NC State Wolfpack

Getty Images

North Carolina, Appalachian State announce 3-game series

1 Comment

Appalachian State hosted Miami last year and recently announced a 4-game series with East Carolina, but Monday’s announcement tops both of them combined…. probably.

The Mountaineers announced Monday a 3-game series with North Carolina, which calls for the Tar Heels’ first-ever visit to Boone among the set.

North Carolina will host Appalachian State on Sept. 21, 2019 and Sept. 9, 2023, with the Heels heading to the mountains for the sandwich game on Sept. 3, 2022. The 2022 visit marks the third ACC team to visit Appalachian State in a 7-year span, and just the second of the Big Four in-state schools to visit Boone; the Mountaineers host Wake Forest on Sept. 23 of this coming season to mark the first of such games.

“This series is the next addition in bringing Power 5 programs to Kidd Brewer Stadium,” App State AD Doug Gillin said in a statement. “With a record crowd for Miami last year, Wake Forest this season, and North Carolina in 2022 we are continuously looking for opportunities to bring great opponents to The Rock.  Our goal is to continue to bring Power 5 opponents, when available, and quality Group of 5 opponents to Boone, which benefits our students, student-athletes, university and community.  I truly enjoyed working with the UNC administration in constructing a series that is a win-win. Playing regional and in-state opponents makes a lot of sense for us.  We will see an increase in tickets sales both home and away, reduced travel costs and less missed class time for our students. Over the next eight seasons we will be playing the series with UNC, in addition to a four-game series with ECU, and home-and-home series with Wake Forest, Charlotte, and Marshall.”

Appalachian State has played the Big Four 29 times previously, all in their respective homes: 22 trips to Winston-Salem, six to Raleigh and one to Chapel Hill, a 56-6 Heels win in 1940.

NC State’s latest coaching hire gets The Rock’s stamp of approval

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Texas Tech’s loss has officially turned into North Carolina State’s coaching gain.

NC State announced in a press release that Kevin Patrick has joined Dave Doeren‘s staff as defensive line coach.  Patrick replaces Ryan Nielsen, who was hired by the NFL’s New Orleans Saints for the same job last month.

“I’ve known Kevin for a long time and I’ve always admired his intensity and his love of the game,” a statement from Doeren began. “He has recruited, coached and developed some incredible defensive linemen in multiple conferences and he knows what it takes to be an All-American as a collegiate player and an All-Pro in the NFL.

“Those qualities, along with his strong background as a recruiter in the southeast and his reputation as a tremendous family man, made him a premier target for this position when the opportunity came up. We look forward to having Kevin and his family as part of the Wolfpack.”

Patrick left the Red Raiders after one season with the football program.  He’s also spent time in the same job at North Texas (2014-15) and South Florida (2009).  In 2008 and 2010-13, he coached USF’s defensive ends and defensive tackles, respectively.

Patrick played his college football for the Miami Hurricanes, and one of his former, now very famous teammates took to Twitter to acknowledge the hiring.

N.C. State defensive line coach leaving for same position in the NFL, replacement already lined up

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lose one, gain one. At least that’s how it looked for N.C. State on Tuesday as they shuffled one defensive line coach out and welcomed another not long after.

Per Fox Sports, Wolfpack defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen is headed to take the same position on the staff of the New Orleans Saints. While the move is a bit of a blow given the solid reputation he enjoyed as a recruited, head coach Dave Doeren didn’t waste much time in finding a replacement.

That’s because 247Sports’ Josh Newberg reports that Texas Tech defensive line coach Kevin Patrick will be headed to Raleigh to take the same assignment. Patrick reportedly had an offer to join Charlie Strong‘s staff in the same role at South Florida, but will be going to the ACC instead of the AAC.

We’ve seen plenty of movement on the coaching carousel this week but N.C. State might take the cake for the quickest departure/arrival combination for an open coaching position.

ACC National Signing Day recap: Florida State, Clemson impress once again

Getty Images
1 Comment

Few leagues have transformed their reputation on the field more than the ACC has the past several seasons and the biggest reason for that has been because Clemson and Florida State captured national titles. As a result, it should come as no surprise that those two programs once again paced recruiting for the league when all was said and done on National Signing Day.

The Seminoles remained among the national elite with another stellar class while the Tigers used their limited number of scholarships to land some top-notch talent, possibly including Deshaun Watson’s successor in five-star QB Hunter Johnson (who’s already on campus).

In addition to the league’s two powerhouses, Miami put together another solid class to help them close the gap under Mark Richt while other schools like Pitt and North Carolina pleasantly surprised with some good hauls. It should all make for an even more competitive ACC in the coming seasons and allow us to look back to Wednesday and see where it all began.

Top recruits (all rankings via 247Sports Composite): No. 2 overall Cam Akers (RB, Florida State), No. 6 overall Marvin Wilson (DT, FSU), No. 19 overall Tee Higgins (WR, Clemson), No. 28 Khalan Laborn (RB, FSU), No. 30 overall Hunter Johnson (QB, Clemson)

Top 25 classes: No. 7 Florida State, No. 13 Miami, No. 16 Clemson, No. 25 Virginia Tech

Biggest storyline: Florida State and Clemson continue to keep pace with college football’s elite, Miami closing the gap

Same ol’, same ol’ in the ACC when it comes to the recruiting rankings. The league’s past two title winners both turned in great classes full of impact players and continue to keep pace with the elite programs in the sport. The Tigers’ class wasn’t as highly rated as many expected coming off that championship down in Tampa but a lot of that has to do with the limited number of spots that the program had and nothing to do with the talented that signed with Dabo Swinney. The Hurricanes once again signed a quality group and even went outside the state to land speedy four-star receiver Jeff Thomas from Missouri.

Biggest surprise: Wilson heads to Tallahassee.

Wilson was one of the few recruits that had any drama surrounding his decision on Signing Day. While many expected it to come down to either LSU or Ohio State, it was the Seminoles who closed strong to add another top 25 player into the fold. The last five-star defensive tackle the team landed from the Lone Star State worked out well and history might repeat itself with the very talented Wilson.

Don’t sleep on: Louisville

It was a banner season in many ways for the Cardinals and that was true even if the ending was a bit rough on the field. After seeing quarterback Lamar Jackson capture the Heisman Trophy, Bobby Petrino’s staff really went after addressing needs along the offensive line while also adding size and speed on defense. It may not be as highly rated as the top tier ACC programs, but this a good effort on the recruiting trail for Louisville once again.

We’ll see about: Everybody else

The ACC is full of programs that are hard to peg when it comes to recruiting classes simply because they rely so much on developing recruits over several seasons. Duke landed a top 50 classes while Georgia Tech was right around the same area in most team rankings. We probably won’t know about those two or the Wake Forests of the world until a few years down the road so stay patient if you’re a fan of an ACC program that isn’t in the top 25.

Rutgers officially replaces assistant lost to NC State

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Less than two weeks after a hole on his Rutgers coaching staff was created, Chris Ash has filled it.

In confirming various reports, RU announced Thursday that Henry Baker has been hired as Ash’s cornerbacks coach.  Baker replaces Aaron Henry, who left earlier this month to become the defensive backs coach at North Carolina State.

One of the biggest pluses of Baker’s addition is that he’s a native of Paterson, NJ.

“I am excited to add Henry to our staff,” said the head coach in a statement. “He’s a New Jersey guy and a highly intelligent coach. Henry will be a great mentor and leader for our players.”

The past six seasons, Baker served as the cornerbacks coach at FCS Delaware.  Baker’s first job at the FBS level came at his alma mater Maryland in 2008 and 2009.