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N.C. State Football

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N.C. State football fills ‘lot of needs’ among recruiting class

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RALEIGH After winning three games in his first season, N.C. State football coach Dave Doeren understood the importance of Signing Day on Wednesday.

“#Pack14” was more than a Twitter hashtag to Doeren and his assistant coaches, it was the first step in the plan to rebuild the program.

Doeren calls it a “blueprint,” one he’s adamant “will work here,” with more days like Wednesday and the infusion of new talent, 33 new players in all.

Doeren brought in the 27th-ranked class in the country, according to Rivals, in a large wave of new Wolfpack players, including 18 from within the state, for a reason.

“We had a lot of needs,” Doeren said.

Doeren specifically said both lines and the secondary were primary areas of need. N.C. State added seven new defensive backs, six defensive linemen and five new offensive linemen on Wednesday.

“I didn’t feel like we had enough depth or competition in our program,” Doeren said. “We needed both and I think we accomplished both.”

Both of the Wolfpack’s top 10 in-state recruits came on defense. The prize of the class is Greenville Rose’s Kentavius Street, a 6-foot-2, 264-pound defensive end, who can cover 40 yards in 4.6 seconds.

“He’s raw,” Rivals national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said of Street, whom he rates as the No. 43 prospect in the country.

“He doesn’t use a lot of technique but he’s a hustler and his motor never stops. He has tremendous potential.”

Street’s combination of size and speed make him one of the most versatile defensive line prospects in the country.

“At 260 pounds, he’s just really light on his feet,” Doeren said. “He’s just a disruptive guy. He can do a lot of different things on a defensive line.”

N.C. State, after its first winless ACC season since 1959, will need potential to quickly translate onto the field, not just from Street but from others in the class.

Germaine Pratt, a four-star safety from High Point, is one of nine early enrollees in the class and one of handful of players who could help N.C. State’s defense immediately. Cornerback Troy Vincent Jr., whose father was an All-Pro at the same position in the NFL, might be another.

Quarterback Jalan McClendon, from West Mecklenburg in Charlotte, was added with an eye on the future. McClendon, who is ranked No. 15 in the state, is big (6-5, 195 pounds) and has a skill set that fits the mold of the expected starter in 2014, Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett. That was by design, Doeren said.

Perhaps the most interesting addition is linebacker Ty Linton, who is one of three walk-ons in the class. Three of the early enrollees will count towards the 2013 class and a two other players are expected to “grayshirt,” which is how the class will meet the NCAA limit of 25.

If Linton’s name sounds familiar, he committed to play football at North Carolina in 2010. The Charlotte Christian product ended up playing minor-league baseball instead.

After four minor-league seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who will pay for his tuition, Linton decided to get back into football. Charlotte Christian receiver Bo Hines, the first recruit to commit to Doeren last year, helped land Linton.

Linton was going to go back to UNC but Doeren, who had originally recruited Linton to Wisconsin four years ago, was able to get Linton to switch to N.C. State.

That was one of many small wins on the recruiting trail Doeren hopes will pay off in his second season and down the road.

Giglio: 919-829-8938
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