Canada: "We'll Enjoy Having Him"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State landed a commitment last summer from Alpharetta (GA) quarterback Austin King following the Wolfpack's summer camp.

NC State landed a commitment from Alpharetta (GA) quarterback Austin King following the Wolfpack's summer camp, and he remained in the fold until December. King backed out of his commitment shortly after his official visit to NC State before eventually committing to Indiana.

Offensive coordinator Matt Canada shared his thoughts on why King, who was able to watch the Wolfpack practice during his visit, opened back up his recruitment.

"We had a guy [committed], and he came and got spooked because of the talent we had," said Canada. "Obviously if that's the reason it's a good thing for us."

The talent Canada is referring to is redshirt freshman quarterback Jalan McClendon, a player the NC State coaching staff is extremely high on. However, the Wolfpack currently has just two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, and King would have been the third in 2015.

Obviously King's decision put the Wolfpack in a tough position because high school quarterbacks generally make early decisions and several of the top players had already picked other schools.

"It wasn't a great situation to be in," said Canada, smiling. "We had to get one. We needed another quarterback, there's no question.

"You have to keep them healthy. Only one plays if they are healthy, but we needed more guys so it was important."

The staff hit the road evaluating prospects and one target quickly caught their eye, Lithonia (GA) Arabia Mountain senior quarterback Jakobi Meyers. An underrated recruit, Meyers had committed to Kent State over the summer, prior to his senior season.

"He committed very early in the summer to Kent because that's what he had," Canada said. "I think he was a baseball kid. You know how recruiting is... your junior year is such a big deal. I believe it was his first year playing, and he was kind of raw."

Meyers hit the summer circuit attending camps and followed it up with a productive senior season. He completed 110 of 170 passes (64.7 percent) for 1,834 yards and 23 touchdowns, and he also rushed for 534 yards and eight more scores... earning all-county and all-region honors.

"We went and watched Jakobi, and he was really good," said Canada. "He's athletic, and he can throw it. He's a guy that just came on late.

"You never know for sure with this position. Some are gun-shy and can't see it, but Jakobi has a quick release. He's athletic and can throw the ball. We'll enjoy having him on our team."

NC State wasn't the only program to enter the mix. Meyers also added offers from Wake Forest and Florida, with the Gators trying to get Meyers on campus for an official visit the last week of January.

Meyers declined and inked with the Wolfpack in February.

"Others went and saw him, and we were holding on the last couple of days," Canada said, laughing. "It was a challenge with what all happened."

"He has a strong arm and is very athletic," added head coach Dave Doeren. "I think he is one of the biggest steals in the country.

"We had to battle hard to get this young man. He was kind of unknown because he didn’t play a lot throughout his junior year. I am really proud of his character in sticking to his commitment to us."

For Canada, he's happy everything eventually played out the way they did.

"Things work out the way they are supposed to," he said. "We got a good player. We're excited, and he's excited. You know the recruiting rankings and all that, but it worked out for us. I'll leave it at that."

Now Canada will turn his attention to the 2016 recruiting class. NC State will be replacing Jacoby Brissett and already has a commitment from Southeast (NC) Raleigh signal-caller Dylan Parham.

Could they look to sign two passers in the 2016 class?

"We could," said Canada. "When Jacoby leaves we'll have just two on scholarship at that point. It's something that's on the table. We're looking at a lot of different things... we just have to see."


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