When DeAndre Morgan signed with N.C. State in February of 2006, he thought his class was going to play a leading role in a bright future for the Wolfpack.
One of 20 signees in what would be coach Chuck Amato's final recruiting class, Morgan was amazed this week as he heard a long list of players from that class who are no longer with the team.
“I guess everything didn't work out as planned,” he said.
Just seven of those players will be available to play in Saturday's game at Maryland even though it's been just two and a half years since the class signed.
The low retention numbers haven't helped the Wolfpack as it limps into College Park, Md., with a 2-5 record and an 0-3 mark in the ACC.
Nine of the players from the Class of 2006 either never enrolled or are no longer members of the team.
A 10th, John Ware, is on academic suspension.
Two others, receiver Donald Bowens and safety Javon Walker, had promising 2007 seasons but will miss all of 2008 with injuries.
Another, linebacker Nate Irving, is N.C. State's best defensive player but is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.
The group from 2006 was hardly Amato's best class.
It was ranked 43rd in the nation by scout.com on signing day. But quarterback Justin Burke, receivers Bowens, Carlos Everett, Owen Spencer, Darrell Davis and Jarvis Williams, and tight ends Jonathan Hannah and Rashad Phillips seemed to have the ability to revive a passing game that had been grounded since record-setting quarterback Philip Rivers left after the 2003 season.
Spencer and Williams are N.C. State's starting receivers now.
But there are just two other current starters – cornerback Morgan and place-kicker Josh Cjazkowski – from that class.
Davis, defensive end Audi Augustin and offensive tackle Gary Gregory are reserves.
Davis has two catches for 26 yards. Augustin and Gregory have played a combined 40 snaps this season.
What happened to those who aren't on the team right now?
Everett, Hannah, Everett Lewis and Jordan Delegal never enrolled.
LaMarcus Bond, Nathan Franklin and Burke (who's now at Louisville) left the team with intentions to transfer.
Cedric Hickman was charged with five counts of larceny and breaking into motor vehicles in December and was dismissed from the team.
Phillips was injured in an automobile crash. He is enrolled but no longer with the team because of medical reasons.
N.C. State's coaches are reluctant to talk about the lost class. Anything they say would sound like an excuse and detract from their efforts to win with their current roster, they said.
Morgan, who has 31 tackles and an interception this year, said he hopes the players who remain will prove the Class of 2006 was successful.
“We've got to go with what we have,” Morgan said. “Because we're all we've got.”
Reach Tysiac at 919-829-8942