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NC State football recruiting at a glance in the Dave Doeren era

NC State is recruiting better players more consistently these days.

NCAA Football: Boston College at North Carolina State James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Dave Doeren brought a significant recruiting upgrade to NC State when he replaced Tom O’Brien, overhauling a roster that was so bad it couldn’t manage one league win in Doeren’s first season. Thankfully, that level of struggle on the field is a distant memory, and recruiting has gotten better along with the results on the field.

The Wolfpack’s 2020 class is No. 18 in the 247Sports composite rankings and would be the highest-ranked class that Doeren has pulled in if that’s where it finishes. How does the current class compare to State’s most recent hauls? Pretty darn similar.

Here’s a glance at State’s complete recruiting history under Dave Doeren:

Wolfpack Crootin’

Class Year Nat'l Rank ACC Rank Avg. Prospect Rtg 4-star Commits 3-star Commits
Class Year Nat'l Rank ACC Rank Avg. Prospect Rtg 4-star Commits 3-star Commits
2014 34 7 84.4 2 27
2015 31 6 85.3 4 18
2016 50 9 83.6 0 22
2017 53 10 84.7 0 21
2018 26 6 86.6 6 17
2019 29 5 86.7 4 19
2020 18 6 86.6 1 14

(All figures via 247Sports. I didn’t include the 2013 class since Doeren wasn’t the head coach for much of that recruiting cycle.)

This year’s class is tracking right in line with the last two years, when Doeren’s staff broke out of a slump of sorts and began landing higher-quality prospects. Just going by average prospect rating, the recruiting over the last 2+ cycles has been almost identical. You will note as well that the three classes with the highest average prospect rating happen to be the most recent three. Winning helps!

It’s encouraging that NC State has been able to sustain the modest step up it made in 2018 and is beginning to routinely land classes that rank in the ACC’s top half. Doing that over the long term will provide the Wolfpack with a baseline talent level that is comparable to (or better than) every team in the league save Clemson, Florida State, and Miami.

We’d all love to see a magic switch flip and bring four- and five-star kids flocking to Raleigh, but State is in a pretty good place already.