NC State's search for a quarterback has taken them to almost every corner of the country as part of a nationwide search.
In Florida the top target is Zack Darlington. He's a three-star dual-threat that can beat a defense through the air or on the ground. The 6-2, 205-pound rising senior from Apopka (FL) is still trying to set up a visit to NC State but for someone who has not visited he seems to have a lot of interest.
"They were my second offer and I actually talked to Coach Doeren the other day. I try to get a word in with them maybe once a week or every two weeks. It's been really difficult the last couple of weeks because of spring practice and they've had meetings, practice and film. They've been really tied up but now I'm trying to talk to them a lot. I'm making sure I am," Darlington said.
While Darlington has never been to NC State his strength and conditioning coach from Apopka recently visited the school. That coach attended East Carolina during his college years but while he was in the area he stopped by NC State since the Wolfpack had offered Darlington.
"He saw the facilities and showed me all the pictures. It was beautiful, I mean just beautiful," he said. "All the facilities they have are a big plus. I'm a big weight room guy. I'm always in the weight room. I work out all the time. Their facilities were just awesome. He was telling me everybody was asking about me and saying he has to get Zack up here. They wanted me to be a part of what they have and it was really exciting to hear him say that."
Darlington said he hopes to visit NC State over the summer because he wants to have a college decision made by the time the season starts.
Doeren is the coach that talks to Darlington more than any other from the NC State coaching staff and that's a good indicator of the Pack's interest. While he doesn't yet have a track record at NC State, Darlington is impressed with what Doeren did at his previous stop.
"He's in his first year there but what he did at Northern Illinois was really a success. He had Jordan Lynch at quarterback and what he was doing was working. With him coming to NC State he has a reputation with the west coast offense but I don't think he really has that dual-threat kind of guy that he wants," he said. "That's one thing my dad really likes about NC State. The position there with me going in would be really good."
Darlington even said NC State is a school that would probably rank near the top of his list if he had one.
"I'd probably put it towards the top but I can't really make a specific top schools list. I would think they would be near the top though.
"It's all an even playing ground but I obviously like Virginia Tech because that was my first offer. I talk to Ohio State a lot and I love the tradition they have. The tradition Nebraska brings to the table with their past quarterbacks like Scott Frost and Eric Crouch is great. What they have at Nebraska is special," he said.
"Ole Miss is good and I went on a visit to West Virginia and I liked that. I liked that a lot. It's different there and to play in that offense as a QB you're going to put up ridiculous numbers. Geno Smith showed that. I also e-mail Coach Rodriguez at Arizona almost every day. I'm in contact with everyone and everyone's really even but the only visit I've been on is West Virginia."
As a junior, Darlington threw for close to 1,800 yards and rushed for an additional 800 yards. He accounted for 29 touchdowns while leading Apopka to a state title and earning all-state honors.