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N.C. State's class

By Ken Tysiac
ktysiac@charlotteobserver.com

2008 record: 6-7
Atlantic record: 4-4
Overall class ranking: 10, ACC; 50, overall
In-state recruits: 4
Average stars: 2.74
Five-star recruits: None
Four-star recruits: Jarvis Byrd
Class prize: Byrd is a very physical cornerback who hits like a safety
Mike Farrell, analyst for rivals.com says: "I think State will be a little disappointed in being ranked behind Duke, but Tom O’Brien has a history of finding overachievers and players who are better than other people thought. On the surface, this doesn’t look like the best class. But I image this class has plenty of surprises. The State staff knows more than we know.”


= Signing confirmed by rivals.com

Morgan Alexander | Cartersville, Ga. | 5-10 | 180
Versatile athlete rushed for 1,400 yards as a junior. His numbers dipped as a senior because he also played wide receiver and cornerback. He may play defensive back for the Wolfpack.

Brian Bishop | Boca Raton, Fla. | 6-1 | 200
Made 108 tackles with five interceptions as a senior. Though he's projected as a safety, he also caught 45 passes for 600 yards and eight touchdowns in his senior season.

Jarvis Byrd | Pahokee, Fla. | 5-10 | 173
Standout at the same high school as Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith, a 2008 Thorpe Award finalist.

Darryl Cato-Bishop | Dorchester, Ma. | 6-3 | 238
Rated the No. 5 overall recruit in Massachusetts by rivals.com. Though he's enrolling on a football scholarship, there's a chance he will walk on to the basketball team.

Tyson Chandler | N. Plainfield, N.J. | 6-6 | 344
Huge lineman said N.C. State will start him out on defense but may move him to offense later. He's the 17th-rated prospect in New Jersey according to rivals.com.

Ryan Cheek | Lancaster, Ohio | 6-0 | 232
Played quarterback in high school and is a tough linebacker in the mold of Brian Toal, a standout recruited to Boston College by Tom O'Brien.

Duran Christophe | Woodstock, Ga. | 6-6 | 275
Helped team win seven in a row before a one-point playoff loss to eventual state champion Camden. Could add a lot of weight and still be effective.

Donald Coleman | Princeton, N.J. | 6-0 | 210
As a safety and running back, he rushed for 803 yards and seven touchdowns while forcing five fumbles and making 74 tackles. Has enrolled early and N.C. State.

Sylvester Crawford | Charlotte | 6-5 | 230
Elite pass rusher played for former Carolina Panther Brentson Buckner in high school and made 22 sacks as a senior.

Rickey Dowdy | High Point | 6-1 | 229
Possesses good speed (4.6 seconds in the 40) for his size and might be N.C. State's best in-state recruit in this class.

A.J. Ferguson | Southport | 6-2 | 250
Four-year starter made a huge leap during the summer before his junior year, when he lost some baby fat and his athletic ability became more apparent. Runs the 40 in 4.8 seconds.

Denzelle Good | Gaffney, S.C. | 6-6 | 325
Rated the No. 5 overall prospect in South Carolina, Good was impressive during Shrine Bowl practices. Though he played tackle in the Shrine Bowl, he might be a guard at N.C. State.

Dean Haynes | Tunnel Hill, Ga. | 6-0 | 180
Has a good knack for the football and a good understanding of the game after playing quarterback and cornerback in high school. Will play cornerback at N.C. State.

Sam Jones | Fuquay-Varina | 6-7 | 295
Originally signed with N.C. State in 2008, but spent the fall semester at Hargrave Military Academy. Former Fuquay-Varina High standout has enrolled at N.C. State for the spring semester.

Nathan Mageo | Samoa | 6-4 | 280
Transfer from New Mexico Military Institute is enrolled at N.C. State. He made 12 tackles for loss as a sophomore and could provide immediate help.

Quinton Payton | Anderson, S.C. | 6-3 | 195
Excellent student chose N.C. State over Duke and Wake Forest and possesses good speed and good hands. He is rated among the top 25 in South Carolina by The (Columbia) State Newspaper.

Everett Proctor | Fayetteville | 6-1 | 190
Dual-threat quarterback rushed for 1,034 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior. Might play defensive back for the Wolfpack.

Raynard Randolph | Brandywine, Md. | 6-3 | 300
Four-year varsity starter was rated the 16th-best prospect in Maryland by rivals.com. His scholarship offers included Penn State and Michigan State.

Hans Rice | Eufaula, Ala. | 6-3 | 195
Speedy defender could play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme or safety in a 4-3 scheme. Rated the nation's 25th-best weak side linebacker by scout.com.

Deion Roberson | Tucker, Ga. | 6-4 | 258
Suffered a season-ending ankle disolcation in his senior season opener, but had received scholarship offers from eight to 10 schools based on an outstanding junior year.

Brian Slay | Ashburn, Va. | 6-2 | 276
N.C. State's first commitment in the class, he chose the Wolfpack in early March and is rated the 26th-best player in Virginia by rivals.com.

Rashard Smith | Dublin, Ga. | 5-10 | 180
Was state Class 2-A player of the year as a junior. Passed for 1,300 yards, rushed for 997, returned two punts and one kickoff for touchdowns and intercepted 10 passes as a senior.

Anthony Talbert | Cincinnati | 6-4 | 230
Known for his superior blocking in a rushing-based offense, Talbert has posted incredible numbers in the weight room. He has dead-lifted 705 pounds.

Bryan Underwood | Cleveland Heights, Ohio | 5-9 | 182
Small but extremely speedy player could help the Wolfpack as a slot receiver and kickoff/punt returner.

Chris Ward | Fayetteville, Ga. | 6-1 | 170
Possible replacement for 2008 senior Bradley Pierson won the best punter award with an average punt of 42.7 yards and average hang time of 4.17 seconds at the prestigious Southern Kicking Invitational contest.

James Washington | Orlando, Fla. | 5-10 | 170
Rushed for 1,579 yards as a senior and more than1,700 as a junior. Led his team to the 6-A state semifinals as a senior and has enrolled early at N.C. State.

Asa Watson | Rock Hill, S.C. | 6-4 | 210
Brother of New England Patriots (and former Duke) tight end Benjamin Watson was used mostly as a blocker in high school, but N.C. State's coaches have plans to use him in a variety of ways as a receiver because of his excellent athletic ability.

Camden Wentz | Marietta, Ga. | 6-2 | 276
Outstanding student has a 3.9 grade-point average and was committed to Stanford from March through October until deciding California was too far from home.

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