The Wolfpacker

September 2017

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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76 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER N C State has 17 verbal commitments in the 2018 class and will likely take somewhere in the range of five to seven more. Here are some names to watch on the recruiting board: DEFENSIVE TACKLE JALEN ALEXANDER Chesapeake (Va.) Western Branch High The 6-4, 275-pounder is rated as the No. 11 prospect in Virginia and the No. 31 defensive tackle nationally by He had a top five of Georgia, Geor- gia Tech, Maryland, NC State and Virginia Tech, but he then backed off plans to commit in early August and opened his recruitment up some more. LINEBACKER KESHON ARTIS Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith High Artis (6-0, 235 pounds) released a top eight over the summer that consisted of Duke, Maryland, Missouri, NC State, Syracuse, Ten- nessee, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Conventional wisdom suggests that the schools at the top of the board are Maryland, NCSU, Tennes- see and Virginia Tech. He visited NC State early in the summer and has said that the Pack is among the schools recruiting him the hardest. Artis is also friends with Wolfpack defensive line commit Derrick Eason from Norfolk (Va.) Norview High. ranks Artis as a three-star prospect and the No. 22 talent in the state. As a junior, he recorded 108 tackles, 16 stops for loss, four sacks, two intercep- tions (one of which he returned for a touch- down), two forced fumbles and two passes broken up. OFFENSIVE TACKLE KAHRIC BELLE North Miami Beach (Fla.) High Belle is a physically im- posing 6-6, 290-pounder who visited NC State over the summer and the after- math of the trip has the Wolfpack out in front. "NC State is the leader," he told "They're No. 1. I just like the location and the campus and the coaches. It feels like home." Belle also indicated that he wanted to take official visits to Florida, Kentucky and Oregon. He is listed as a three-star prospect by DEFENSIVE LINEMAN JOSEPH BOLETEPELI Wake Forest (N.C.) Heritage High Boletepeli was hoping to make a decision before his senior season starts, and most of his focus was on in-state options NC State, North Car- olina and Wake Forest, but that was before he picked up an offer from Georgia in early August. Arkansas, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State and Tennessee are among his other offers. The three-star recruit is rated the No. 31 player in the state by As a junior at Millbrook High in Raleigh, Boletepeli (6- 4, 245 pounds) made 82 tackles, including 17 for loss. PUNTER PAXTON BROOKS West Columbia (S.C.) Airport High NC State offered Brooks a scholarship in August. He has been selected to play in the Under Armour All- American Game in Orlando, Fla., in January after averag- ing 41.0 yards per punt as a junior. He also made 8 of 10 field goals with a long of 51 yards. The 6-5, 170-pounder had an earlier offer from Wake Forest and is receiving signifi- cant interest from Tennessee. He is rated the No. 3 punter in the country by prep kicking guru Chris Kohl. DEFENSIVE TACKLE JORDAN DAVIS Charlotte Mallard Creek High Few prospects in the state pass the eyeball test like the 6-6, 320-pound Davis. regards him as a four-star prospect, the No. 12 player in North Carolina and the No. 17 de- fensive tackle nationally. He is a reclusive young man and much of his recruitment has played out behind the scenes, but he has collected offers from Florida, Florida State, Geor- gia, Michigan, Mississippi State, NC State, North Carolina and Oklahoma, among oth- ers. Recruiting analysts think that the in-state schools are his leaders. The Wolfpack has signed one player from Mallard Creek in each of head coach Dave Doeren's first four full recruiting classes. LINEBACKER ERIQ GILYARD Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy Gilyard is another four-star prospect on the board. rates him as the No. 65 player in Florida and the No. 16 inside linebacker in the country. As a junior, Gilyard com- piled 91 stops, 14.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He also notched one interception, one forced fumble and one pass broken up. The 6-0, 220-pounder released a top three of NC State, Kentucky and Central Florida. He intends to announce his deci- sion Oct. 1. Gilyard has visited NC State on multiple occasions, and that included a trip with family members over the summer. LINEBACKER FA'NAJAE GOTAY North Fort Myers (Fla.) High Gotay came out with a list of his top 12 schools in August: Ar- kansas, Illinois, Louisville, Marshall, Maryland, NC State, Ole Miss, South Florida, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Tennessee and Washington State. His only known summer visit was to Maryland. The three-star prospect is an athletic 6-0, 205-pounder that ran 59 times for 629 yards and eight scores last season, plus piled up 160 tackles, an impressive 39 stops for loss and five sacks on defense. He also had an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. OFFENSIVE LINEMAN JOVAUGHN GWYN Charlotte Harding High The four-star Gwyn is rated by as the No. 14 prospect in North Carolina and the No. 15 of- fensive guard in the coun- try. The 6-3, 290-pounder has maintained a top three of Duke, NC State and South Carolina for months, and he has visited all three schools on multiple occasions over the summer. His teammate, safety Malik Dunlap, is committed to NC State. ■ FOOTBALL RECRUITING The 2018 Hot Board

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