By Dave Glenn, ACC Sports Journal
February 2, 2004 In Chuck Amato's first four recruiting campaigns (2000-03) after leaving Florida State to become the head coach at N.C. State, the Wolfpack found most of its signees in three places: Florida (32), North Carolina (30) and prep schools/junior colleges (16). Those talent pools alone accounted for almost 80 percent (78 of 98) of the Pack's signatures on the last four national signing days. Apparently, those trends will continue for at least another year. Here are the league's latest commitment capsules, led by the Wolfpack's most recent additions, with most of the details provided directly by college coaches, high school coaches, the players or their families.
Greenville (NC) Rose RB Andre Brown, rated one of the top 10 running backs in the nation, committed to N.C. State over UNC (visit) and Virginia (visit). He also had offers from Clemson, ECU, Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, while FSU, Georgia, LSU, Maryland, Miami and others showed interest but backed off because of academic concerns. As a senior, Brown set the state single-season rushing record with 3,479 yards (12.3 per carry) for the 14-2 Class 4A state champions, and his 48 touchdowns tied for the second-best mark (behind current NCSU tailback T.A. McLendon) in state history. Among his many postseason honors, Brown was named the Gatorade player of the year in North Carolina and the state's Mr. Football. He also was a first-team all-state selection, and he earned offensive MVP honors at the 2003 Shrine Bowl. A three-year starter, he had 311 carries for 2,297 yards and 17 TDs as a junior and more than 1,800 rushing yards as a sophomore, after moving to Greenville from Baltimore. Rose, which won its first state title since 1975, had numerous graduates on Division I-A rosters in 2003, including DB Travis Cox (ECU), TE Tutu Moye (ECU), TE Kort Shankweiler (ECU) and DB James Tyson (ECU). Brown benches 330 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds. He must improve his GPA/SAT combination to qualify academically. His main recruiter with the Pack is linebackers coach Manny Diaz.
Hollywood (FL) Chaminade TE Octavious Darby, rated one of the top 50 seniors in Florida, chose N.C. State over Iowa (visit) and long-time favorite Miami (visit). He also had offers from Auburn, Boston College, Florida, FSU, Georgia, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin. For most of the recruiting process, he said he was 99.9 percent sure he'd sign with the Hurricanes (one hour from home) if they offered him a scholarship. He said he particularly likes the Wolfpack coaching staff, the team's wide-open offense, the direction of the program, and the opportunity for he and his best friend (Chaminade WR John Dunlap, who chose the Pack one day earlier) to attend the same school. A first-team Class 2A all-state selection, Darby had 14 receptions for 195 yards and two touchdowns as a senior, helping Chaminade to the school's first state championship. He was an honorable mention all-state pick as a junior, when he had 22 receptions for 452 yards and five TDs. Chaminade graduates on Division I-A rosters in 2003 included DB Jon Beason (Miami) and LB Glenn Cook (Miami). Darby benches 280 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.7 seconds. He has a 2.6 GPA and a 950 SAT score. His main recruiter with the Wolfpack is receivers coach Doc Holliday.
Hollywood (FL) Chaminade WR John Dunlap, rated one of the top 100 seniors in Florida, chose N.C. State over Florida (visit) and long-time favorite Miami (visit). He also had offers from Auburn, FSU, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and Wake. For most of the recruiting process, he said he was 99.9 percent sure he'd sign with the Hurricanes (one hour from home) if they offered him a scholarship. A first-team Class 2A all-state selection as a linebacker, he had 30 receptions for 500-plus yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior, helping Chaminade to the school's first state championship. He was an honorable mention all-state pick as a junior, when he had 23 catches for 425 yards. Also an outstanding linebacker in high school, he benches 320 pounds, runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds and has a vertical leap of 38 inches. He has a 2.5 GPA and a 900 SAT score. His main recruiter with the Pack is receivers coach Doc Holliday.
Chatham (VA) Hargrave Military DT Brandon Setzer, formerly of Thomasville (NC) High, chose N.C. State over Tennessee (visit) and Virginia Tech (visit). He said childhood favorite UNC stopped recruiting him in November, after initially offering a scholarship, and he also had an offer from ECU. Wolfpack linebacker Freddie Aughtry-Lindsay is a cousin of Setzer. Playing for a loaded Hargrave program last season, Setzer was a full-time starter for a 9-1 team that will send more than 40 players to Division I-A programs this year. (Hargrave had 41 Division I-A signees last year.) Hargrave products on the Wolfpack's 2003 roster included OL Brian Archis, DT Dwayne Herndon, OL Shane Lucas, OL Brandon Moore, OL Brandon Sanders, DB Victor Stephens and TE T.J. Williams. As a senior at Thomasville, Setzer had 61 tackles and six sacks. He earned first-team all-region and all-conference honors and was considered one of the top 25 prospects in North Carolina but fell well short of NCAA academic requirements. He runs the 40 in 5.1 seconds. He still must improve his SAT/ACT score to qualify for freshman eligibility.
Others Select Area Programs
Richmond (VA) Hermitage LB Andrew Bowman, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Virginia, committed to Virginia Tech over Purdue (visit), Tennessee (visit; runner-up) and Virginia (visit). He also had offers from Clemson, Duke, ECU, UNC, Rutgers and South Carolina. A second-team all-state selection, he had 99 tackles (11 for loss) for a 9-1 team as a senior. As a junior, he had 102 tackles and five sacks for an 11-1 team. Hermitage graduates who were on Division I-A rosters in 2003 included TE Duane Brown (Virginia Tech), WR Justin Fitzgerald (Ohio) and WR Fontel Mines (Virginia). Bowman, who is projected as an inside linebacker in the Hokies' 3-4 scheme, benches 330 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds. He has a 2.8 GPA and a qualifying SAT score. His main recruiter with the Hokies is recruiting coordinator Jim Cavanaugh.
Worcester (MA) Burncoat OL/DT Ron Brace, rated one of the top 10 seniors in Massachusetts, chose Boston College over Connecticut and numerous Division I-AA schools. He said he particularly likes the coaching staff at BC, the school's academic reputation, its upcoming move to the ACC, its location in his home state and the opportunity to begin his college career on defense. (BC originally recruited him only as an offensive lineman.) As a senior, Brace had 73 tackles and nine sacks. A projected offensive guard or defensive tackle for the Eagles, he benches 330 pounds and runs the 40 in 5.1 seconds. He has a 2.8 GPA and an 850 SAT score.
Fayetteville (NC) 71st FB/LB Kevin Bradley, rated one of the top 50 seniors in North Carolina, opted for Virginia over Central Michigan. Duke, Mississippi State and South Carolina also showed interest. A two-time all-conference selection as a defensive end, he had 85 tackles and nine sacks as a senior, when he earned his league's defensive player of the year honor. As a junior, he had 68 tackles and nine sacks. Virginia had five scholarship players from North Carolina on its 2003 roster: freshman WR Emmanuel Byers, junior DE Chris Canty, sophomore DB Willie Davis, junior FB Brandon Isaiah and junior RB Alvin Pearman. Bradley, who is expected to begin his career at UVa as a fullback, benches 350 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds. He has a 3.0 GPA and a qualifying SAT score. His main recruiter with the Cavaliers is special teams coach Corwin Brown.
Atlanta (GA) Marist DB Chris Davis, rated one of the top 75 seniors in Georgia, chose Duke over Georgia Tech (visit). He also had offers from Eastern Michigan and Northwestern, and Wake Forest showed interest. A first-team Class 4A all-state selection, he played every secondary position as a senior for a 14-1 Class 4A state championship team. His teammate, OL Matt Rumsey, committed to the Blue Devils in December. Marist graduates who were on Division I-A rosters in 2003 included RB Robbie Beck (Rice), walk-on OL Danny Bowling (Duke), RB Andrew Cates (Rice), OL Tim DeBeer (Clemson), LB Pierre Easley (Wake Forest), OL Jeff Edwards (Stanford), DS Andrew Economos (Georgia Tech), TE Sean Mansfield (Northwestern), OL Bartley Miller (Georgia), OL Hugh Reilly (Georgia Tech), WR Brandon Russell (UNC) and DB Leigh Torrence (Stanford). Davis, who is projected as a safety for the Blue Devils, runs the 40 in 4.55 seconds. He has a 3.0 GPA and a 990 SAT score. His main recruiter with the Blue Devils is head coach Ted Roof.
Greenbelt (MD) Roosevelt DB Theirrien Davis, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Maryland, selected Virginia over Duke (visit), Marshall and Temple. Boston College, Florida, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Tennessee also showed interest. A first-team large-school all-state selection and a second-team all-metro pick as a senior, he rushed 153 times for 1,329 yards and 13 touchdowns as a tailback for a 12-1 team, with 83 tackles and one interception as a safety. Roosevelt, Maryland's largest high school, had numerous graduates on Division I-A rosters in 2003, including RB Josh Allen (Maryland), DB Chris Choice (Maryland), DB Mike Crumpler (Bowling Green), DB Anthony Davis (Temple), DB Derrick Johnson (UNC), walk-on DB Bayo Ogunniyi (Virginia), DE Matthew Rice (Penn State), LB Derron Thomas (Pittsburgh), LB Ricky Walston (Toledo) and DB Marvin Ward (Northwestern). Two of this year's Roosevelt stars, LB/DE George Covington and DT Jared Gaither, committed to Maryland. Davis, a projected safety who was slowed by injuries during his first three years of high school, runs the 40 in 4.4 seconds and the 100 meters in 10.65. He has a 3.5 GPA and an 1,180 SAT score. His main recruiter with the Cavs is offensive coordinator Ron Prince.
Avon (CT) Old Farms OL Kieran Delaney, rated one of the top 10 seniors in Connecticut, chose Georgia Tech over Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Maryland, Iowa State, Missouri and Northwestern extended early scholarship offers but later went in other directions. Delaney is from Bristol, R.I., but attends Old Farms, a prestigious prep school located just outside Hartford, Conn. His team finished 5-3 last fall. Old Farms graduates who were on Division I-A rosters in 2003 included FB Deon Anderson (Connecticut), WR Lamart Barrett (N.C. State) and RB Brandon Caesar (Colorado). Delaney benches 340 pounds and runs the 40 in 5.2 seconds. He has a 3.0 GPA and a 1,290 SAT score. His main recruiter with the Yellow Jackets is offensive line coach Joe D'Allesandris.
Lake City (FL) Columbia DB Derrick Fulton, rated one of the top 150 seniors in Florida, picked North Carolina over Clemson and South Florida. He also had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Cincinnati, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Nebraska, NCSU and South Carolina. As a senior, he had 52 tackles, 13 pass breakups and seven interceptions and led his 12-2 team in kick and punt returns. Columbia graduates who were on Division I-A rosters in 2003 included WR Quinton Callum (USF), DB Jerome Carter (FSU), DS Allen Cray (USF), LB David Dunham (Clemson), PK Thomas Olmsted (Troy State), DB Tre Orr (Florida), LB Kendyll Pope (FSU), QB Cory Randolph (Wake Forest), TE Demetri Robinson (LSU) and DE Eric Thomas (USF). Fulton, who is consistently timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, is projected as a cornerback for UNC. He has a 2.6 GPA but still needs a qualifying ACT or SAT score. His main recruiter with the Heels is special teams coach James Webster.
Marietta (GA) High TE/DE Jonathan Morrison, rated one of the top 150 seniors in Georgia, chose Georgia Tech over Division I-AA Tennessee-Martin. Central Florida and Connecticut also showed interest. A second-team all-county selection, he had 83 tackles and three sacks while playing defensive tackle as a senior. Marietta High graduates who were on Division I-A rosters in 2003 included DE Josh Cooper (Mississippi), LB Herdley Harrison (Vanderbilt), DB Tristan Thomas (Memphis) and WR Derrick Tinsley (Tennessee). Morrison benches 290 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.8 seconds. He has a 3.4 GPA and a 1,000 SAT score.
Arlington (TX) Mansfield Summit OL Thomas Nyaoga, rated one of the top 100 seniors in Texas, picked UNC over Colorado (visit). He also had offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Florida, Kansas, Kansas State, LSU, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State and others, although many of those schools backed off after Nyaoga missed most of his senior season with a broken foot and complications from blood clots. UNC had three scholarship players from Texas on its 2003 roster: freshman OL Charlston Gray, junior DB Lionell Green and senior OL Jeb Terry. Nyaoga, who projects as a tackle for the Tar Heels, benches 350 pounds and runs the 40 in 5.1 seconds. He has a 2.6 GPA but still needs a qualifying ACT or SAT score. His main recruiter with the Tar Heels is offensive line coach Hal Hunter.
Harrisburg (PA) Bishop McDevitt OL Jamie Thomas, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Pennsylvania, picked Maryland over Notre Dame (visit) and Tennessee (visit). He also had offers from Boston College, Clemson, Connecticut, Duke, UNC, NCSU, Northwestern, Penn State, Temple, Virginia and West Virginia. Two of his brothers are students at Maryland, which is located about two hours from his home. A three-year starter, Thomas was a first-team Class 4A all-state selection as a senior. Bishop McDevitt graduates who were on Division I-A rosters in 2003 included DB Vince Beamer (West Virginia), LB Dethrell Garcia (Penn State), WR Fred Lee (Virginia Tech) and QB Marcus Stone (NCSU). Thomas benches 330 pounds and runs the 40 in 5.1 seconds. He has a 3.6 GPA and a 960 SAT score. His main recruiter with the Terps is receivers coach James Franklin.