Camp O'Brien Preview: Offense

Zach Toerner

Pack Pride takes a look at several of the players on the offensive side of the ball that may be in attendance at NC State's upcoming football camps.

NC State’s 2007 football camps kick off this week with several hundred players expected to be in attendance. The first session will run from June 20-22 with a second session to follow on June 24-26. Although not all actually camped at NC State, last year’s event proved critical to the Wolfpack’s recruiting efforts as they landed several key prospects either during, or shortly after the camp concluded. Those players included QB Mike Glennon, WR T.J. Graham, LB Dwayne Maddox, LB William Beasley and S Earl Wolff.

While a repeat of 2007's commitment run during camp looks unlikely this year, there are several major prospects expected to be in attendance. The opportunity to see the NC State football program up close and interact with the coaches will be important for the Wolfpack’s recruiting success headed forward.

Today Pack Pride breaks down several of the players on the offensive side of the ball that have indicated they plan to be in Raleigh for one of the Wolfpack’s camp sessions.

Admittedly, the quarterback position for the class of 2008 isn’t particularly deep. However, the Wolfpack coaches are bringing in several talented signal-callers with the hopes of building their depth after landing all-american QB Mike Glennon last year. The NC State coaching staff typically offers QB prospects only after having an opportunity to evaluate them in person and that will be the case this year.

A couple of midwest QB’s will be on hand with Badin High (Hamilton, OH) standout Zach Toerner and Bowling Green (OH) QB Aaron Mershman expected to be in attendance. Toerner, 6-4, 210 pounds, threw for 2,600 yards and 31 touchdowns as a junior and is looking at NC State, Indiana, Toledo, Ohio and Eastern Michigan.

Mershman is 6-2, 200 pounds and a solid athlete. He threw for roughly 1,500 yards in 2007 and 13 touchdowns. He is considering NC State, Bowling Green, Miami (Ohio) and Central Michigan.

QB Michael Box from Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Ga has been busy making the rounds having attended camps at South Carolina and Virginia Tech already. At 6-3, 190 pounds, Box threw for close to 1,000 yards as a junior and is hoping to land his first scholarship offer.

Everett Proctor (6-2, 200 pounds) from Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville is a possibility for camp and is one of North Carolina’s top athletes. He is being looked at for everything from QB to wide receiver and safety. The Wolfpack was the first to offer but Maryland may prove to be the team to beat. It will be interesting to see how the State staff views him after seeing him work out.

Other QB’s expected to be in attendance include Brett Mooring from West Craven High School in Vanceboro, Donny McElveen from Summerville (SC) High School and John Ryan from Penn Charter School. Ryan is the brother of former Boston College QB Matt Ryan.

The two top running backs that will be on hand are James Washington from Boone (Orlando, Fla) High School and Damonte Terry of Scotland County (Laurinburg). Washington is a talented prospect and at 6-0, 175 pounds, rushed for 1,760 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior. The Wolfpack has made a verbal offer and Washington declared the Pack as his top school last week.

Terry is a versatile prospect that rushed for 1,125 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior. He is 6-0, 190 pounds and boasts solid 4.4-second speed. Terry is a serious candidate to land a Wolfpack offer and that could be enough to put State in the driver’s seat to land his commitment.

At the wide receiver position, Leesville Road’s Zach Greene (5-10, 170 pounds, 4.4-seconds in the 40-yard dash) is a player that plans to attend. He has the ability to play slot receiver or cornerback and has landed early offers from NC State, South Carolina and Western Carolina. Greene has long-standing ties to the Wolfpack and is a player the Pack could conceivably land during camp.

Richmond County (Rockingham) always boasts solid talent and their top wideout Lovell Joy will be at camp. He stands 6-3, 205 pounds and boasts 4.6-second speed in the 40-yard dash.

Southern Durham standout Reese Wiggins had several solid showings at the various combines held this spring and is a player that is extremely high on NC State. He is 5-10, 175 pounds and tallied close to 500 yards receiving and five touchdowns as a junior.

Although not confirmed, Kinsman Thomas is a possibility to camp and is a major target for the Wolfpack coaching staff. As a junior caught 29 passes for 591 yards and eight touchdowns. At 6-2, 195 pounds Thomas is a sizable target with tremendous pass-catching skills. The Pack is near the top of his list currently.

Two of North Carolina’s top offensive linemen will be in attendance including Will Simmons from Hertford County (Ahoskie) High School and Travis Bond of Bertie (Windsor) High School.

Simmons is a player that has worked hard to drop weight over the last nine months and has managed to shed close to 60 pounds. It has clearly shown in his workouts at several combines and he will be a definite player to watch during camp. Simmons has ties to NC State and the Pack could emerge as a team to watch should they decide to offer.

Bond (6-7, 325 pounds) has been a priority for State throughout the recruiting year. The Pack was the first to offer and since then, his offer list has taken off. This visit will be critical to maintaining State’s place among his top schools.

Whit Barnes (6-4, 270 pounds) has flown quietly under the radar for most of the recruiting season but has picked up offers from Duke and Wake Forest. The Rocky Mount lineman projects as a center and State will likely sign one at the position in the class of 2009. Barnes will likely get a strong look from the Wolfpack coaching staff during workouts and he’s certainly a player that could earn an offer before all is said and done.

Another player that will get a look at center is Taylor Hansen from Wake Forest-Rolesville High School. Hansen has been a lean to NC State and at 6-4, 300 pounds has good size. He is also considering East Carolina, UNC, Rutgers and Duke.


Other players that may be in attendance:

TE Tyrell Edwards...Marlboro County High School, Bennettsville, SC

TE Matt Milner...Cardinal Gibbons High School, Raleigh, NC

WR Artis Gilmore...TC Roberson High School, Asheville, NC

WR Jackson Cooper...Williston (SC) Elko High School

OL Thomas Hart...Orangeburg-Wilkinson (SC) High School

OL Austen Bujnoch...Elder High School, Cincinnati, Oh

OL Wes Carter...West Stanly High School, Oakboro, NC

OL Dash Wyatt..NW Guilford High School, Greensboro, NC

OL Matthew Crisafi...Blessed Trinity, Roswell, Ga

OL John Anevski...Elder High School, Cincinnati, Oh

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