Justin Witt has been a believer in Dave Doeren and NC State football for a long time. He committed more than half a year ago and he has not voiced any regrets over that decision.
Commitments usually only come after a lot of thought and a lot of conversations with trusted family members, friends and coaches. In most cases a player is choosing from a small number of schools that offer different majors, game day scenes and football outlooks but in most of even those cases the schools are more similar than different. The same size, the same area, sometimes the same conference, the same basic college experience.
Lots of people in New Lenox (IL) have heard about why Witt (6-5, 263) picked NC State. He did not seem to have any doubts when he committed and he hasn't kept his feelings to himself. Then again there are probably some that have difficulty relating to Witt's choice.
When he committed to NC State he had nearly two dozen offers from schools in different places and from schools that are far apart in a lot of other respects. So why NC State? Why the east coast instead of the midwest? Why the ACC and not the Big Ten?
He won't convince everyone from Big Ten territory that he made the right choice but Witt made the choice that he felt comfortable with. That comfort was a feeling stayed with him all weekend long when he took his official visit to State. It was one week after the Wolfpack lost to the Tar Heels to end the regular season. The trip would have been a lot different if Witt had decided to be in Raleigh for a game but the extra free time was put to good use and may have been even more reassuring in the long run.
"It was really good. It was my third time visiting and even though it's kind of like the same stuff every time I love the coaches there. One of the good things this time was I got to meet a lot of the players so I really enjoyed that."
Emmanuel McGirt is a player that is well liked on the team and as a young offensive lineman he was able to share some advice and some stories that helped Witt since he will be in the exact same position next year. McGirt did not have to travel from halfway across the country to enroll but he is away from home and that matters more than any actual number of miles from an old home to a new life.
That distance on the map was something that Witt thought about a long time ago when State offered. It has not given him pause since. It has made it impossible to visit as many times as some of the local Pack16 commits but Witt has been on campus whenever he has found the time and he has stayed in touch with the other commitments enough to feel good about their future together.
"Ever since we went to a camp together we've been great. We've been friends. I can't remember exactly when the camp was but it's been a few months. We've all been talking since then. That was the first time we all got together. Since we've been talking we've become kind of a small family already. It's been great."
Nyheim Hines was another player that spent a lot of time with Witt on his visit. They won't be in position meetings together but he was another young player that could share about his time moving from high school to college while balancing school and football.
Witt said they were easy to get along with but it isn't like they had to convince him NC State was right for him. That decision was made long ago.
Getting along with players and other recruits made the trip a home run but it wouldn't have been an official visit without talking to some coaches. There were serious talks and some that weren't so serious. The important thing is that part of the visit left Witt feeling just as good as did his time with those who will be his teammates.
"I talked to my position coach Coach Uremovich and the defensive line coach who's from this area. We just talked and enjoyed getting to know each other better. I feel really good about everything up there and I always enjoy talking to them. Coach Doeren is definitely taking this program in the right direction and I like how they're doing it. They're doing it a good way."
Uremovich has avoided any risks of more local schools sneaking in and prying Witt away. Not only did he speak with Witt on his official visit but last week he visited the Witt residence for a home visit. Assistant coaches can visit senior football recruits once per week during this time on the NCAA's recruiting calendar. Witt's home visit took more time and planning than most of the others but Witt said Uremovich was a pleasure to host.
"I love everybody up there. The best part of the visit I would say was hanging out with the hosts after everything else was over. It was a really good time getting to know a bunch of the players. That's who I'm going to be spending my time with so it was important to get to know them better."