NC State has their eyes on several skill players from the state of Florida but one they'll keep extremely close watch on is S Quinton Andrews from Monsignor Pace High School in Miami, Fla.
Rated a three-star prospect and the No. 61 player in Florida by recruiting analyst Larry Blustein, Andrews was major factor behind Pace's run through the 3A playoffs and the state championship game in 2003. The rising senior came up with two picks in the season finale against Jacksonville Bolles and served notice that he'd be one of the Sunshine State's top prospects for 2004. On the season Andrews tallied 128 tackles, 12 tackles-for-loss, four interceptions and 12 pass-breakups en route to all-county and all-state honors.
After evaluating Andrews this spring, Blustein wrote, "(Andrews) is one of the most solid two-way football players in the state of Florida. On defense, has great ball skills and flies to the action. Has a tremendous gift to crowd a receiver and make it tough to get a clean reception.
"I happen to love his pass-catching ability on offense where he has good speed, tremendous hands and impressive leaping ability. He has already emerged as one of the top football players in the state. Because his team will be one of the best in the state again next season, look for him to gain yet more exposure."
So far, the 5-11, 180 pound prospect has collected scholarship offers from Florida, Rutgers, Boston College, Iowa, Tulane, Northern Illinois and West Virginia. NC State, Florida State, Miami and Ohio State are just a sampling of additional schools showing interest as well.
Although many project him as a safety on the next level, Andrews told Pack Pride that several schools like him as a wide-out. Whatever the position, the talented prospect said he simply wants to play the spot that will allow him to get on the field the fastest.
"Actually, it's almost balanced out," said Andrews. "Some schools are looking at me as a S while others like me as a WR. I'm playing strong safety now but I can play either safety position really. I don't really have a preference for which position I play. I just want to play the one that'll get me on the field the quickest."
Andrews added that he feels playing on both sides of the ball gives him the advantage whenever he lines up on Friday nights.
"Not everybody can play both sides of the ball," he said. "I have kind of an advantage because being a WR, I know the routes the guy is going to run. By being a Safety, I know where the holes in the defense are going to be when I'm at WR."
Whatever the position, Andrews has numerous schools he'll be watching this fall but has narrowed his favorites down to an early top five.
"Right now I'm interested in NC State, Florida, Miami, West Virginia and Iowa," Andrews said. "I'm pretty much open to any of those schools."
As for NC State, coach Doc Holliday made a big impression on Andrews back during the May evaluation period and he's hoping his senior season will result in a Wolfpack offer.
"I like them because they were one of the first schools that started looking at me," said Andrews. "I have a friend that's up there on the team now (WR Lamart Barrett) and he's always telling me great things about them. I like what I've heard when I've talked to the coaches. They haven't offered me a scholarship yet though. I think they're waiting to see how my senior season turns out.
Andrews plans to make a decision after taking his official visits later this year. He added that playing time and academics will be huge factors in his decision.
"I'm looking at the academics first because I want to get a good education at whatever school I go to," he said. "Then I'll be looking at playing time. Location doesn't really matter to me because I'll go anywhere to play."