NC State's Five Most Important Recruiting Battles for 2015

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

With Signing Day 2014 almost three weeks behind us, Dave Doeren and staff are focused on who will sign the dotted line in 49 weeks. All targets are important, but these five prospects are what could make or break the #Pack15 class.

After wrapping up a successful 2014 recruiting class, the NC State coaching staff is now full-force into building #Pack15.  The class picked up its first member just before Signing Day in jumbo athlete Malik Douglas from Southport, NC.  Dave Doeren will now battle the big-name programs for his top remaining targets in the class.

There are five recruiting battles in particular that will stand out among the rest in terms of importance for the Wolfpack:

Darian Roseboro

The consensus four star defensive end from Lincolnton, NC is important to the Wolfpack for more than just his ranking. Roseboro grew up rooting for NC State as his cousin, former cornerback CJ Wilson, played for the Pack. Despite, his allegiances, the elite defensive end is giving all of his many suitors a fair shake. The main competition for NC State appears to be Clemson and Michigan with Duke and North Carolina having a shot. State seems to be the most consistent name mentioned when Roseboro gives out a list of any sort. Adding Roseboro to a very strong defensive line class from #Pack14 would build the foundation to a strong defense for years to come.

It is not often that an elite prospect has grown up rooting for the Wolfpack. The Wolfpack can not afford opportunities like this get away from them. Originally slated to decide in April, Roseboro decided that he will wait longer to make his pledge. This is not exactly a good sign for the Pack, who looked to have the inside track if he held that timeline. That said, with all of the new offers that have come in the last few weeks, one should not blame Roseboro for doing his due diligence. NC State still has every chance of holding on to their perceived lead.

Kelly Bryant

After this past season, Wolfpack fans have seen how important having a capable quarterback can be.  As a top 100 overall player and number four dual-threat quarterback on Rivals.com, Kelly Bryant fits that mold and then some. At 6’4" and over 200 lbs, Bryant fits the mold of a quarterback that Dave Doeren and Matt Canada love. While it’s normally an impossible task to pry an elite player out of the state of South Carolina, some unique circumstances have given NC State perhaps the best shot of landing the top signal caller.  Clemson landed a five star quarterback, DeShaun Watson, in the 2014 class, which Bryant appears to see as a major roadblock to playing time.  While Clemson is the biggest threat without a doubt, this is something that can not be ignored. South Carolina has not appeared to show much interest in Bryant at this point, with perhaps other positions seen as higher priorities at this stage in the recruiting cycle. With Bryant hoping to wrap things up by the end of spring, it could be too late for them to make a run. Florida could be a threat with a recent offer, but it is thought that he would like to stay within a reasonable drive from home.  The Pack seem to be in great shape to land this elite passer.

Nyheim Hines

Every school would like to land the local high school football star. Between the talent, area pride, and good press, a school has little to lose when it can land the kid from down the street. In a fortunate case for the Wolfpack, Nyheim Hines from Garner grew up a fan of NC State. While in many cases, the hometown kid getting an offer from his hometown favorite would mean a surefire commitment, it is not the case with the speedy athlete. While he has visited State several times, Hines has focused a lot of his attention elsewhere. Multiple visits to Duke and North Carolina put them squarely in the picture, while Clemson, Georgia, and Ohio State appear to be strong contenders as well. The 5’8" 180 lb running back/slot receiver is the type of playmaker that Dave Doeren has desired since he arrived in Raleigh. The combination of location, fit, and fandom makes Hines a prospect that the Pack can ill-afford to lose.

Emanuel McGirt

This is not a name as familiar to most Pack fans as the preceding three, but Emanuel McGirt is an important recruit for Dave Doeren and Co. The Wolfpack have the advantage of being the first school to offer the Durham offensive tackle. During that time, lead recruiter Des Kitchings built a strong relationship with McGirt. Since his first offer, Duke, East Carolina,North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia have joined the ranks. This is one recruitment that the Pack needs to maintain momentum with, as they have only signed one true tackle in each of the preceding classes. One of the biggest disappointments in the Tom O’Brien era was his lack of recruiting success on the offensive line. Dave Doeren did a very good job in his first recruiting class of addressing these issues and knows that the next step for the program is a dominant offensive line. While McGirt is by no means a five star recruit at this point, beating out other solid programs for a local star on the offensive line is a big step.

Shy Tuttle

Defensive linemen have clearly been made a major priority under Dave Doeren and Dave Huxtable. So naturally, when there is a five star defensive tackle in your state (Lexington area), he becomes a top target. Shy Tuttle has been a big name for over a year, with basically a choice of any school he would like to attend. The hot names for Tuttle had been Clemson and North Carolina, but it appears as if things have opened up a little bit more recently. One school making a run at him is NC State. Tuttle made three trips to Raleigh in the month of January and the Pack have been trending towards his top group. That is not to say that the Wolfpack are his leader, but they are firmly in the mix going forward. Clemson is still the safe pick, as his uncle played for them in the 1980s. Some national schools such as Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio State will likely have their say, but Tuttle is expected to stay within the Carolinas. If State can win this battle, it would be a sign that the Wolfpack’s recruiting profile has been raised significantly.

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