February 01, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren is hoping the Wolfpack has built enough depth to redshirt incoming freshmen instead of pushing them into the lineup as in past years.

''We're in a place at most positions where we feel that way,'' Doeren said Wednesday as the Wolfpack unveiled a recruiting class of 20 scholarship players that includes mid-year enrollees. ''Obviously, knock on wood, you stay injury-free and you bring the guys up you just redshirted. You should be able to redshirt most of your class at this point.''

N.C. State helped itself with a strong finish that included wins against rival North Carolina and Vanderbilt in the Independence Bowl, as well as a November statement of support for Doeren from athletic director Debbie Yow.

Doeren's program has reached three straight bowls in his first four seasons, and had gradually built up depth on the roster. The Wolfpack had 27 freshmen or sophomores listed on the team's depth chart for the bowl game, but Doeren said the plan is to lean on those players more while the 2017 signing class develops.

''When we talk to these young men,'' Doeren said, ''and we talk about developing them, we can show them a blueprint: `Here's what (third-team all-ACC defensive lineman) Bradley Chubb looked like (as a freshman), here's what he looks like now.'

''It's one thing to talk about developing players, it's another to be able to prove it. I think that's the fun part about what's going on here right now.''


Other things to know:

Top 25 class: No.

Best in class: LB Louis Acceus (Spring Valley, New York) was Rivals.com's No. 15 outside linebacker nationally and was a USA Today second-team all-American.

Best of the rest: Joshua Fedd-Jackson, OT, Montvale, New Jersey; Grant Gibson, DT, Charlotte, North Carolina; Antoine Thompson, WR, Plant City, Florida.

Late addition: DT Larrell Murchison, a defensive lineman out of Louisburg College, signed with N.C. State after Doeren completed his signing-day news conference.

One that got away: LB Darius Hodge, last season's AP defensive prep player of the year for North Carolina out of Wake Forest, signed with Marshall.

How they'll fit in: The list of incoming players includes plenty of defensive linemen and linebackers. ''We just want to have a good stable of, not just depth, but competitive depth there,'' Doeren said. ''And we felt like we were able to do that.''


For the full list: http://www.gopack.com/


Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap


More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25

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