A Competitor

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Marquez Valdes-Scandling was one of NC State's last commitments in the 2013 recruiting class, as he picked the Wolfpack on signing day over programs like Houston, Arkansas, South Florida, and Missouri among others.

Marquez Valdes-Scandling was one of NC State's last commitments in the 2013 recruiting class, as he picked the Wolfpack on signing day over programs like Houston, Arkansas, South Florida, and Missouri among others.

He finished his senior year with 50 catches for 800+ yards 14 touchdowns, which led to the late interest from all of those schools, including NC State.

NC State won out, and one of the first calls he said he received when he picked the Wolfpack was from senior wideout Rashard Smith, who has also taken Valdes-Scandling under his wing this fall.

"As soon as I committed, [Smith] called me and told me he was going to make me the best receiver NC State has ever had," said Valdes-Scandling. "He's been showing me the ropes, teaching me the plays, teaching me what to do against different defensive backs. He's been the one showing me how to do it."

And Valdes-Scandling has been showing what he can do. Throughout fall camp he has received praise from his coaches for his play.

"For a freshman, he's obviously got nice size and skill, but he just keeps playing," Doeren said of Valdes-Scandling last week. "He hasn't hit the freshman wall and had a day where you're like, he's a freshman again.

"He just competes and plays. He makes some mistakes here and there, but he's a guy that just competes."

"Valdes is a big guy that's been making plays," added wide receivers coach Frisman Jackson. "He made some plays for us in the scrimmage."

"Things have been going good," said Valdes-Scandling. "I've just been getting accustomed to college football... nothing too major though. "I'm looking to play early and make an impact for the team. I want [to play as a true freshman] bad, but it's more about the team. Whatever is best for the team is what it's all about."

He mentioned adjustments... what have been some of the differences in college from high school?

"Just how physical the corners are, the defensive backs," he said. "The game speed is a little faster, and the coaches are a little more extreme. I have to get used to it because back in high school it wasn't like this. College is a little more uptempo."

Helping ease the transition for Valdes-Scandling has been Jackson. He admits that he really formed a bond with his position coach during his official visit in January, and is learning from Jackson, a former NFL wide receiver.

"[I'm learning] how to be a man," said Valdes-Scandling. "He's not been just teaching me how to be a receiver, but also how to be a man overall. That's what I really like about him. He's been the same person from my visit until now... he hasn't changed one bit.

"Most recruiting visits they'll tell you what you want to hear and when you get here it's different, but he's been the same the whole way."

Fall camp is over and classes start for the Wolfpack tomorrow. On the football field, they will begin transitioning to preparing for the season opener against Louisiana Tech.

"I'm just ready for my first college game," said Valdes-Scandling.


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