Santoro

Head coach Tim Santoro talks to the team during an injury time out. The Wolfpack was strong on offense with 29 shots in 110 minutes of play, but was not able to capitalize coming away with a 1-1 draw against East Carolina on Thursday, August 23 in Dail Soccer Stadium.

Signing day for many programs across the country passed by on Wednesday, including many athletes committing to the Wolfpack. From cross country to volleyball, let’s have a look at this year’s signings for the fall sports:

Cross Country

Just over a week after the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) released the latest national polls, No. 15 NC State added two distance runners to its men’s squad.

Miles Ally is a distance runner from Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School in Nashville, Tennessee. Ally earned multiple all-state honors in Tennessee in both cross country and track and field. Matt Bogdan, another distance runner, is from Colts Neck High School in Howell, New Jersey. He was ranked as the second-best returning runner in New Jersey for the class of 2021.

The women’s team, ranked No. 3 in the land by the USTFCCCA, also added a distance runner from the class of 2021. Brooke Rauber of Tully High School in Homer, New York is a four-time Class D New York State Cross Country Champion. Rauber also recorded three top-10 finishes at the Nike Cross Nationals during her time at Tully. 

This looks to be a reloading season for Wolfpack cross country, as the women’s team won its fifth consecutive ACC title and the men’s team finished as runners-up in the ACC Championship on Oct. 30.

Football

Though the football recruitment season is still underway, with the early signing period scheduled to start on Dec. 16, the Pack has still secured hard commitments from 19 high school players. Most notable among these are the three four-star recruits: wide receiver Micah Crowell, linebacker Jordan Poole and quarterback Aaron McLaughlin.

Crowell comes from East Forsyth High School in Kernersville. Despite missing his junior year due to an ACL tear, he is still a highly rated prospect. At 6 foot, 2 inches, 205 pounds, Crowell’s combination of both speed and strength is projected to help him contribute substantially at the collegiate level.

Poole played high school football at West Stanly High School in Oakboro. The 2020 All-American is expected to settle in at outside linebacker in college, showcasing no aversion to contact, despite a height of 6 foot, slightly shorter than most at his position. The hard-hitting Poole is projected to perform well in college and possibly end up playing professionally.

McLaughlin comes out of Denmark High School in Alpharetta, Georgia. The 6-foot-5, 219-pound field general recently came back from shoulder surgery to play his final year of high school football. With above-average mobility for his size and ability to make big throws, McLaughlin is projected to develop into a starter and, if he can improve his consistency, play on Sundays.

As the football recruitment period goes along, some other commits to keep an eye on from the class of 2021 are safety Chase Hattley of Panther Creek High School in Cary and outside linebacker Caden Fordham of The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida.

Men’s Soccer

Wolfpack men’s soccer is waiting for its full list of signings to announce its recruiting class. Keep an eye out for when the list is released.

Women’s Soccer

The NC State women’s soccer team added 12 new recruits for the fall 2021 season. Among these are defender Kayla Siddiqi of Richmond United in Richmond, Virginia, midfielder Sarah Arnold of North Carolina FC Youth Academy in Cary, defender Lindsay Zolga of SUSA Academy in Long Island, New York and Brianna Weber from Legends FC in California, according to SoccerWire.

 

These recruits bring new blood to a program that opted out the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Volleyball

Following a season that saw Wolfpack volleyball finish at 4-4, it is fitting that four new recruits have signed with the program. This is the first recruiting class to come in under head coach Luka Slabe.

Outside hitter Oliwia Durka joins the Pack hailing from Szczecin, Poland, where she led her team to a third-place finish in the 2019 Polish Junior Championship. Her team also won the 2019 Polish Cadet Championship after also finishing third in that tournament the year prior. The 6-foot-1 Durka is expected to contribute on the court from day one, adding some more buzz to an improving program.

Libero Saskia Hernandez is of Westminster Christian School in Miami, Florida and Miami Elite Volleyball Club. Hernandez brings a wide skill set to the program, coming in with two USA Beach Volleyball National Championships, one Miami-Dade County Athlete of the Year award and an AVCA Under Armour All-America Honorable Mention. Slabe said on NC State volleyball’s Twitter that Hernandez “is one of the most fundamentally sound volleyball players,” so those fundamentals could translate to collegiate success as they have at the high school level.

Setter Maggie Jones out of Seton High School in Cincinnati also comes in with a few accolades to her name. Jones holds the all-time assist record at Seton High School for the rally-scoring era and earned AVCA All-Region honors in 2020. Slabe also spoke of Jones’ ability to contribute right away, saying, “She is absolutely going to have an opportunity to impact our program right away." Jones’ collegiate career will start in just a couple of months in January 2021, with the rest of the recruiting class joining them next fall.

Opposite hitter Amanda Rice from Lemont High School in Lemont, Illinois was a stalwart of her high school program, as well as earning honors in her prep career. Rice led all pin hitters in the Illinois Large School Class (3A/4A) in hit percentage and led Lemont to its first-ever No. 1 seed in state sectionals. On the prep front, Rice has been on many radars for a while, earning a Frosh 59 Honorable Mention and a Soph 79 Special Mention from PrepVolleyball, which also put her in its 10-Foot Club. She starts at opposite on Adversity Volleyball Club, a team ranked No. 8 in 2020 national preseason polls.

With these four players entering the NC State volleyball program, it will be interesting to see how Slabe incorporates them into his squad.