Despite being a flip from another (arguably more prestigious) ACC school, Kalen McCain has always seemed to fly a little under the radar among NC State's 2014 recruiting class. The defensive back comes from a traditional power in Durham high school football (Hillside High) and fulfills a major need in this class. By the end of his time in Raleigh, McCain should be well-known to the Wolfpack faithful.
6'1" 180 lbs
Durham, North Carolina
Ranked: Three star by Rivals, Three star #68 safety by Scout, Three star #57 safety by 247sports
Main Competitors: Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Louisville
McCain starting getting attention at the conclusion of his junior season, with his first offer coming from Louisville a few months after their last game. In early March, NC State threw its hat into the ring for McCain's second offer. In the next few weeks, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech offered. McCain then took a visit to Blacksburg in April and subsequently committed. After that, it was understandably quiet regarding McCain. Then, in early June, he made the short trip to Raleigh for a summer camp. The defensive back apparently liked it so much that he decommitted from the Hokies within days. The next day, McCain helped make the Red Light go crazy on a multi-commit day (June 12) and shut down his recruitment from there. McCain has been as steady of a commitment as they come and has even helped recruit two of his four star teammates (Trevion Thompson and Donte Thomas-Williams).
What to Expect:
While McCain was being recruited as a safety by the Wolfpack coaches, I would not be surprised to see him at cornerback. He has very nice size for a corner, but may be a tad undersized for the safety position. Tackling-wise, McCain would be a better fit at corner. He is not overly-aggressive against the run, but is solid in coverage with good speed. If he becomes a more aggressive tackler, McCain could be an early contributor in the defensive backfield.
McCain is properly ranked as a low-to-mid three star. In his case, I think his rating comes from potential more than production (although I believe he led his conference in interceptions this season). McCain tends to shy away from solid contact when tackling, and I believe that is what has hurt him. He is very solid in coverage, and a threat to make a big play when he gets his hands on the ball. In a combination of his talent and the depth chart, McCain could see the field as early as his redshirt sophomore year. However, getting to campus early may help him find the field amongst a young core of defensive backs (especially at safety).