NC State's 2014 recruiting class: The defense

Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

With 28 new scholarship players heading to Raleigh for the 2014 football season, there are a lot of new names and faces to get acquainted with. We already did previews of the seven early enrollees in January, but you will want to know (and probably forget until they're all All-Americans and the recruiting sites TOTALLY underrated your favorite player) the rest of the class.

Defensive Tackle

Deshaywn Middleton- (Parkland) Winston-Salem, North Carolina

6'2" 295 lbs, 5.27 40 yard dash

Offers: Duke, East Carolina, Old Dominion, Wake Forest

Committed on 7/1/2013

Ratings:

Rivals- Three star, #39 defensive tackle, #22 overall in NC

Scout- Three star, #83 defensive tackle

247 Sports- Three star, #72 defensive tackle, #38 overall in NC

ESPN- Three star, #92 defensive tackle, #48 overall in NC

Impact:

Middleton was always destined to end up at NC State, even if he waited longer than many of the signees to commit. Middleton will really help against the run, but has solid foot speed for an interior lineman and could develop pass rush skills. Finding defensive line depth was perhaps the most important component of the 2014 recruiting class for NC State, so Middleton was a big addition. There is a chance that Middleton will play right away, but with three big-time returning tackles and Kenton Gibbs likely ready to go, it will be tough to get significant snaps. Middleton will likely become a regular in 2015.

Defensive End

Bradley Chubb- (Hillgrove) Powder Springs, Georgia

6'4" 240 lbs

Offers: Duke, East Carolina, Georgia St, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Mississippi St, Wake Forest, West Virginia

Committed on 6/24/2013

Ratings:

Rivals- Three star

Scout- Three star, #62 defensive end

247 Sports- Three star, #47 outside linebacker, #54 overall in GA

ESPN- Three star, #61 outside linebacker, #62 overall in GA

Impact:

Chubb is a versatile defensive player who can line up either atweakside defensive end or linebacker. The staff will start him out at end with the idea of Chubb being able to bulk up and help against the run. Right now, his strength is speed off the edge, something the Pack has lacked for several years (since perhaps as far back as Willie Young's senior season). His brother, Brandon, is a starting linebacker at Wake Forest, and the coaching staff hopes that Bradley can have a similar impact. While there is playing time available at end, the Pack coaches would ideally redshirt him to give him time to grow as well as space out the four DE's taken in this cycle. He will be a significant contributor down the line.

Deonte Holden- (DeMatha) Hyattsville, Maryland

6'5" 220 lbs

Offers: Boston College, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Duke, East Carolina, Hawaii, Iowa, Marshall, Old Dominion, Temple, Toledo, Virginia, Wake Forest

Committed on 6/24/2013

Ratings:
Rivals- Three star, #31 strongside defensive end, #18 overall in MD

Scout- Three star, #77 defensive end

247 Sports- Three star, #39 strongside defensive end, #25 overall in MD

ESPN- Three star, #114 defensive end, #25 overall in MD

Impact:

Holden was a nice recruiting win over Iowa and Virginia, and, like Chubb, is expect to help the Wolfpack in the pass rush department. DeMatha Catholic is a powerhouse program, so Holden has played with and against top players at his level for quite some time. While he still needs to put on some weight, he could be in line to play relatively early in Raleigh. His quickness off the line, height, and ability to tip passes at the line or drop into coverage are all missing pieces from last year's team. If Holden can add that necessary weight, he will likely play some as a true freshman or redshirt freshman.

Justin Jones- (South Cobb) Austell, Georgia

6'3" 275 lbs, 5.16 40 yard dash

Offers: Charlotte, Duke, Georgia St, Louisville, Marshall, Miami (FL), Ole Miss, Mississippi St, Old Dominion, UCF, Wake Forest

Committed on 6/24/2013

Ratings:

Rivals- Four star, #14 strongside defensive end, #20 overall in GA, #241 overall

Scout- Three star, #42 defensive tackle

247 Sports- Three star, #33 weakside defensive end, 60 overall in GA

ESPN- Four star, #38 defensive tackle, #39 overall in GA

Impact:

Jones was on the trio of defensive ends that committed on the same day in June, but he may be the biggest (figuratively and literally). As you can see from the ratings above, sites are torn on where he will play. The idea is Jones to play end to start off, but if he adds much more weight, provide a dynamic force on the inside of the line. With ample playing time available at defensive end, Jones will see a decent amount of snaps as a true freshman.

Kentavius Street- (Rose) Greenville, North Carolina

6'2" 265 lbs, 4.7 40 yard dash

Offers: Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida St, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Maryland, Miami (FL), Ole Miss, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio St, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech

Committed on 12/6/2013

Ratings:

Rivals- Four star, #4 strongside defensive end, #2 overall in NC, #43 overall

Scout- Four star, #18 defensive end, #160 overall

247 Sports- Four star, #13 strongside defensive end, #12 overall in NC

ESPN- Four star, #defensive end, #4 overall in NC, #68 overall

Impact:

Street is the one name that even those who do not follow NC State recruiting closely recognize. He is a landmark commitment after winning his signature over the likes of LSU, Miami, and Ole Miss. His combination of quickness and brute strength makes Street a pass rushing threat right off the bat. In high school, the consensus four star was used inside to eat up blockers, so he really made his mark in recruiting cycles by his performances in camps. NC State's first Army All-American since 2010 will see the field immediately considering the need at the position. If he performs well early on, expect Street to be a starter by season's end.

Linebacker

Coult Culler- (Laney) Wilmington, North Carolina

6'5" 230 lbs, 4.75 40 yard dash, 4.53 shuttle

Offers: East Carolina, North Carolina

Committed on 5/13/2013

Ratings:

Rivals- Three star

Scout- Three star, #47 middle linebacker

247 Sports- Three star, #52 inside linebacker, #42 overall in NC

ESPN- Three star, #47 outside linebacker, #25 overall in NC

Impact:

Culler has flown under the radar due to playing in an area that is not a football hotbed as well as ending his recruitment early. However, Culler has the look of an early contributor, especially with some uncertainty at the linebacker position. While he is not an athletic freak, he has tremendous size at linebacker and racked up almost 300 tackles between his junior and senior seasons. Expect Culler to start out on special teams and get some snaps on defense and perhaps even contend for a starting spot as the season progresses.

Cornerback

Elliott Davis- (Quince Orchard) North Potomac, Maryland

6'1" 175 lbs, 4.6 40 yard dash, 4.30 shuttle, 10-6 broad jump

Offers: Buffalo, Charlotte, Clemson, Maryland, Old Dominion, Rutgers, Toledo, Wake Forest

Committed on 1/16/2014

Ratings:

Rivals- Two star

Scout- Three star, #79 cornerback

247 Sports- Two star, #183 athlete, #45 overall in MD

ESPN- Three star, #67 athlete, #15 overall in MD

Impact:

Davis was a late target when the coaching staff realized a need for more cornerback. A track athlete, his size and athleticism will be a nice addition to the Pack secondary. While there is some playing time available, Davis may be more suited to redshirting and spending a full year learning the position, since he also played receiver in high school. With his size, Davis will likely find playing time down the line during his career.

Mike Stevens- (Davidson Day) Davidson, North Carolina

6'0" 170 lbs, 4.45 40 yard dash, 3.97 shuttle

Offers: Charlotte, East Carolina, Georgia St, Kansas St, Kentucky

Committed on 1/6/2014

Ratings:

Rivals- Two star

Scout- Two star

247 Sports- Three star, #124 cornerback, #47 overall in NC

ESPN- Three star, #172 athlete, #58 overall in NC

Impact:

Like Davis, Stevens was a late addition by the coaching staff when cornerback was seen as a position of need. A longtime commitment to Kansas State, Stevens immediately flipped to the Wolfpack up receiving an offer. With elite speed and good size, he may also see time on special teams. This versatility may keep him from redshirting, as there will be open competitions at kick and punt returner as well as nickel packages.

Troy Vincent Jr.- (Gilman School) Baltimore, MD

5'10" 185 lbs, 4.6 40 yard dash, 4.08 shuttle

Offers: Arizona St, Arkansas, California, Charlotte, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan St, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Penn St, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Committed on 1/16/2014

Ratings:

Rivals- Three star, #31 cornerback, #11 overall in MD

Scout- Four star, #33 cornerback

247 Sports- Three star, #61 cornerback, #19 overall in MD

ESPN- Four star, #45 athlete, #5 overall in MD

Impact:

Vincent was perhaps the biggest pleasant surprise in the recruiting cycle when he flipped his commitment from Penn State after their coaching change. Obviously his name is familiar, as the son of the longtime NFL veteran and multiple time Pro Bowler of the same name. Vincent has been raised in the game and played for a nationally prominent program at Gilman. While not the size of the other two corners in the class, Vincent is the most polished and it sounds like he will play right away. Vincent is probably among the five best pickups in this class and should be a regular from day one.

Safety

Shawn Boone- (Dwyer) Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

5'10" 185 lbs

Offers: Arkansas, Boston College, Bowling Green, Florida Atlantic, Indiana, Iowa St, Marshall, Maryland, Ole Miss, Northern Illinois, Ohio St, Penn St, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, Tennessee, Washington St, West Virginia, Western Michigan

Committed on 1/23/2014

Ratings:

Rivals- Three star

Scout- Three star, #124 safety

247 Sports- Three star, #83 safety, #128 overall in FL

ESPN- Three star, #83 safety, #158 overall in FL

Impact:

After spending well over a year recruiting Boone (back to Doeren's Northern Illinois days), landing the safety's commitment was a welcome relief. This is another case of being the beneficiary of the Penn State coaching change, where Boone would have ended up otherwise. Boone is a hard hitter and loves to play against the run and punish crossing routes. A multi-year starter for the state champions at the 7A level in Florida, Boone should come in ready to compete. Due to size limitations, he is likely bound for free safety in Raleigh. While there is an open starting safety position, Boone will likely see the majority time on special teams as a true freshman due to his tackling ability and work his way into the rotation later.

Dexter Wright- (Hunt) Wilson, North Carolina

6'2" 205 lbs, 4.31 40 yard dash, 4.6 shuttle

Offers: East Carolina, North Carolina

Committed on 6/20/2013

Ratings:

Rivals- Three star, #27 overall in NC

Scout- Three star, #87 safety

247 Sports- Three star, #112 outside linebacker, #50 overall in NC

ESPN- Three star, #71 safety, #35 overall in NC

Impact:

Wright was not a highly regarded prospect until he ran blistering times at the Shrine Bowl combine as well as the NC State and UNC camps. Playing only on the defensive side of the ball through his junior season, the Hunt coaches asked him to try running back as well, where he rushed for over 1,500 yards. Wright has the size to play right away at safety, but he may redshirt and bulk up to outside linebacker. If he sees the field this year, it will likely be on special teams or in nickel situations. Long term, Wright's physical gifts mean his ceiling is sky-high.

P.S. The listed offers are only the known FBS offers, as many of these players had double digit FCS offers and listing them would be overkill. Listed offers are also the known offers listed on websites as well as to the best of my knowledge.

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