New N.C. State coach unveils 1st recruiting class
New North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren worked fast in his first few weeks on the job to hire a staff and get on the recruiting trail.
He figures the program has bolstered its depth at the offensive skill positions with a 25-player recruiting class that will serve as a good starting point.
"We look forward to selling (the program) for 12 months instead of six weeks," Doeren said.
Doeren left Northern Illinois to replace fired coach Tom O'Brien in December. He said the program was short on receivers, quarterbacks and running backs returning to the program.
That's why the Wolfpack's class features six receivers, three running backs and two quarterbacks — including Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett, who enrolled in January.
The goal, Doeren said, was to keep most of the team's commitments from O'Brien's tenure and add a few new names. Recruiting coordinator Ryan Nielsen said the program kept about a dozen commitments.
"I think they were very receptive," Nielsen said. "A lot of the success we had at Northern really helped I think. ... You obviously want to do better and in a year we'll eventually know a lot more about our players. But for the first year, I think it was pretty good."
Among the Wolfpack's top recruits is a pair of Associated Press all-state performers in cornerback Jack Tocho from Charlotte Independence and offensive lineman Cole Blankenship from Davie County. Blankenship is also already enrolled in school.
N.C. State landed 15 three-star prospects for the nation's No. 53 class, according to Scout.com/FoxSports.com. That group included instate receiver Pharoah McKever from South Columbus, running back Dakwa Nichols from Richmond County and linebacker Johnathan Alston from Bunn.
N.C. State signed nine players from North Carolina and Florida, where the Wolfpack found three-star running back Matthew Dayes and offensive lineman Tylar Reagan.
Doeren — who has promised to be an aggressive recruiter — said the coaches were eager to start recruiting future classes now that they're settled in Raleigh.
"It'll be a lot different," Doeren said. "They know my kids, they'll know my wife, they'll know everybody on our campus. ... It won't be 'What kind of offense do you run? What do you guys do on defense? Where do you come from again?' They're going to know everything. Those were a lot of questions I was answering, and it was tough."
Football signees announced Wednesday by North Carolina State, with name, position, height, weight, school and hometown:
Johnathan Alston, wr, 6-3, 200, Bunn (N.C.) HS
Cole Blankenship, ol, 6-3, 295, Davie County HS, Mocksville, N.C.
Jacoby Brissett, qb, 6-4, 225, Florida, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Bra'Lon Cherry, wr, 5-11, 175, New Bern (N.C.) HS
Travares Copeland, wr, 5-11, 178, West Virginia, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Matt Dayes, rb, 5-9, 190, Cypress Bay HS, Weston, Fla.
Jerod Fernandez, lb, 6-1, 215, Lake Mary (Fla.) HS
Kenton Gibbs, dt, 6-2, 290, Cass Technical HS, Detroit
Josh Jones, s, 6-2, 205, Walled Lake (Mich.) Western HS
Ali Kassem, ol, 6-7, 350, ASA, Cincinnati
Pharoah McKever, wr, 6-6, 215, South Columbus HS, Tabor City, N.C.
Malcolm Means, s, 6-2, 190, Lewisville HS, Richburg, S.C.
Josh Mercer, rb, 5-11, 190, South Effingham HS, Guyton, Ga.
Monty Nelson, dt, 6-2, 310, Plantation (Fla.) HS
Dakwa Nichols, rb, 5-10, 182, Richmond Senior HS, Rockingham, N.C.
Quinton Patterson, lb, 6-0, 225, Crest HS, Shelby, N.C.
Sean Paul, cb, 6-0, 180, Vero Beach (Fla.) HS
Jumichael Ramos, wr, 6-3, 190, Lovejoy (Ga.) HS
Tylar Reagan, ol, 6-5, 290, Bartram Trail HS, Jacksonville, Fla.
Patrick Roane, ol, 6-7, 310, Gray's Creek HS, Hope Mills
Artemis Robinson, lb, 6-1, 205, Scotland County HS, Laurinburg, N.C.
Bryant Shirreffs, qb, 6-3, 218, Jefferson (Ga.) HS
Jack Tocho, cb, 6-1, 190, Independence HS, Charlotte, N.C.
Marquez Valdes, wr, 6-3, 201, Lakewood HS, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Dravious Wright, cb, 5-10, 185, Vero Beach (Fla.) HS