NC State may have finished one game worse in 2016 than it did in the 2015 campaign, but its recruiting remained relatively strong, as the Wolfpack finished with ESPN’s No. 44 class for 2016. They landed six offensive linemen, and they got themselves a solid quarterback in local product Dylan Parham (Raleigh, N.C./Southeast Raleigh), who enrolled early.
NC State’s class was the ninth best in the ACC, behind fellow in-state programs North Carolina and Duke, which made plenty of surprising waves this year on the trail. But the Pack certainly put their work in locally, with 13 of their 27 signees coming from in-state. And they drew some national attention with the late addition of tight end Thaddeus Moss (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek), their lone four-star signee. You may recognize the last name: Thaddeus’ dad is Randy Moss.
Biggest need going into NSD: The offensive line needed to keep replenishing. It’s not that there was necessarily a major hole there, but with four running backs in the fold for 2016, NC State had to ensure that there would be a line of blockers up front for those rushers. The Wolfpack said goodbye to three starters up front after the 2015 season -- left guard Alex Barr, center Quinton Schooley and left tackle Joe Thuney, who was an all-conference pick.
How it was addressed: The class got off to a good start with the addition of ESPN three-star tackle Justin Witt (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West), who enrolled early and could perhaps fight his way into the rotation with a strong spring. Moreover, the Pack signed five more O-linemen last week: three-star center Harrison Gee (Burlington, N.C./Walter M. Williams), three-star tackle Justin Chase (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge), three-star guard Joe Sculthorpe (Hampstead, N.C./Topsail), three-star guard Bryce Folsom (Cusseta, Ga./Chattahoochee) and two-star tackle Kollin Byers (Shelby, N.C./Crest).
Strongest position post-NSD: NC State didn’t sign a single running back recruit in this class, but it’s hard not to like what the Pack already have in the backfield. Matt Dayes returns after seeing his junior year cut short eight games and 865 yards in because of a foot injury. Jaylen Samuels and Reggie Gallaspy are back after totaling 684 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns in 2015. And ESPN300 back Johnny Frasier will have his redshirt come off, two years removed from being the Pack’s top signee from the 2015 class.
Biggest remaining need: There’s no such thing as too many pass-rushers, and though NC State returns seven of its top eight defensive linemen from 2015, the Pack signed just one end (Kendall Brown) and one tackle (Shug Frazier) in this class. They signed four D-linemen a year ago.