NC State head football coach Dave Doeren has announced that three talented players from the state of North Carolina will join the Wolfpack squad this fall: New Bern’s Josh Taylor, Lucas Wilson from Winston-Salem and Ben Grazen, who lives in nearby Cary.
“We are very pleased to have three players of this quality, not only athletically but academically, joining our football team,” said Doeren. “We know that all three of these players had outstanding prep careers and we look forward to them making valuable contributions to our program in the future.”
Taylor, a 5-11, 185-pound quarterback, rewrote the record books during his time at New Bern High School, leading his prep squad to the 4A state title in 2012.
The Bears posted a 15-0 record last season and earned their third straight Mideastern Conference title. Taylor shattered almost every offensive school record, posting new career marks for touchdowns (130), wins (42), total yards (11,296), passing yards (7,987) and rushing yards (3,309).
Taylor was named the Most Valuable Player in the state title game against Porter Ridge after rushing for 146 yards. In the four rounds of the playoffs, he gained a total of 692 yards on the ground.
During his senior campaign, Taylor completed 155-of-246 passes for 2,665 yards and 25 touchdowns, while also rushing for 1,159 yards and another 17 scores.
A high school teammate of Wolfpack freshman wide receiver Bra’Lon Cherry, Taylor has been a starter since his freshman campaign. He is also a member of the New Bern baseball team.
Wilson, a 6-4, 240-pound tight end, played at Mt. Tabor High School, where he was rated among the top players in the nation at his position. As a junior, he caught 22 passes for 420 yards and four touchdowns. He missed the majority of his senior campaign with an injury.
Wilson played wide receiver as a freshman and missed his sophomore campaign due to a back injury. He also plays basketball and runs track at Mt. Tabor.
Grazen, a running back from Cardinal Gibbons High School, rushed for 815 yards and seven touchdowns on 126 carries in 2012, while also catching 22 passes for 286 yards and another three scores. At 5-10, 182 pounds, he averaged 11.8 yards on 12 punt returns.
As a junior, Grazen gained 1,604 yards on the ground, rushing 168 times and hitting paydirt 17 times. He caught 14 passes for 128 yards and three scores as well, while averaging 34.3 yards on six punt returns.
Grazen was a first-team all-conference choice at running back as a junior and won honors at strong safety during his sophomore campaign.