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Pack zeroing in on remaining top targets

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Over the next few months, Wolfpack fans will be able to judge the success of the 2015 recruiting cycle. With several big names still on the board, it is make-or-break time for Dave Doeren's staff.

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It has been a quiet month for NC State in terms of commitments, but there has been plenty of drama behind the scenes. The Pack has zoned in on their major remaining targets to fill the rest of their class, which should finish with around 17-18 signees come February. Taking a look at how the class of 2015 could finish, there is a chance it matches last year's success.

The first domino to fall among the major targets is consensus top 100 overall Darian Roseboro. The 283 lb defensive end from Lincolnton High is deciding at 2:30 PM on Friday on ESPN.com. He has an official top six of Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, North Carolina, NC State, and Tennessee, but is expected to pick either the Wolverines or the Wolfpack. For the last few months, common sense held that Roseboro would pick Michigan, but within the last few days, many experts and those around him have hinted that he very well may stay in the state and head to Raleigh next year. Roseboro's actions would lead one to believe he is headed northward, but it sounds as if location could be a bigger factor than once thought. By Friday, we will have an answer.

Mike Hughes is a prospect that has seemed on the verge of making a commitment for the past month. The cornerback from New Bern is believed to be down to NC State and UNC and is possibly favoring the Wolfpack. He visited last weekend after leading New Bern to a victory against a tough Durham Hillside team. Hughes claims he wants to take official visits to the two local schools, Florida, Ohio State, and South Carolina, but it remains to be seen if those will take place.

A member of that Hillside squad has NC State in his final two, as offensive tackle Emanuel McGirt has the Pack on top along with Georgia. After decommitting from UNC several months ago, these have been the two buzz teams. McGirt has always had an affinity for State since the beginning of the recruiting process, but most of his family attended North Carolina and have pushed him elsewhere. If McGirt makes it through this weekend without committing to UGA (while visiting for the Clemson game), the Wolfpack may be in the clear.

McGirt has been talking recently about playing with Garner star athlete Nyheim Hines, and Hines has reciprocated. The running back seems to be narrowing down his options and the Wolfpack were his childhood favorite. While Hines would love to play with McGirt at the next level, his destination appears to be determined by where his twin sister decides to go. She is a track athlete and got her first known offer from the Wolfpack last week, putting them in great position to earn his commitment. Duke still looms large, with Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, and West Virginia still trying.

Hines is lifelong friends with Millbrook running back Marcus Marshall, whose brother is Georgia running back Keith Marshall. Marshall did well on the camp circuit this summer and picked up offers from Boston College, NC State, and Wake Forest. Conventional wisdom says that the Wolfpack lead, but Wake Forest could be a threat. If Marshall were to pop for the Pack, it could influence several of the local targets.

Yet another player with a link to the others is Wake Forest High running back Bryce Love. While Love initially seemed a lock to pick an SEC school, the top 100 player may be down to Stanford, NC State, and UNC (perhaps in that order). After a summer visit to Stanford, they are the consensus leader, but a combination of location and his friends (Hines, Marshall, and current commitment James Smith-Williams) could factor into the speedster staying home with the Pack. It is not expected that NC State will land each of these targets, but if they manage to sign half of these names, the Wolfpack will have managed a second consecutive successful recruiting class. Stacking classes is what was missing in the Tom O'Brien regime and could be the key to taking the next step forward with the program.