Gaines Impressed With NC State

Rocky Mount (NC) Nash Central defensive end Houshun Gaines talks about his recent visit to NC State with Pack Pride.

Rocky Mount (NC) Nash Central defensive end Houshun Gaines has been a hot prospect on the recruiting trail of late. Virginia Tech was the first to offer followed by offers from NC State, Boston College, Duke and Wake Forest. At 6-4, 220 pounds Gaines has tremendous upside physically and his scholarship list is likely to grow over the coming months.

Warming up to the "Enemy"

Gaines doesn't deny the fact that he grew up a UNC fan which meant he had never been particularly fond of the Wolfpack, especially from a fan's perspective. However, an offer from NC State and a recent visit went a long way towards changing that perception.

"To be honest I slept on NC State a little bit because I was raised a NC State hater but the campus, the way they treated me and everything, it was a great visit," said Gaines. "They definitely moved up my list within my top five. I definitely plan to come back.

"When I was talking to coach Doeren he was saying he knew I was raised to like that Carolina blue but we hate it around here so hopefully you'll warm up and at the end of the day I was throwing up the Wolfpack sign so they definitely warmed up to me."

Barlow making headway

CB coach George Barlow is the newest addition to the NC State coaching staff and he's made impressive in-roads with several recruits. His work with Gaines has helped make NC State a serious player for the rising senior's commitment.

"Coach Barlow is recruiting me. He's a cool guy and we've been talking a lot lately. He came to my school. I call him a lot and I really like him. I'm glad he's recruiting me so he's definitely making me a fan of NC State."

Virginia Tech is the team to beat

There's no doubt that the Hokies have a huge head start on all of the schools hoping to land Gaines. He's connected well with the Virginia Tech coaches and seems to really enjoy the atmosphere and tradition that surrounds the VT program.

"I love Virginia Tech, coach Wiles. He's my man. We talk a lot. I love coach Beamer and coach Foster. I just love to visit down there. They gave me a great impression with their history and bowl wins. It just has a lot of plus sides and I've yet to find anything negative about Tech so it's a great school. I definitely plan to go back there as well."

UNC is the childhood favorite but they could "regret" not offering

Gaines was a regular visitor to UNC for football games last year and his entire family are huge Tar Heel supporters. Gaines may have fallen through the cracks somewhat when his original recruiting coach departed for the NFL but they appear to be back on the right track.

"Coach Jordan was my recruiter for UNC but then he went to the Redskins," said Gaines. "Now my recruiter is coach Porter. He came from Texas. He's been picking it up. We've been talking a lot lately. I assume they'll be the next to offer. If they choose not to offer me they'll regret it. If they do offer, I view them like I view everyone else and just give everybody a fair shot. I do have favoritism because I grew up liking that school but as far as other schools compared to them, they moved down because of the dead period but coach Porter is picking everything back up so they'll get back in there again."

Looking for the best opportunity with an eye towards the future

"Right now I'm going to the school that gives me the best opportunity to become a better player, the best education and just things like whoever I get along with the best and bond with the best is what will ultimately make my decision the easiest.

"I plan to major in business administration with a minor in hospitality because I when I finish with football I plan to start my own restaurant."

Top schools?

"I couldn't give you a definite top three but Virginia Tech is definitely up there, Boston College, NC State, and a few others. But there's no particular order but Virginia Tech is definitely number one. Other than that everyone has a fair shot.

"You could be looking for a commitment on August 1st or mid-September."

Gaines is rated a three-star prospect by

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