With some recent additions to the 2013 recruiting class, NC State is up to No. 41 in Rivals' class rankings. That's a bit of a depressing sentence but we're stuck in #threestarnation for at least one more recruiting cycle thanks to the coaching change.
Which is not to criticize or undersell what Dave Doeren is doing with very little time--I think he's done a fine job under the circumstances. It looked for a while that he'd re-solidified Kyrin Priester's commitment here, which would have been difficult for anybody. That didn't work out, but he was able to keep running back Matt Dayes in the fold. He's also added seven players to the class, including wide receiver Jumichael Ramos, who done got yoinked from Georgia Tech. (killed a graduate assistant after learning this news. Keep the GA's family in your thoughts and prayers.)
By recent standards, a top-45 class is actually pretty good. Here's how Rivals ranked State's classes in the TOB era:
The 2013 class also ranks sixth in the ACC.
But here's what we're facing: the average class ranking in the TOB era: 50.8. FSU's average recruiting class over those same six years ranked in the top 10 nationally, while Clemson averaged a 17.7 ranking***. This is the gap that we're going to have to close to some significant extent in order to realistically compete for ACC titles. It will not be easy, but this is why a change was made by Debbie Yow. Having an elite quarterback can hide a lot of flaws, and we've been very fortunate under Tom O'Brien to have both Russell Wilson and Mike Glennon, who made the most of what they had.
But that's not exactly the model of sustainability. The roster needs an overhaul, and I hope that with a full year of recruiting, Dave Doeren's staff will begin to deliver a blue chip player here and there. We need to get into the top 35 consistently to feel more confident about winning the ACC sometime this century, and that's doable given the facilities and the fan base here. I think Doeren's young staff can deliver those results. We may never get back to the signing day fun of those early Amato years, but it's going to beat the hell out of the last half decade.
*** Stars matter. Recruiting is and always will be an inexact science, especially in football, but it's been shown time and time again that star ratings correlate with program success. There aren't many "diamonds in the rough" to be had in the southeast, because everyone is recruiting in the southeast. Some people had their heads firmly planted in the sand about this during TOB's tenure, but apparently none of them ever watched an SEC game.