NC State Watching Ahlers

NC State is keeping a close eye on rising junior quarterback Holton Ahlers. Pack Pride has the latest on his recruitment..

Whenever an offensive coordinator change happens there are going to be plenty of questions about the next course to be charted. Who the next coordinator will be is only the beginning and the questions trickle all the way down to the reaction of football players who are not even in college yet.

Coordinators shape their unit and besides getting to know the recruits on their side of the ball they can either come to represent consistency or struggles.

Matt Canada is no longer at NC State and that affects a range of things. The reaction of sophomore quarterback Holton Ahlers from Conley (NC) is not the most pressing matter for the rest of the coaches in Raleigh and that is no knock on him. But there are two signing days to work towards and celebrate before Ahlers is ready to lock in on his choice.

In spite of that he is still affected by the change and he is an important player to a number of coaches at schools across his home state. Ahlers recently said he did know about the Canada news story but it didn't seem to bother him.

"I heard a little bit about it but as a recruit and as a fan too you've got to understand that college football's a business. You can make it out to be all about family all you want to. But at the end of the day it's just a business. It's kind of shocking but they're a big time program and I know they can bring in a big time coordinator."

It was shocking because Ahlers did not see it coming and because Canada was one of the coaches who had seemed to be following him the most. Ahlers did some throwing and quarterback drills at a camp in Raleigh seven months ago before his junior year of high school.

Ahlers believed at the time that he had a good day. Canada's interest had seemed to be proof of that.

"I worked with him a lot and it was fun. I felt like they knew a lot. Yeah that was when Coach Canada was there. I felt like the coaching staff was really family like and it really made a big impact when we all got together and prayed. I'm a big Christian guy and a lot of people have compared me to Tim Tebow like that. So that affected me a bunch too."

The coaches still on staff will make it their goal to let Ahlers know that the atmosphere in the program will not be changing even if the person in charge of the offense will be a new face. The change may be tougher for some older high school recruits to adjust to because they have either committed or are closer to that day. Ahlers is fortunate that the Canada change does not put him in a bind or force him to do anything with limited information because he still has two years to see how things unfold.

"I'm definitely going up there sometimes," he said of NC State.  "It's still going good with them. Coach Kitchings came and visited the school. He came to visit and one time I was able to talk to him for probably 30 minutes about their tradition. He's supposed to be coming back the day things open up. So he'll see me then."

The camp was the second time Ahlers had been to State. When he was close to the end of his freshman year Ahlers went to visit with the coaches before they put on the spring game. Ahlers was hoping he could go to a game at State after that good day at camp but that did not happen. He might not have been part of game day in 2015 but the time to visit and meet with the people at State in the spring was more of a personal touch.

Tours of the facilities and campus highlighted that one visit that was not part of a camp.

Ahlers has been a successful high school baseball player the last two years but he said he's 100% sure he will play college football and 75% sure he will not play college baseball. That decision might be related to how popular he is becoming as a quarterback after he threw for 2,750 yards and 28 touchdowns as a Conley sophomore.


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