ATH Darion Slade is a safety option for NC State. That doesn’t mean he’s a backup. He might not have an offer yet but the coaches are recruiting him hard. He’s a safety option in the secondary.
As hard as NC State is recruiting Slade (6-0, 185) they have not offered while Duke, Wake Forest and West Virginia have. Duke may have moved on but Wake Forest and West Virginia are recruiting Slade and recruiting him hard.
Because Slade is so close to Winston-Salem he finds himself at Wake Forest all the time. Sometimes he is there as a visitor the football program is hosting. Other times he just decides to go on campus himself in a more informal manner. He feels as comfortable with Wake Forest as anyone because of how many times he has been to the school and how many people he knows there. He sees bright spots to staying close to home.
“It’s a home town school and a private school. There aren’t really a lot of people in the classes so I could learn better there. The coaches seem to be really interested in me. They come to a lot of my things and they talk to me so it seems like a place I would be comfortable at.”
West Virginia is recruiting a few players in North Carolina this year and of all the out of state schools Slade hears from they have made him feel the most wanted. Slade said the West Virginia coaches send him letters after all of his games. At least they did last year. After wins those letters were celebratory in tone. After losses there would be a lot of the “keep your head up” talk. Lonnie Galloway is his go to guy with the Mountaineers.
It would be hard for Slade to compare NC State to those to schools because State has not offered yet. He does know what the school brings to the table because he went to their game against Boston College in 2014 and he was at the school for a visit last month. He found that to be an eye opening experience.
“The campus there is really nice. It’s actually a lot nicer than I thought it would be. It’s one of the best campuses I’ve seen really.”
Something else jumped out to Slade too.
“Another thing I liked what seeing how their trainers train differently than you would see at other schools. They make you work hard. You get a little sheet. There’s a compression shirt you have to wear every day in practice. There’s a graph that shows you how you compare to other people after they’re working with you. It shows you how you’re working and how you compare. It shows if you’re getting better and progressing or if you’re not progressing. It just feels like that would be a great fit.”
Slade plays quarterback for West Forsyth and that could be one reason he does not have more offers. He will probably not be playing quarterback in college so when coaches watch his film they see a great athlete but they might have to wonder how he would play at another position. It would be tough to doubt his raw ability.
NC State has told Slade they would put him at defensive back. He played a little corner last year and will play a lot of safety this year.
“I want to say it’s the safeties coach from State that’s recruiting me. Their interest is kind of medium. It’s in the middle It’s not really a lot but it’s not like we don’t talk. We still talk. That coach came up to our school and that’s when I found out they wanted me to go on that visit that I went on. I do like the coaches at State. It seems like they’re coaches that will help you and be there for you. They aren’t just coaches that want you to play on their team. They don’t just want to make their team better. It feels like they care about you.”
Slade mentioned that he liked State’s dorm set up and that was one of the reasons the campus impressed him so much.
When he was younger Slade played some AAU Basketball tournaments around the state. Those tournaments took him to Raleigh so he has been around NC State in the past even before he started hearing from schools as a recruit.