On a day that was hugely important for the #Pack14, NC State got some much needed good news. It came from a completely unexpected source, however. Consensus top 100player, Kentavius Street, committed in person to defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen during an in-home visit today. While most of Wolfpack nation was waiting on Brock Ruble's announcement, Street sent shockwaves through Raleigh.
How Did This Happen
The star defensive end from Greenville Rose High (same school that Andre Brown attended) had State as his leader as far back as April after an unexpected visit to Raleigh for a practice. Running backs coach (and area recruiter) Des Kitchings did some serious work to make inroads with a player who was not even considering the Wolfpack at the time. The coaching staff as a whole did a fantastic job of continually getting Street to make visits both in the summer and for several games this fall. He routinely mentioned Raleigh seeming like home to him and loved the fact that it was in close proximity to his mother.
Street and his family only moved to North Carolina from Georgia after his sophomore year of high school, so he had not considered the Old North State to be his "home" during the early stages of his recruitment. He grew up a fan of both Florida State and Georgia, so those were the heavy favorites. Surprisingly, Georgia was eliminated from contention pretty early. Florida State made his top five along with NCSU, Ole Miss, LSU, and Miami. Midway through the season, Street eliminated the Seminoles and took a visit to Oxford. There was one story out after his visit that the Rebels had made up ground and were a co-favorite with the Wolfpack, but that was quickly debunked. Street took an official this past weekend along with about 75% of the Wolfpack's commits and a few other prospects, and that seemed to do the trick. He has been very close friends with fellow commitment Deshaywn Middleton, and meeting the rest of the pledges made him feel at ease. Street has said he now plans to become a recruiter for the Pack, and has his eyes set on a couple of big-time targets.
Obviously Street had his pick of football powers and was highly regarded by all of the recruiting services, but how does he fit in at State and what does he bring to the table?
First and most importantly, he fills in at a position of immediate need. The Pack are losing both Darryl Cato-Bishop and Forrest West to graduation. The leaves Art Norman, Mike Rose, Drew Davis, and Joe Wright as probable returnees at the position. Norman was perhaps the team's best lineman, and will be a senior. Rose and Davis both made solid contributions this season, while Wright saw only a few snaps. Street, and the three other committed defensive ends, all have a great chance to make the rotation.
The Pack's newest commitment is a workout warrior, shooting to stardom at the Army All-American Combine this past winter. He showed a combination of size and strength off the edge that led to Rivals.com anointing him as a five star and other outlets making him a high four star. At 6'2" 267 lbs, Street isn't your lanky speed rusher, a la Manny Lawson, but will be a bear against the run. Street played in a 3-4 defense at Rose, which resulted in many double teams that allowed his teammates to make plays. He shows great pursuit when plays are run away from him. The attention that opposing defenses will show him, should allow the rest of his fellow 2014 linemen to rack up big plays.
Where Street is unproven, is as a pass rusher. To be fair, high school offenses are predominantly run-heavy, so he has not had much of a chance to showcase his skills in that department. Street managed four sacks and 23 tackles for a loss as a senior, so it looks as if the potential is there. He will have a chance to show the nation his skills against elite players in a game setting during the prestigious Army All-American Bowl on January 4.
While the 2014 class is strong as whole, the defense has come out as the big winner so far. With six solid defensive linemen and some high level players across the back seven, the defense should be improved in the future. Street is the first five star player (by any outlet) to pick the Wolfpack since offensive tackle Rob Crisp in 2010. His choice of the Pack will have a positive impact on both fans as well as other top rated prospects who notice his decision. While Doeren and Co. were not able to lock down Brock Ruble, Street made Friday the 13th a special day in Raleigh.