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Pack Suffers Tough Week on Recruiting Trail, Keeps Working

NC State may have suffered several big losses on the recruiting trail in the past few weeks, but the coaching staff has a system in place to move on after such events.

Streeter Lecka

The last few weeks have been a nightmare for NC State's football recruiting efforts in the 2015 class.  There aren't many other ways to put it while remaining honest. While this will cover these unfortunate events (I promise to give fair warning), stick with me for a little light at the end of the tunnel.

What Has Gone Wrong

If the subheader didn't already scare you off, WARNING WARNING, PLEASE SKIP AHEAD. Anyways, it all started when quarterback target Kendall Hinton unexpectedly committed to Wake Forest last Thursday. The Pack had been on him as long as almost any school, but Hinton kept putting off his commitment, a worrisome sign for the staff. Luckily, they recovered well and landed an equally/higher rated quarterback in Elite 11 Finalist Austin King at camp that same night.

Within the next few days, the Pack finished runner-up to Michael Barnett, Brian Chaffin, and Emanuel McGirt. State led for Barnett before he took a last minute camp trip to Florida State, but the four star defensive end returned to South Carolina and pledged to FSU before his planned trip to Raleigh. Chaffin had essentially narrowed down to three schools, but chose Stanford over NC State and Duke on Monday. This seemed like as bad as it would get for a while, but Trevon McSwain and McGirt had other ideas. McSwain had visited Raleigh before and was thinking of doing so again, but pledged to Duke this past week. At least this was not a total surprise, as many thought he would eventually end up in Durham. The window of opportunity for McGirt seemed to close as both Hinton and Chaffin decided elsewhere. McGirt is close friends with Hinton and knows Chaffin well, so his two biggest pulls to Raleigh were no longer options. He pledged to UNC this week, taking the Pack's number one option off the board.

Not to be lost in the shuffle was a solid commitment from Jarius Morehead, which was covered earlier in the week.

What Is Going Right

Now for the part everyone can read without crying. There are still many positives with the coaching staff. While it would be understandable if the staff was devastated with the many second place finishes, word is they were upbeat at the camps this past week and were dishing out offers to kids in the 2015, 2016, and 2017 classes.

There are many differences in the feel of this staff from Tom O'Brien's, and the recovery time after losing commitments is one of them. Another distinguishing factor is the promotion of both the players and coaches involved with the program. The videos posted on, both In the Red Zone and First & 10 are great promotional pieces for the current staff. These also give the players some identity and a chance to get their names out. The generally humorous In the Red Zone pieces feature players ranging from upperclassmen down to the early enrollees. While it may not seem like much, recruits will enjoy seeing the exposure they could receive with the program. The First & 10 videos give prospective players a chance to see the personalities of the men who would be coaching them even more.

Another underrated tactic that this staff has utilized has been inviting teams from all over the country. While TOB's staff certainly used summer camps and uncovered many gems doing so, they never seemed to have quite the geographical reach that Doeren's do. Powerhouse schools such as Detroit Cass Tech and several from the state of Florida were at camp this year, and many underclassmen picked up offers. Doeren was a successful recruiter at major schools prior to arriving in Raleigh and intelligently wants to continue that trend.

Weekend Warning

I normally don't like to end posts with negative news, but expect UNC to pick up at least one commitment tonight, possibly several. Their Freak Show event is a big draw for them, and local wide receiver Juval Mollette is expected to commit, while some major in-state prospects may do so as well. The key is to hope Shy Tuttle, Bryce Love, South Carolina product Johnathan Sutton, and Georgia prospect Nick Polino do not, as they are all major targets for the Pack.