NC State gaining an early edge in 2018 football recruiting

NC State now has two verbal commitments in the class of 2018 for football, the latest coming Friday from athlete Nadir Thompson from Southern Nash High in Bailey, North Carolina.

Thompson’s commitment is not a huge surprise. NC State was his first — and to date, lone — major offer, but Thompson is also a self-professed Wolfpack fan. His eventual pledge to NCSU almost seemed inevitable.

The 5-11, 175-pounder is a speedster and finished second as a freshman at the 3-A state finals in the 200-meter dash in outdoor track action. While listed as an athlete, Thompson probably projects as a corner in college. He had 40 tackles, two interceptions and four pass breakups this past fall. He also scored 10 touchdowns on offense (four receiving, six rushing).

The other 2018 pledge is athlete De’Von Graves from Appomattox County High in Virginia. He, like Thompson, is a two-way performer who may best project as a defensive back in college.

The 6-2, 180-pounder caught 27 passes for 539 yards and six scores at wideout and piled up 50 tackles, two picks and 19 pass breakups at corner as a sophomore for the Group 2A state title winners.

It is not often that NC State has picked up commitments from players prior to the start of their junior seasons in high school, but it’s a potentially developing trend. It has happened only…