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
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
"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
"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
Gaines is rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com.
Gaines Impressed With NC State
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