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NC State football: Wolfpack welcomes seven early enrollees

Welcome, freshmen.

NCAA Football: Independence Bowl-North Carolina State vs Vanderbilt Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

NC State welcomed seven players to the football program for the spring semester, including perhaps the top prospect in the Wolfpack’s 2017 class, wide receiver Antoine Thompson.

Kollin Byers (247 profile) — Byers is a 6’5, 270-pound offensive line prospect who actually signed with NC State last February. He greyshirted, which is to say he delayed his enrollment until the spring semester so that his scholarship would not count against the 2016 total. He needs to continue to add wieght, and getting into State’s strength program early will help there.

Damien Darden (247 profile) — Darden is a consensus three-star tight end prospect from Pikeville, NC. He comes in with good size already (6’4, 246 pounds) and perhaps could grow into a different position at NC State.

Xavier Lyas (247 profile) — Lyas is one of those raw talents that hasn’t been playing football for long—he just picked it up during his junior year of high school but nonetheless ended up a three-star prospect and a scholarship player at a Power 5 school, which ain’t to bad for two years of work.

Matthew McKay (247 profile) — NC State’s lone quarterback in the 2017 class, McKay is from the Pack’s back yard. At 6’4, he has good height for the position, though he is wiry. In high school, he had a lot of success running the ball as well.

Damontay Rhem — A 5’11, 205-pound running back from Wendell, NC. Rhem is a preferred walk-on, so he doesn’t have a scholarship but was given the guarantee of a spot on the roster if he chose to attend NCSU.

Liam Ryan — Ryan is also a preferred walk-on and another local product. He played his high school ball in Cary, but spent the last year at Fork Union Military Academy. The OL prospect already possesses decent size for that position (6’3, 295).

Antoine Thompson (247 profile) — Thompson, a wide receiver from Florida, is the highest-rated prospect in NC State’s class. He’s a consensus three-star but Rivals rates him as a four-star prospect. Unfortunately, Thompson suffered an ACL tear prior to the start of his senior season, so he hasn’t played football in more than a year. The good news is that he’s now able to finish his rehabbing with NC State’s sports medicine and strength and conditioning staff. He averaged more than 20 yards per catch as a junior.