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Dave Doeren and NC State are catching UNC in recruiting, still crushing the Tar Heels at getting players to the NFL

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UNC can’t match NC State at getting players to the next level

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at North Carolina Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Jonas Pope IV penned an article yesterday for the News & Observer asking the question: between NC State and UNC, which program is better at recruiting in-state talent? The article doesn’t exactly declare a clear winner in that debate, but it does make the following statement:

Under Doeren, who has put an emphasis on keeping the state’s top football talent in North Carolina, N.C. State this year passed UNC in the league in recruiting for the first time in 11 years. For the 2019 recruiting class, the Wolfpack has the fifth best class in the ACC, UNC has the sixth.

Okay. So UNC has done a better job during the Dave Doeren era of getting players to campus who have higher ratings attached to them (although that may well be changing), but which program is doing a better job of getting players to the next level and into the NFL? After all, nobody wants to peak in high school.

Over the last four NFL Drafts, NC State has had 17 players drafted while UNC has had 10.

Not only has NC State had more players drafted, their players have on average been drafted higher. Eight of NC State’s 17 draft picks have been selected in the top 100 picks of their respective drafts; only two UNC players have cleared that threshold.

Overall during this span, NC State has an average draft selection of 113 (middle of the 4th round) while UNC has had an average draft selection of 149 (middle of the 5th round).

The difference in compensation between those two draft averages? The 113th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft (Justice Hill) signed a contract with a total value (four year salary plus signing bonus) of $3.26M. The 149th pick (Hunter Renfrow) signed a deal with a total value of $2.84M. Combined, NC State’s draft picks have signed rookie contracts with total values of $88.6M; UNC draft picks have signed rookie contracts with total values of $56.2M.

So while NC State has gained ground on UNC in terms of the ratings of players coming into the program, the Wolfpack have the Tar Heels well in the rear view with respect to getting those players to the next level.

When it comes to building players for the NFL, there is a clear winner.