Sandidge Talks Wolfpack Visit

Concord (NC) defensive tackle Rick Standidge has been offered by NC State, and he recently made a trip to Raleigh to check out the Wolfpack in person. Pack Pride caught up with the 2018 standout for his thoughts on the Pack.

It is no surprise when a player's first offers come from colleges in his state of residence. Those schools are easier for the player to visit. It's easier for him to visit those schools. Summer camps are more easily worked into busy schedules when school is out and many other reasons drive this.

That is not always true. Sometimes local schools take a longer period of time to offer in-state players. When those players are offered the assumption is the player is more than qualified because of the fact that they have usually been looked at for longer than others.

Defensive tackle Rick Sandidge (6-5, 260 pounds) has already been offered by most of the bigger programs in North Carolina. Duke, Wake Forest and App State haven't offered but NC State, North Carolina and East Carolina have.

South Carolina is the first SEC school to offer the 2018 defensive lineman but they probably will not be the last. West Virginia has offered him and so has Temple. Sandidge will consider the schools near his home but also the ones not to close. But since he has two more years to go until his time as a recruit ends that favors the Wolfpack, Tar Heels and Pirates. The extra time makes visits everywhere more likely. But the extra time makes a lot of visits to those schools more than likely.

Wake Forest has not yet offered but they could be one school that lingers around throughout Sandidge's remaining time in high school. Last year Rocky Reid was a senior at Concord. He signed with Wake Forest and is now with the Demon Deacons. Time will tell how important that friendship will be. Every time a recruit knows a player it is something to think about but Reid is a lot older than the current big shot recruit at Concord.

Between the schools that have offered and the schools that haven't Sandidge does not make much of a distinction. "I'm going to wait until my senior year to make a decision," the thinking goes.

Even if Sandidge waits two years or almost that, the schools around him and some far away are not waiting on him. Why would they wait? Sandidge (6-5 1/2, 260) has hit more than one growth spurt a lot earlier than most other players. He has size that some of the seniors who just signed at some schools would want. He also has time. Time might be the one thing that makes Sandidge stand out as a recruit more than anything else. For a player who is already so big at such a young age time makes a lot of people wonder how much bigger he might get.

Eddie Faulkner is one of the many coaches who aren't wasting any time getting to know Sandidge and letting him know that he will have a spot with his school. Faulkner made the drive to Sandidge's school a little while back and until Sandidge commits or even until he signs Faulkner and maybe more NC State coaches will make regular trips there.

"I feel like they're really interested in me. I've talked to a defensive line coach and he showed me of an NFL game with one of their guys."

That was a nice approach. Sandidge said he is always working to improve his game in the hopes of making it to the highest level of football. He has some advantages as he works to make that a reality. Some players may have to worry about their size and whether they will or won't measure up. That is not a concern with Sandidge. How good he can be is related to skill development and his strength training. Those things are in his control.

Sandidge may not be close to a decision but NC State's coaches have done enough to at least make sure they will be in the conversation. Sandidge was one of the sophomores at the recent Junior Day. He was bigger than a lot of the players bigger than him so unless he had his name tag or someone recognized his face he might have been confused for someone from a different class.

"It was a pretty nice thing they had. I thought it was a good new experience. I liked the stuff they shared regarding NC State. It was a good day. That was my second time going to NC State. The first time I went was when they played Clemson."

The first visit was for a game that almost every recruit on NC State's prospect lists wanted to go to. Lots of tickets were given out and that meant that each player did not get too much time to talk to the coaches. That was also true because the game was the main event. The Junior Day was very different.

Sandidge plays junior varsity basketball but is not expected to pursue that after high school.

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