NC State

Wolfpack gets bigger, taller with new signees

Dave Doeren wanted to upgrade N.C. State’s talent in the passing game and in the defensive secondary. The Wolfpack definitely added more bodies – and taller ones – on Signing Day on Wednesday.

Of the 23 scholarship players in the class, 52 percent are receivers, tight ends or defensive backs. Of the 12 players added at those skill positions, 10 are taller than 6-2 and four are 6-4 or taller.

“If you look at college football recruiting the last two weeks you saw a lot of teams scrambling around trying to get tall guys on the perimeter,” Doeren said. “We feel really good about who we got there.”

Doeren’s fourth class with the Wolfpack came in at No. 49 in the country and ninth in the ACC in 247 Sports’ composite rankings.

But Doeren was happy with the prospect of being able to groom the class and not rush them onto the field. That wasn’t the case with Doeren’s other classes at N.C. State.

Ready or not, the previous two classes in particular had to put more true freshmen on the field than Doeren ideally wanted to.

“You want to fight the urge to be young,” Doeren said. “You want to have the experience pay off but some of these young guys are going to be able to compete, it’s just a matter of what percentage.”

The bigger receivers and tight ends, both Thaddeus Moss of Charlotte and Bryce Dixon of Angier, were praised by Doeren and could help the Wolfpack right away.

Finding bigger, downfield targets to stretch the defense has been an issue for the Wolfpack. Doeren thinks this group will help both in the passing game and in defending the ACC’s better, bigger teams.

“When you get into those games (against Clemson and Florida State), they’ve got some big receivers that can run,” Doeren said. “Adding length at that position is a key part of it.”

Best player

Isaiah Stallings, safety: Tight end Thaddeus Moss has the bigger name (son of former NFL great Randy Moss) and could be an immediate help on offense, but Stallings might be the most intriguing player in the class. The Fayetteville product is ranked No. 16 in the state, which is the highest rated in-state player the Wolfpack signed. Safeties with his size (6-4, 205 pounds) don’t come around often. Doeren said the plan is to keep Stallings, who is also an excellent basketball player, at safety. Clemson had success this season with a bigger, taller safety in Jayron Kearse (6-5, 220 pounds). Doeren said Stallings shares some of the same skills.

“We would love for him to be like that,” Doeren said. “(Kearse) was special for (Clemson). You see a lot of similarities. He’s a very talented guy.”

Biggest need filled

Receiver, offensive line: N.C. State ranked No. 78 in the country in passing offense last year in part because it wasn’t able to make plays down the field.

Jaylen Samuels, a tight end/running back, led the Wolfpack in receptions and receiving yards but defenses were able to key in on him because the Wolfpack didn’t have a home-run threat on the outside.

Moss caught 54 passes for 831 yards and 13 touchdowns at Charlotte Mallard Creek last season. He gives N.C. State’s new quarterback a chance to go deep. Receivers C.J. Riley (6-5) and Kelvin Harmon (6-3) have the same potential.

The Wolfpack loses three seniors from its offensive line and will be counting on a group of sophomores to step in and help this season. But down the road, the seven blockers signed on Wednesday will likely be the core of the offensive front.

Tackle Kendall Brown, who’s listed as 6-4 and 265 pounds, needs to add some weight to his frame but Doeren was impressed with his 7-1 wingspan.

“You can’t teach height or length,” Doeren said.

Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio

N.C. State signees

Name

Ranking

Ht.

Wt.

Hometown

TE Dylan Autenriet

3 stars

6-4

225

Dallas, Ga.

CB Bryce Banks

3 stars

6-2

184

Columbia, Mo.

T Kendall Brown

2 stars

6-4

265

Jacksonville, Fla.

OL Kollin Byers

2 stars

6-4

250

Shelby

T Justin Chase

3 stars

6-6

285

Chesapeake, Va.

TE Bryce Dixon

3 stars

6-3

210

Angier

OL Bryce Folsom

3 stars

6-4

263

Alpharetta, Ga.

DT Ben Frazier

3 stars

6-2

321

Buford, Ga.

OL Harrison Gee

3 stars

6-3

278

Burlington

CB J.J. Givens

3 stars

6-2

174

Mechanicsville, Va.

WR Kelvin Harmon

3 stars

6-3

196

Palmyra, N.J.

LB Garrett Hooker

3 stars

6-2

247

High Point

S Tim Kidd-Glass

3 stars

6-0

206

Danville, Va.

CB Nick McCloud

3 stars

6-2

175

Rock Hill, S.C.

LB Brock Miller

3 stars

6-4

210

Port St. Lucie, Fla.

TE Thaddeus Moss

3 stars

6-4

247

Charlotte

QB Dylan Parham

3 stars

6-4

210

Raleigh

WR C.J. Riley

3 stars

6-5

188

Coconut Creek, Fla.

OL Joe Sculthorpe

3 stars

6-2

290

Hampstead

S Isaiah Stallings

3 stars

6-4

205

Fayetteville

WR Daeshawn Stephens

3 stars

6-2

205

Durham

CB James Valdez

3 stars

6-0

189

Orangeburg, S.C.

OL Justin Witt

3 stars

6-6

290

New Lenox, Ill.

K Connor Haskins

NR

5-8

176

Lumberton

(UNC-Pembroke)

LB David Pierson

NR

6-0

223

Wendell

TE Thomas Ruocchio

NR

6-4

230

Raleigh

LB Matt Stevens

NR

6-0

212

Charlotte

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