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NC State Wolfpack SI All-American Candidate Spotlight: QB Aaron McLaughlin

All Wolfpack is taking a closer look at each of 11 committed recruits named to the 2020 Sports Illustrated All-American team watch list and how they project to help the program once they arrive on campus. Today, it's quarterback Aaron McLaughlin

Eleven of the 15 high school seniors that have committed to play their college football careers at NC State are among the 1,000 players nationwide identified by Sports Illustrated as candidates for the publication's 2020 High School All-American team.

Each day for the next two weeks, SI's All Wolfpack will take a closer look at each of those players and how they project to help the program once they arrive on campus.

Today, we begin with arguably the most important member of coach Dave Doeren's Class of 2021, quarterback Aaron McLaughlin.

A physically imposing 6-foot-5, 210-pound pro style passer from Denmark High School in Alpharetta, Ga., McLaughlin originally commited to Auburn before changing his mind, reopening his recruitment and pledging to the Wolfpack on May 14. 

At that point, State's Class of 2021 had only three members, wide receivers Julian Gray and Jakolbe Baldwin, and cornerback Mario Love Jr.. But McLaughlin's commitment kickstarted Doeren's recruiting effort and the momentum has yet to slow down.

McLaughlin took an official visit last June, then returned a few weeks later to participate in Doeren’s final summer camp, where he developed a relationship with fellow four-star receiver Porter Rooks -- who enrolled in January and is already part of the program.

The strong-armed pro style passer completed just over 60 percent of his attempts for 2,018 yards with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions as a junior last season. He also rushed for 284 yards and nine touchdowns. He is considered a top 15 pro-style quarterback nationally.

Although he still has some work to do in polishing up his mechanics and consistency, McLaughlin has the chance to be the face of the program for a long time.

Here's what SI All American has to say about him:

"McLaughlin has the physical profile, athleticism and strong arm to suit up for your favorite college program right now. He has the raw tools to make every throw on the route tree and enough polish to push a good college secondary sooner rather than later. Continued refinement will allow him to challenge a Power Five incumbent early in his college career." 

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