The Wolfpacker

September 2017

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 95

16 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER Before offensive tackle Jalynn Strickland from Ware County High in Waycross, Ga., made the trip to NC State for a visit June 23, he had seemed headed to Arkansas. When he got back home, his recruitment went in a different direction then origi- nally anticipated. "It changed my mind a lot because I had been stuck on Arkansas," Strickland said of his NC State trip. "My coach took me on the visit, and then I was talk- ing to my parents and my coach about it. I told them my mind changed." One of the main reasons why Strick- land shifted gears: he was very im- pressed with NC State's support system. "I'll be closer to home, and I'll always have a support system with NC State and definitely with Coach [Dwayne] Ledford be- cause he spends so much time with the offensive linemen it's like family," Strickland noted. Ledford, the Pack's second-year offensive line coach, has told Strickland that he views him as a future right tackle. NC State first started recruiting Strickland in January, and it offered him when Ledford was able to evaluate him during the spring. Strickland brings tremendous size for the tackle position, mea- suring at 6-6 and 310 pounds on his visit at NC State. He also has a nearly seven-foot wingspan. Coaches cannot teach size, which is partly why Strickland col- lected offers from Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Navy, South Florida and UCF, among numerous others. Announcing his verbal commitment on the Fourth of July put an end to Strickland's recruitment. He will enroll early at NC State. "It was a huge relief," Strickland acknowledged. rates Strickland as a three-star prospect. Three days following Strickland's announcement, three-star defensive tackle Davontae McCrae made his commitment of- ficial. The 6-4, 260-pounder had visited NC State in the spring with his uncle while on a tour of area schools. He also stopped by East Carolina and Wake Forest. Like Strickland, McCrae hopes to enroll early. The Sunshine State product was a one-time Louisville com- mitment, and he played last fall with Wolfpack freshman running Nakia Robinson at Miami Jackson before transferring to Miami Northwestern for his senior season. His final six included Louisville, Tennessee, Wake Forest, UCF and East Carolina, but his visit to NCSU over the spring won him over. He was particularly impressed with new NC State defensive line coach Kevin Patrick. "We were doing a couple of jokes on each other," McCrae re- called. NC State's 17th verbal commit in the 2017 class came from defensive lineman Derrick Eason from Norfolk (Va.) Norview High. The 6-4, 255-pounder saw a strong rise in his stock during the spring. NC State, Maryland, North Carolina, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest all offered him during the evaluation period. Eason visited NC State for a camp June 24, and the Pack emerged as the frontrunner at that point. His cousin Justin Chase is a redshirt freshman tackle for the Pack. "I was watching TV, and I saw NC State play Clemson, and they had an aggressive D-line," Eason noted to As a junior, Eason compiled 52 total stops, nine tackles for loss, three sacks and seven quarterback hurries, and was named second- team all-state for the 5-A classification. New London (N.C.) North Stanly High class of 2019 long snap- per Drew Little met with the NC State coaches in person July 26 to let them know he was verbally committing, and he could hardly believe it. "It was very exciting," Little acknowledged. "It was like no words could describe it. I'm just shocked." The 5 11, 220-pound Little emerged on NC State's radar in June, when the Wolfpack offered him a full scholarship. He was also given a preferred walk-on status from UNC with the promise to potentially earn a scholarship. However, NC State had won over Little with the opportunity to replace his good friend, Tyler Griffiths, as NC State's long snapper in 2019. "I love the place, and they love me. It just feels right for me to go there," Little said. "It's just like home." Little said that NC State quickly emerged once it began recruiting him. He was also hearing from East Carolina, South Carolina and Wake Forest, but he decided he could not pass up joining NCSU. "I never thought this would happen," Little admitted. "They just made it easy for me." Little also plays linebacker for North Stanly and played outfield, first base and pitcher for the baseball team. National long snapping guru Chris Rubio rated Little the No. 3 long snapper nationally in the 2019 class and a five-star prospect at the position. He is the Pack's lone commit in the 2019 class. One-time pledge athlete Seneca Milledge from Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar High de- committed in the summer. TRACKING THE PACK Football Adds Three Seniors And One Junior In Recruiting JALYNN STRICKLAND ■ Class Of 2018 Commitments Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) Tyler Baker-Williams S 6-1 200 Raleigh (Southeast Raleigh) Devin Carter WR 6-4 205 Clayton, N.C. (Clayton) Malik Dunlap S 6-4 190 Charlotte (Harding) Chris Dunn K 5-9 170 Lexington, N.C. (North Davidson) Derrick Eason DL 6-4 255 Norfolk, Va. (Norview) Gabriel Gonzalez OT 6-5 275 Mebane, N.C. (Eastern Alamance) De'Von Graves CB 6-1 180 Appomattox, Va. (Appomattox County) Devin Hayes OT 6-5 250 Orlando, Fla. (Jones) Devin Leary QB 6-2 195 Sicklerville, N.J. (Timber Creek) Davontae McCrae DT 6-4 260 Miami (Northwestern) Kishawn Miller CB 5-9 170 Gainesville, Ga. (Georgia Military College) Trent Pennix RB 6-2 205 Raleigh (Sanderson) Ricky Person RB 6-2 205 Wake Forest, N.C. (Heritage) Jasiah Provillon WR 6-3 190 Irvington, N.J. (Irvington) Daevon Robinson TE 6-4 210 Medford, N.J. (Shawnee) Teshaun Smith CB 6-3 170 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Western) Jalynn Strickland OT 6-6 310 Waycross, Ga. (Ware County)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - September 2017