Dave Doeren Has Pledges from an Entire Offensive Line

Every team needs a strong foundation. - USA TODAY Sports

Will Richardson's life-in-the-fast-lane flip makes five for the o-line.

The N.C. State offensive line has been a beacon of consistency the past two years, finishing 111th in sacks allowed per game in both seasons. Actually, when we consider that the 2013 Pack attempted nearly eight less passes per game than the 2012 version, the most recent pass-blocking performance is the badder of the worstishness.

Those aren't even words. I just don't have the words to describe how inept the line play has been. At least the 2013 unit helped the Pack up their rushing yards per attempt from 3.07 to 3.76 (or from 114th to 96th)!

The good news is that Dave Doeren has recruited an entire brand spanking new offensive line for #Pack14. The bad news is that offensive line is probably the least likely position to see a true freshman step in and play immediately. Aside from most of the dudes needing to eat 10,000 calories a day to get up to the requisite 300 million pounds you have to weigh, offensive line play is just awfully damn complicated. Jacoby Brissett is probably going to spend most of next year trying to escape the pocket long enough to throw the ball out of bounds, but the future looks brighter at the position with every red light.

As you may have noticed on the bottom line of last night's glorious goodbye to Maryland (or below in a link courtesy of WOTH), Doeren and company flipped another recruit Monday, convincing Will Richardson to stay in North Carolina rather than honor his verbal commitment to Virginia. Richardson's decommit made the ticker because he's an ESPN top 300 recruit nationally. In fact, he's second only to Kentavius Street in terms of national ranking over at the Mothership. Scout may not be so high on him, but the other services are pretty gung-ho. All I need to know is that he was offered by Florida State.

Below you will find a projected positioning of the five incoming o-line recruits, along with their stars and position rankings. There's a key way down the page somewhere that will help make sense of some stuff that might not otherwise be altogether clear.

Dude

POS

24/7

Rivals

Scout

Turned Down

Will Richardson

LT

4*/24th

3*/35th

3*/94th

Florida State

Eric Shute

LG

3*/31st

3*/NR?

3*/43rd

Nebraska

Tony Adams

C

3*/79th*

3*/75th*

3*/7th

1st Offer

Tyler Jones

RG

3*/47th

3*/38th**

3*/46th

Ohio State

Terronne Prescod

RT

3*/55th

3*/20th*

3*/47th

Auburn

Below are the big uglies that redshirted last year and are now ripe for the job taking.

Dude

POS

24/7

Rivals

Scout

Turned Down

Cole Blankenship

G

3*/64th

3*/NR?

3*/22nd#

1st Offer

Patrick Roane

T

3*/104th

3*/NR?

3*/116th

Old Dominion

Tylar Reagan

G

3*/34th

3*/28th

3*/48th

Tennessee

Yet further below you will find last year's starting line. Position rankings were harder to come by back in the olden days, so sometimes all you get is a star rating. Schooley, who wasn't even a starter at his JuCo, has his JuCo listed as the school he turned down because his only choice besides State was returning to picturesque El Dorado, Kansas for his sophomore year. The "JC" indicates that I was too damn lazy to find a rating for him, if there even is one, which I doubt. Chandler did not get a position rating from Scout for the year he came in because he prepped; after his senior season he was the 89th defensive tackle and a two-star recruit. Lazy ass 247sports didn't even notice Christophe signed (thus the "NL" for not listed). It ain't no exact science.

But what we can glean is that, in one recruiting class, Doeren has assembled a quintet of prospects that, to a man (with the possible exception of Chandler), is more impressive in terms of potential than the five best guys from five different classes that were cobbled together last year. And while the guys below were generally offered by respectable programs, they were not sought after by the Florida States, Ohio States, and Auburns of the world.

The group above demonstrates genuine progress. Unfortunately, this is progress that might take a while to show up on the field.

Dude

POS

24/7

Rivals

Scout

Turned Down

Joe Thuney

LT

2*

3*

3*/92nd

Georgia Tech

Duran Christophe

LG

NL

3*/81st**

3*/80th**

Louisville

Quinton Schooley

C

JC

JC

JC

Butler CC

Alex Barr

RG

2*

3*

2*/131**

Vanderbilt

Tyson Chandler

RT

3*

4*

3*

Cincinnati

Key:

*ranked as a guard

**ranked as a tackle

#ranked as a center

NR? Shute and Blankenship don't show up in the position rankings but should slot between 50-100 based on their Rivals' ratings. Rivals' rankings are really whacked. You can click on a player and see him as NR at his position, but then do a position search in their recruit database and find that recruit ranked after all. Or, as is the case with Shute and Blankenship (and possibly Roane, or he could really just not be rated), you just find them to have been totally forgotten despite having a rating that should put them somewhere among the ranked. Again, ain't no exact science.

In closing, I should note that both Adams and Prescod are early enrollees that already tip the scales at over 300 pounds. These are facts that make them much more likely than their class of 2014 brethren to find their way onto the depth chart in year one. Also, this is probably understood, but the positioning of the incoming linemen is very much subject to change. Richardson is the most likely left tackle candidate, but Jones is every bit as likely as Prescod to end up on the outside. May they all qualify, and may they all learn the offense quickly.

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