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NC State's 2014 recruiting class: The offense

Rob Kinnan-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.



Jalan McClendon - (West Mecklenburg) Charlotte, North Carolina

6'4" 200 lbs, 4.7 40 yard dash

Offers: Florida State, Miami, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wake Forest

Committed on 5/16/2013


Rivals- Three star, #18 Pro-Style Quarterback, #15 overall in NC

Scout- Four star, #15 Quarterback, #248 overall
247 Sports- Four star, #12 Pro-Style Quarterback, #8 overall in NC, #170 overall

ESPN- Four star, #20 Pocket Passer, #16 overall in NC


McClendon is a very strong-armed quarterback with an ideal build for the position.  Scouts at both the Shrine Bowl and USA All-Star games have been wowed by several of the throws he made both in practice and games (including a 70 yard hail mary attempt at the Shrine Bowl). While the coaches are high on him, he is expected to redshirt and then hopefully take over for Jacoby Brissett as a redshirt sophomore.  He will need the time to get bigger and learn the offense, but he has the natural arm strength and enough mobility to be a solid starter in Raleigh when the time comes.

Running Back/Fullback

Marcelias Sutton- (James Kenan) Warsaw, North Carolina

5'9" 175 lbs, 11-5 broad jump, 4.76 (?) 40 yard dash

Offers: Charlotte, East Carolina

Committed on 6/25/2013


Rivals- Two star all-purpose back

Scout- Three star, #95 running back

247 Sports- Three star, #29 all-purpose back, #37 overall in NC

ESPN- Three star, #113 running back, #39 overall in NC


Despite some lessened depth at the position with the departure of Josh Mercer and the status of leading rusher Shadrach Thornton up in the air, Sutton is not expected to see the field this season.  If injuries occur or Sutton surprises in practice, he could see some time as a scat back type or on special teams.  Sutton is somewhat similar to redshirt freshman back Dakwa Nichols, with perhaps a bit more explosiveness.  Sutton's strengths are his vision and lower-body strength, but coming from a 1A (state champion) school is a big jump to make and immediately contribute.  Ideally, he would become a part of the rotation by his junior year.

Jaylen Samuels- (Mallard Creek) Charlotte, North Carolina

6'0" 220 lbs, 4.8 40 yard dash, 4.28 shuttle

Offers: Ball St, Charlotte, Georgia St

Committed on 6/22/2013


Rivals- Three star, #2 fullback, #20 overall in NC

Scout- Three star, #7 fullback

247 Sports- Three star, #18 fullback, #72 overall in NC

ESPN- Three star, #100 athlete, #40 overall in NC

Samuels may be the most dynamic player in the class.  He lined up at quarterback, running back, fullback, tight end, wide receiver, and linebacker for 4-A state champion Mallard Creek.  A huge senior season with over 2,300 yards rushing and receiving and an incredible 55 touchdownsgained Samuels a lot of attention throughout the state.  Fortunately for the Wolfpack, they secured his commitment well before he gained notoriety.  Offensive coordinator Matt Canada will likely use him primarily in an H-back role to maximize his ability all over the field.  Samuels should find time right away at running back, fullback, and perhaps special teams.

Wide Receiver

Maurice Trowell- (Southern Durham) Durham, North Carolina

5'11" 175 lbs, 4.6 40 yard dash, 4.04 shuttle

Offers: Ball St, Charlotte, East Carolina

Committed on 6/22/2013


Rivals- Three star

Scout- Three star, #59 wide receiver

247 Sports- Three star, #152 wide receiver, #39 overall in NC

ESPN- Three star, #86 wide receiver, #23 overall in NC


Trowell flew under the radar throughout his high school career, even after playing for the state champion in 3A.  He is not the type of receiver that is going to wow you with his speed (although it is adequate for the college level), but his route-running and hands are major assets.  At the college level, Trowell will likely be at his best in intermediate-to-deep routes by finding gaps in the secondary.  There is an opportunity for playing time with two receivers having graduated and Trowell may be in line for some snaps this year.  However, Bo Hines and Stephen Louis have a head start being on campus a semester early.

Tight End

Cole Cook- (Carrollton) Carrollton, Georgia

6'5" 230 lbs, 4.78 40 yard dash

Offers: Boston College, Cincinnati, Florida St, Georgia St, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi St, Missouri, Troy, UCF, Western Kentucky

Committed on 6/22/2013


Rivals- Three star, #26 tight end, #57 overall in GA

Scout- Three star, #30 tight end

247 Sports- Three star, #40 tight end, #92 overall in GA

ESPN- Three star, #20 tight end-Y, #61 overall in GA


Cook was a highly coveted tight end at traditional Georgia high school power Carrollton.  Dave Doeren was the first school to offer Cook, and that played a big part in landing the pledge.  He is a very loyal person, and even when Florida State and several SEC schools came calling, there was never a moment of second-guessing.  Having played for an almost exclusively running team in high school, Cook is prepared to block at the next level (something the coaching staff expects before you see any playing time).  In camps, recruiting analysts liked his footwork and believe he has potential as a passing threat.  With only two returning tight ends in 2014, expect Cook to see playing time as a true freshman and perhaps emerge as the number two tight end behind David J. Grinnage.

Garrett Bradbury- (Charlotte Christian) Charlotte, North Carolina

6'3" 240 lbs

Offers: Charlotte, Colorado St

Committed on 4/20/2013


Rivals- Two star

Scout- Three star, #58 tight end

247 Sports- Two star, #105 tight end, #61 overall in NC

ESPN- Two star, #54 tight end, #61 overall in NC


Bradbury was a bit of a surprise offer and commitment as he never seemed to generate much buzz despite playing for a prestigious football program in a big city.  Part of this was due to a highly rated teammate at the same position (Jeb Blazevich) as well as other star players on his team.  The teammate of Bo Hines is very much a team-first player who is adept at blocking, but also a threat in short down passing situations.  Bradbury is built like he could already be a junior in college and may possibly play baseball at NC State as well.  Bradbury is not what many consider as a "high ceiling" prospect, but he will likely see the field as an upperclassman.

Micah Till- (Wise) Upper Marlboro, Maryland

6'5" 260 lbs

Offers: Connecticut, Duke, Temple, Toledo

Committed on 5/2/2013


Rivals- Three star, #28 overall in MD

Scout- Three star, #54 tight end

247 Sports- Three star, #42 tight end, #26 overall in MD

ESPN- Three star, #28 tight end-Y, #23 overall in MD


Till was yet another early commitment where we may never know what his full offer list would look like.  A good basketball player (with low-to-mid-major Division 1 offers), Till as very athletic for his size.  Some wondered if he could translate to offensive tackle if the need arises, and he probably could.  However, his hands and footwork are his greatest assets, so he will likely stay at tight end.  Till is a similar player to current Pack tight end David Grinnage in terms of size and catching ability.  With playing time somewhat available, it is possible that Till will not redshirt, but he may be better suited to do so and fight for time in 2015.

Offensive Line

Tyler Jones- (Stephenson) Stone Mountain, Georgia

6'4" 285 lbs, 5.78 (?) 40 yard dash

Offers: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Georgia St, Iowa St, Michigan St, Middle Tennessee St, Mississippi St, North Carolina, Ohio St, South Florida, Wake Forest

Committed on 9/30/2013


Rivals- Three star, #48 offensive tackle, #48 overall in GA

Scout- Three star, #46 offensive guard

247 Sports- Three star, #46 offensive guard, #75 overall in GA

ESPN- Three star, #33 offensive tackle, #46 overall in GA


Jones was a player who gained a lot of interest in the spring and summer after performing well at some camps.  He committed to Mississippi State but flipped to the Pack after a visit in September.  Obviously, based on his offer list, college coaching staffs see Jones as a high-level player.  He comes from a perennial Georgia powerhouse and he believes he might not be done growing, which would bode well for a possible switch to offensive tackle.  With three other interior linemen committed to play in Raleigh, it will be a tough competition for playing time.  Jones will likely be moved around on the line some throughout his career before settling in at guard.  While the offensive line has not been a strong point for the Wolfpack in recent years, there is still a lot of experience there which may lead to a redshirt for Jones.

Will Richardson- (Cummings) Burlington, North Carolina

6'6" 300 lbs

Offers: Duke, East Carolina, Florida St, Indiana, Louisville, Ohio, Virginia, Virginia Tech

Committed on 1/20/2014


Rivals- Three star, #61 offensive tackle, #23 overall in NC
Scout- Three star, #94 offensive tackle
247 Sports- Four star, #26 offensive tackle, #11 overall in NC
ESPN- Four star, #16 offensive guard, #13 overall in NC, #290 overall


Richardson was the last commitment for #PACK14 and might have been the most important in terms of position need.  While the Pack had picked up four other offensive linemen, none are a sure bet to end up at tackle.  Getting Richardson to flip from Virginia means that he can pair with Patrick Roane (from the 2013 class) on the outside in the future.  Richardson has had trouble in the past keeping his weight down, but worked hard to get to around 300 pounds.  He is still a developmental prospect, so it is anticipated that he will redshirt and take over one tackle spot in a few years' time.

Eric Shute- (Glenbard West) Glen Ellyn, Illinois

6'5" 275 lbs

Offers: Akron, Arkansas, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Purdue, Syracuse, Toledo, Virginia Tech, Western Michigan

Committed on 6/8/2013


Rivals- Three star, #35 overall in IL

Scout- Three star, #43 offensive guard

247 Sports- Three star, #30 offensive guard, #19 overall in IL

ESPN- Three star, #82 offensive guard, #42 overall in IL


Shute has probably been the least talked about of any of the Pack's commitments that is a consensus three star or better.  A projected guard with a definite nasty streak on film, he could be a difference-maker in the run game.  As with most high school offensive linemen, it is hard to project where he will be as a pass protector down the line.  The other major schools that offered Shute (Arkansas, Nebraska, Virginia Tech), are more run-oriented teams like State.  With his length, there is no reason that he will not develop into a serviceable pass blocker.  I would look for Shute to see the field as early as his sophomore season.