"I liked it a lot. I saw some of the new buildings I've never seen before, the weight room, just everything. It was my first time actually going to a college for a visit, and it was beautiful. They said it would be like that when I went up there and it was."
Perhaps Crouch's favorite part of the visit was attending the Wolfpack basketball game at the RBC Center, coming away very impressed by the Wolfpack faithful.
"I liked the atmosphere and how many people were in there. It was a lot of red and white and was so loud. I could tell they wanted to win that game. I just liked everything about the game and the junior day."
If the high school program, E.E. Smith, sounds familiar, that's because last year the Wolfpack signed Golden Bull alum Demarcus "Tank" Tyler. Curtis admits that he and Tank are good friends and his presence at NC State could be a factor in his decision.
"Yes sir, Demarcus was my role model. My first year at E.E. Smith I wasn't sure if I would stay or not but 'Tank' stayed on me. He was the one that let me realize what I could do in football if I worked hard. I talked to him at the basketball game, and he said it was nice at NC State and he wants me to go there with him. I think it would be fun to play with him again."
|Curtis Crouch is considered a pre-season top 10 North Carolina prospect by TheInsiders.com Recruiting Analyst Miller Safrit and ESPN's Tom Lemming.|
Before heading back to Fayetteville, Crouch also spent some time with NC State's Head Coach, Chuck Amato.
"I had met him at a few years ago at a banquet at our high school, but I really got to talk with him at Junior Day. He told me that they would be recruiting me hard and to do my work in the classroom and the weightroom. I can tell a great coach when I see one and that's what he is."
Curtis had such a good visit that he even considered committing, but wisely he took the advice of his uncle (who accompanied him to NC State) and decided to keep his options open.
"My uncle said it was nice up there, but he told me not to go ahead and choose. I was like 'this is the place for me,' but he said to keep my options open for now because other schools are going to want to try and recruit me too."
Although he had no offers prior to his visit to NC State, the talented lineman received his first official offer a few weeks later. NC State came through with the package that Crouch believed he would be getting.
"State offered me a scholarship a few days ago through FedEx. I had my mouth wide open because it's good to know they want you, but I kind of expected it after talking with Coach Amato."
Curtis has been a two-year starter for E.E. Smith, playing both lines while on varsity and earning all-conference honors. At 6'6 and 330 pounds, most analysts feel he's a natural offensive lineman and arguably the state's top right tackle prospect.
"My sophomore year I played defensive tackle but after Tank left I moved to right tackle because we didn't have any depth there. I'm comfortable with offense because I'm doing so well there now, but I'll play either one in college."
Crouch was hesitant to name a favorite because he's hoping to keep his options open and allow all colleges to recruit him.
"I don't really have a favorite or anything. I'm looking really hard at State and a few others in the ACC, but I just want to see who really needs me. The teams talking to me the most are State, UNC, and Virginia."
Although he acknowledged a preference to play in the ACC, a darkhorse program could be the SEC's Tennessee Volunteers. Crouch grew up a Tennessee fan and given his potential most expect the Vols' to enter the picture at some point.
"My favorite team growing up was Tennessee because I liked their colors, but I don't know if they are going to write me or not. State's been the school that I've had my mind set on after Tennessee though, but that was growing up and everything."
At the moment, this recruitment is just beginning and NC State's in great shape. Curtis appears ready to enjoy the process and take some official visits before deciding.
"I'm not real sure when I'll decide or not. I think I want to wait and take some visits and see what other schools offer me. That's the plan right now."
Author's Note: Curtis projects as a definite top-10 prospect in the state of North Carolina and will likely garner several high-major scholarship offers before signing day. Expect teams such as NC State, North Carolina, and Tennessee to be in the final mix. With NC State receiving the first and only unofficial visit thus far, the Wolfpack is in great shape. Crouch hopes to camp at NC State, North Carolina, and Georgia this summer.