As part of early signing day, N.C. State football gained a familiar face in Ben Finley, whose brother Ryan played for the Wolfpack for three seasons.
One of the biggest names from N.C. State’s early signing period is quarterback Ben Finley. A three-star quarterback from Paradise Valley High School in Phoenix, Finley is the younger brother of former N.C. State quarterback Ryan Finley. Ryan played for the Wolfpack from 2016 to 2018 before being selected in the fourth round of this year’s NFL draft. Ben, the younger Finley, is now following in his older brother’s footsteps and will look to make his mark on the program.
According to 247 Sports, Finley is the 29th ranked pro-style quarterback in the 2020 recruiting class.
During his time at Paradise Valley, Finley was a four-year varsity starter and passed for more than 8,000 yards. Ben’s 8,272 yards were actually more than his brother. In fact, the younger Finley even had a slightly higher 247 composite rating than his older brother. His best season came this past fall in which he completed 62% of his passes for 2,119 yards and 21 touchdowns. He averaged 17.3 yards per completion. Perhaps the one area of concern for Ben is that he had a touchdown/interception ratio of 1.61, which isn’t terrible. Also, like his brother, Ben isn’t a huge threat to run the ball. In fact, he managed just 64 rushing yards and five touchdowns over the course of his high-school career.
At the very least, Finley adds depth to a position that was severely lacking in 2019.
If nothing else, Finley will add depth and stability to a quarterback group that struggled mightily during 2019. The Wolfpack started three quarterbacks this past season, and none of them performed very well. Of the three, Devin Leary was the best (and most promising), however, he completed just 48% of his passes for less than six yards per attempt, and had just eight touchdowns to go with five interceptions. The most efficient, Matt McKay, has already transferred away from the program. There’s no way to tell what Finley’s role will be next season, but if he can be even a shade of what his brother was, he could be a significant upgrade at the position. You can check out his highlights from Paradise Valley here.
Other notable players to sign with N.C. State on Wednesday include Porter Rooks and Davin Vann.
While Finley generated perhaps the most buzz on signing day, Porter Rooks was perhaps the most talented player to sign with the Wolfpack. From Myers Park High School in Charlotte, Rooks is the top-rated N.C. State signee in the 2020 class, and is the program’s only incoming four-star player. The athletic 6’1” receiver chose the Wolfpack over schools including Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Clemson. According to ESPN’s recruiting database, Rooks is the sixth-best player in North Carolina and the 24th-ranked receiver in the country. He’s also the only member of the Wolfpack’s class to be included in the ESPN 300. You can view his highlights here.
Aside from Finley and Rooks, other notable signees include Davin Vann, Jayland Parker, and Aydan White. Vann, a three-star defensive tackle, and White, a three-star corner join Rooks as top-20 players in NC according to 247 Sports. Parker, a three-star inside linebacker, chose N.C. State over a host of other ACC schools, is Dave Doeren’s highest-rated out-of-state signee. Ian Williams, one of the nation’s top-ranked kickers also signed with the Wolfpack on Wednesday. As a class, N.C. State ranks 41st in the country according to ESPN, and 45th according to 247 Sports.