NR), a rangy signal caller in the mold of Glennon who has offers from just about the entire Ivy League. BCS schools Arkansas and Colorado are also in the hunt for Hilinski, who stands 6-foot-6 and hails from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. Conway High School (S.C.) athlete Mykal Moody is an intriguing option for the Pack, who obviously don't buy into the quarterbacks have to be tall nonsense after what Russell Wilson accomplished in Wolfpack and Wisconsin red and white. The 5-11, 180-pound Moody runs a 4.4 40 and Scout believes he can remain under center, rating him #115 among senior signal callers. The Shrine Bowler recently threw for over 300 yards and 4 touchdowns in a Conway win, so he definitely would seem to have the potential to avoid a position switch at the next level.
Given the Pack's lack of depth at the position, going the JUCO route for a quarterback with some experience at the college level would make sense. To that end, State has offered Jake Waters, a dual-threat athlete from Iowa Western Community College. Waters is posting video game numbers for the Reivers through 6 games this season, completing 73.7% of his passes for 1,696 yards. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder has 22 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions. On the ground, Waters is averaging 9 yards a rush and has added 4 scores. There is very little not to like about this kid except that he has an offer from Kansas State and will likely be difficult to pry away from the Midwest.
The Pack have an obvious need at the position, young talented wideouts in the program and on the way, and are fresh off a rousing come-from-behind win over the #3 team in the nation. All of these factors make it likely that the quarterback of the future will commit soon. Certainly TOB and crew hope so, as going through another year being dangerously thin at quarterback puts way too much strain on the blood pressure medicine budget.