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4-star athlete Ronnie Royal III picks NC State

The red light was back on Friday.

Duke’s Mayo Bowl - Maryland v NC State Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

NC State has had a good run of recruiting for its secondary of late, as the team on the field has turned what had been a problem area into a strength. That run continued Friday with the commitment of consensus four-star prospect Ronnie Royal III, who has been put in the “athlete” bucket by recruiting services but is being recruited by State to play safety.

Royal is an impressive two-way high school player who accounted for 30 touchdowns last season (24 on the ground) as well as 39 tackles and two picks on the defensive side. Clearly he doesn’t lack for playmaking ability—running for over 1,100 yards while tacking on almost 900 receiving is a hell of a year.

But NC State wants that playmaking on the defense, where it hopes he can eventually fill a Tanner Ingle-esque role.

Of note, Royal is from Alabama and boasts plenty of power-conference offers, though Alabama and Auburn are not among them. At least not yet.

State’s 2024 class is up to nine commitments, with Royal the highest-rated of them.