The Wolfpack added a third member to that list when they offered Middletown (DE) QB Darius Wade during an unofficial visit to NC State last week.
Wade has seen his recruiting take off of late with schools like Nebraska, Boston College, Syracuse, Duke and others showing serious interest. Wade told Pack Pride that he feels fortunate for all the early recruiting love.
"It's been very exciting. A lot of people pray and wish to be in a position like this so I've been blessed to have this opportunity so I can't be happy enough."
At 6-2, 185 pounds Wade has impressive blend of throwing ability, pocket presence and athleticism. On film he shows the ability to sit in the pocket, look down field and deliver the ball accurately. Equally impressive is the fact that he can transition into a running threat when the play breaks down. Skillset-wise, Wade would appear to be the perfect fit for the new NC State offense.
Wade talked about what the NC State coaching staff liked in his game.
"The thing that kept popping up a lot was Russell Wilson. They told me I had a lot of the same intangibles that he did. They said I'm a great decision maker. I have a good arm. I have the ability to run if necessary. They feel like my game can easily model what they're trying to do with their offense."
Last week's visit to State was actually Wade's second trip to Raleigh in the past year. He attended the Wolfpack's football camp last summer although that may not have turned out the way he had hoped.
"Actually, it was my second visit to State," said Wade. "I went to their football camp last year under the old regime but they were looking for more of the Mike Glennon, 6-5, 6-6 kid so sadly I didn't fit that mold. Under the new regime I reached out to them and got in touch and was happy to make the trip down to learn more about the university."
So what did he think of NC State this time around?
"I came away that they're a great university. They're great academically. They have a lot of different opportunities there and with the new coaching staff, they're moving in a good direction. They have a great philosophy and they're not just saying that stuff is going to happen, they've put things in action.
"They got a commitment from Bo Hines, an in-state kid. When I visited Nebraska he was there with me. We ended up running into each other and started talking, knowing how good the facilities and everything was at Nebraska so I was shocked a little bit when I saw he committed to NC State. I gave him a call and asked him what different things made him choose NC State. He was just going on about the fact that they're a great program, great weather, great area. The academics are sound and that they give him a great opportunity to go on and win an ACC championship. So, he said he couldn't get enough about that."
In past interviews, Wade has listed Nebraska and Boston College as his top school on different occasions. However, he now says he's backing off naming any favorites until he has a chance to thoroughly evaluate all of his options.
"Well, I would put NC State right at the top. At times I was saying Nebraska or Boston College was my favorite but really now I'm just keeping my options open as I think about it because I know more and more opportunities are going to be there so I don't want to say this school is number one and then another school offers and I say that school is number one. I don't really want to go back and forth so they're all going to be on an even plane until I've got all I need. Then I'll sit down with my dad and look at my options and decide this is the one I want to choose."
That evaluation period appears to be winding down as Wade feels a decision could be in the not-so-distant future.
"I had planned to go to schools that I was definitely interested in and that were interested in me and check them out during spring break. My last visit is Saturday to Boston College and however I feel Saturday night when I head home, me and my dad are going to discuss everything we saw over the break -the pros and cons of each school. Then we'll decide if this is the time where we're ready to make the decision or do we still want to see how things are going to play out. At the very latest it'll be June after the spring recruiting period."
As a junior, Wade threw for 2,275 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for 545 yards and an additional six scores.