Chris Dunn knew NC State's coaching staff was really high on him as a player. The interest picked up starting in the summer of 2015.
"I camped at State as a freshman, and they brought me back for Junior Day," said Dunn, who recently completed his sophomore year at Lexington (NC) North Davidson High School. "To invite me to Junior Day, that meant a lot, and then this year I kicked for all the coaches at camp.
"They were very impressed with my kicks. It was a great day... to be one-on-one with the coaches, and that's when they offered me. Coach Doeren said that I could possibly kick all four years."
NC State was Dunn's first offer, but for him, committing early was an easy decision.
"Since day one I've been in love with [NC] State," he said. "It's close to home, it felt like a family, the program is on the upswing, and they have the degree I'm looking for. It's great there... it clicked. I've fallen in love with NC State.
"It's the next step for me to play football and achieve some of my goals and dreams."
How did Dunn notify the Wolfpack coaches of his decision?
"I think I threw coach Doeren a curve ball," he said, laughing. "When I was there for my visit I asked him what would happen if I decided to accept. He said he'd shake my hand and say, 'Welcome to the Wolfpack.' So I went up to him and told him that I'd like to commit to the Wolfpack.
"They all seemed happy. I think it was a great day for all of us, I know it was for me."
NC State has sophomore kicker Kyle Bambard on scholarship, and the plan is for Dunn to potentially succeed him in Raleigh.
"It sets up perfectly for me," said Dunn. "Kyle Bambard would be a senior my first year, and I would come in and compete with him. If I don' t get the job I would then redshirt, and I could kick for the next four years after he is gone.
"The plan is for me to start out at kicker but also compete for kickoffs and punts."
The Wolfpack landed one of the best kickers in the country in Dunn, who is kicking guru Chris Sailer's No. 1 ranked kicker in the 2018 class. He connected on 14-of-20 field goals as a sophomore for North Davidson, with a long of 48 yards. He also had 30 touchbacks and handled punting duties for the Knights.
Recently he was named the Chris Sailer 2016 Vegas XXVIII Overall Kicking Champion, which included kickers from the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 classes.
"That was a huge honor for me," said Dunn. "With my field goals, my best is 65 yards off the ground, which is big because that's the next step in college. I'm comfortable out to that range, and I think I can get even better as I get stronger and continue to develop the next couple of years."
Sailer raved about Dunn's ability.
"Chris is an outstanding kicker," said Sailer. "He has a strong leg and kicks with excellent technique and consistency. Field goals are smooth and accurate off the ground. He gets great height on his ball. A fierce competitor that does his best under pressure. Kickoffs are strong and consistent. Also a very capable punter.
"One of the most determined competitors we have every had. Chris kicks with extreme confidence. A great looking athlete with a bright future. Chris is a pleasure to work with. He will be a scholarship pick in this class without a doubt. Big time prospect."
High-major programs like Florida, Georgia, Clemson, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Virginia among others have expressed interest in Dunn, and with two more years of high school it's likely he'll add more scholarship offers.
However, he believes he has made his final decision.
"I'm going to NC State," said Dunn. "I've been raised my word is my bond. I gave NC State my word, and I'm committed to them. I'm definitely joining the Pack. Other schools may try to recruit me, but they'll need to find another kicker."