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ACC morning links: Big get for Wolfpack

1/25/2015

It was a banner weekend on the recruiting trail for Dave Doeren and NC State.

The Wolfpack landed four-star tailback Johnny Frasier (Princeton, N.C.), who had been committed to Florida State and hadn’t even had NC State in his top five before the 2014 season began, as the Raleigh News & Observer notes.

Frasier is a big get for Doeren on a number of levels, but the success landing in-state talent may be the biggest takeaway. As Backing the Pack writes, Frasier is the fourth four-star prospect from North Carolina that Doeren has nabbed for this recruiting class, which is a great sign for the future of the program.

For Florida State, the loss was expected, but it means that early enrollee Jacques Patrick is the lone commitment the Seminoles have at running back for 2015, writes the Orlando Sentinel.

On the flip side, three of NC State’s top-five rated commits, according to ESPN, are running backs, and that is already a big position of strength for Doeren’s crew.

In fact, the success of NC State’s ground game in 2014 was one of the most under-the-radar stories of the year. A few tidbits:

  • NC State’s 5.98 yards per carry ranked 13th nationally and eighth among Power 5 teams.

  • Only four Power 5 teams had a lower rate of runs that went for a loss or no gain.

  • Only four Power 5 teams had a better rate of runs going for at least 5 yards, and three of those played in New Years Six bowls.

  • No team in the nation had a higher success rate converting third downs on the ground (66.1 percent).

Creating a more dynamic backfield is the next step for the Wolfpack’s ground game, which garnered the bulk of its productivity on consistency between the 20s, but lacked a home-run threat or a great red-zone runner. Frasier can probably help with the former immediately, but as Tom Luginbill notes, he’ll need to develop a bit more lower-body strength before he’s ready to make an impact with the latter.

A few more links:

  • Florida State’s Tre Jackson won MVP honors for the South team at the Senior Bowl, writes Tomahawk Nation.

  • Miami’s Ladarius Gunter had a strong showing at the Senior Bowl, writes the Miami Herald.

  • Pitt offensive lineman Artie Rowell has been a terrific ambassador for the Panthers and the ACC, writes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

  • One reason Virginia Tech will be a trendy pick in the Coastal next season is the wealth of returning starters, as the Roanoke Times notes.

  • With DeVante Parker NFL bound, Louisville landed a top recruit at receiver over the weekend, writes The Courier-Journal.

  • USA Today takes a look at how former Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris is handling his first month at SMU.

  • Morris’ arrival at SMU sent one QB commit looking elsewhere, and Kyle Kearns has now landed at Wake Forest, writes the Winston-Salem Journal.