Keith Holcombe knows a good college football culture and school when he sees one. He is a resident of Tuscaloosa (AL) after all.
Alabama has not offered Holcombe (6-4, 215 pounds) though he did camp at his hometown school this summer. But NC State has offered and he visited the school about a week ago for the first time. Holcombe knows that he is one of the Pack's top linebacker priorities and he said that's something he likes about the school.
His family accompanied him on his trip to NCSU and all went very well.
"We really enjoyed the tour of the campus and what we heard from the coaches. I talked to Coach Huxtable and Coach Doeren the most.
"I like Coach Doeren a lot. I really respect what he's doing there. He seems like a great guy to be around and a great coach to play under. He was just talking to me and my parents about how he was running things over there. Coach Huxtable is a fun guy to be around. He's probably one of the best linebacker coaches in the country. It would be great to be able to play under him and I know if I go there I'll get better under him every day."
If the coaches are a strong selling point for the school then the opportunity to play early is just as important.
"They told me in the next two years they have six linebackers leaving. Four are leaving next year and then two more the following year. They said they really wanted me. They wanted me to come up there and also they needed me to come up there," he said. "They really need more linebackers."
Holcombe has visited many of the schools that have offered him this summer but he said certain schools are starting to separate themselves at the top of his list. NC State, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Southern Miss are leading everyone else but Holcomb says he will continue to listen to what coaches from elsewhere have to say.