He committed to play for the Deacs, but when coach Jim Caldwell was fired, he reconsidered his decision and elected to run with the Pack. Four years later, as he prepares for his final game against Wake Forest, he admits that it means something more to him to play the black and gold.
"It's always a little something extra and something a little bit more special when we play these guys," Aughtry-Lindsay said. "I know some of those guys over there, but it's just another game and we have to go try to win this one."
The 6-1, 234-pound senior is coming off a terrific game against Virginia Tech. He racked up eight tackles and 2.5 sacks in just 30 snaps, helping the Wolfpack defense maintain its No. 1 ranking in the land. Aughtry-Lindsay said that he wasn't surprised to play such a large role in the pass rush, but noted that next game it could be anyone other linebacker – or safety – posting such numbers.
"Any [game], anybody can have two sacks, three sacks -- it just depends on who's going to be free that time whenever we're blitzing," Aughtry-Lindsay said. "Our defense is not made for one person to make a certain amount of sacks. It's made for everybody … to make plays while doing their job within the system."
Aughtry-Lindsay has yielded snaps to sophomore Stephen Tulloch, with the latter starting over Aughtry-Lindsay in the Ohio State game. However, the senior has kept a level approach and maintained his productive play.
"That's what it's been ever since the beginning of the year: We have four starters that rotate, and me and Tulloch rotate a lot," said Aughtry-Lindsay. "Both of us are making plays out there at that position. You know me – I'm able to play all the positions, so if anybody goes down, I'll be able to move there.
"I'm just doing whatever Coach [Reggie] Herring needs me to do to better this defense."
Herring is the third linebackers coach that Aughtry-Lindsay has had: Joe Pate handled that position during Aughtry-Lindsay's freshman season, while Manny Diaz coached the LBs for the past two. Now, new defensive coordinator Herring is the linebackers coach, and the contrast between the young, relatively quiet Diaz and the older, fiery Herring brings a smile to Aughtry-Lindsay's face.
"Both guys are great coaches," Aughtry-Lindsay said. "Coach Herring has been doing it a long time and has been coaching this position for a long time. He's doing a great job with us, and I can see that we've gotten better as a linebacking unit. And we're just going to continue to get better, because he stays on us and wants us to be the best."
NC State didn't land a linebacker on the recruiting trails a year ago, so the Pack will be turning over every stone in search of top LBs for this class, especially with Aughtry-Lindsay and classmate Patrick Thomas playing their final seasons. Aughtry-Lindsay said that any young linebacker watching the Wolfpack defense play will have to think long and hard about wearing the Red and White.
"Oh, man. This is where you want to be if you're a linebacker that can run and make plays, because you're going to get that chance to make plays," said Aughtry-Lindsay. "If you've got the ability to do it, Coach Herring is going to put you in position to make plays, and you've just got to make them.
"So those young guys out there, man, if they want to play linebacker and want to be known and want to be somebody good, you need to come here and be somebody special."
And maybe, in time, as special as Aughtry-Lindsay has become to this defense, this team and this program.