Dave Doeren and the North Carolina State Wolfpack had another banner day recruiting, landing three more commitments, including four-star defensive end Justin Jones. Today’s haul gives the Wolfpack eight commitments in the last five days.
Interestingly, the three commitments they received today all play the same position in high school, defensive end. The highest-ranked of those and highest-ranked verbal commitment to date for the Wolfpack is Jones out of Austell, Georgia. The 6-foot-3, 275 pounder was heavily recruited by a number of schools, most notably Miami, Louisville, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. He’s ranked in the Rivals Top 250 and is rated as the 12th-best strongside defensive end in the country.
Jones could be facing a position change for NC State as some coaches think he projects better as a defensive tackle at the next level because he doesn’t have an elite burst off the ball. If that’s the case, he will need to add some bulk to his frame, but he will have time to develop.
As a high school defensive end, he’s shown natural strength and instincts in the run game, and has been an effective pass rusher. His pass-rushing abilities will translate well to defensive tackle as long as he learns to use his hands better. There’s no question that the Wolfpack landed an outstanding talent on the defensive side of the ball. He may want to stay out on the outside because of the familiarity there, but it seems likely he’ll move inside.
The two other defensive end commitments are ranked as three stars by Rivals. The first, Deonte Holden of Hyattsville, Maryland, is listed at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds and has an explosive first step. He is an excellent athlete and will be an effective pass rusher immediately, but will need to add 20-30 pounds in order to set the edge in the run game. Besides NC State, Holden was considering Virginia and Duke.
The final commitment of the day came from Bradley Chubb, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound defensive end from Powder Springs, Georgia. He’s a little undersized to play defensive end at this point, so it’s possible Chubb could move to outside linebacker in college. He’s certainly athletic enough to play linebacker, displaying great speed and change of direction at the high school level. Regardless, he’s a great athlete that NC State will have at their disposal.
While the decisions about some of these commitments’ future positions are still up in the air, what is now known is their college destination.
It was a good day to be a Wolfpack fan, and in reality, it’s been a good month. Their hot recruiting over the last week has sky-rocketed them to 17th in the Rivals Team Rankings, ranking them fifth among ACC teams.
B.L. is an ACC Football writer for Rant Sport and can be followed @coachlip on Twitter.