In doing so, Hickson passed on Tennessee, his other finalists. Earlier in the month Georgetown and Florida were serious contenders before each opted to go in other recruiting directions. Any way you slice it, Hickson was highly recruited.
"They needed more help and I felt like I could come in and do more at N.C. State than Tennessee," Hickson said. "I could display my talent anywhere but N.C. State needed the most help and I had a great relationship with Coach Lowe and Coach Harris."
He's highly regarded too. Scout.com ranks Hickson the No. 21 prospect in America and the No. 3 center overall. The addition of Hickson and the timing of the decision are big wins for the Pack which missed out on its top point guard target Chris Wright earlier in the week.
Hickson's AAU coach Chris Johnson said his player was really impressed.
"I think it was Coach Lowe who made the difference," Johnson said. "He acted like he had confidence that J.J. could come in and be a big part of the team in the ACC.
"They just seemed like real good people to me. When I met them I thought they were real good guys right off the top. (Lowe) didn't really have to sell what he could for you he was saying Hickson could come be a part of something bigger."
Hickson and Lowe will be forever linked. While Hickson isn't Lowe's first recruit he is the coach's first high-profile, national recruiting win.
Up next for the Pack is a scheduled official visit from guard Chris Warren out of Orlando who comes onto campus the following weekend.