"The Ohio State game had a great atmosphere, even though NC State came up short," Jeraill McCuller said. "I still saw a lot of things I liked. I liked how the players reacted when the game was over, and you didn't see any heads down or finger pointing. That really showed me a lot."
McCuller made the call on Wednesday night, giving a verbal commitment to the two Wolfpack coaches recruiting him.
"I talked to Coach Diaz and Coach Barry late Wednesday night," he said. "I think it made Coach Barry's day. He said he was going to go home and crack open his best bottle of champagne."
"We've built a nice relationship," McCuller added. "I know Coach Barry's put a lot of players in the NFL so I'm looking forward to working with him. That's my goal, and I think he knows what it takes to get me there."
Safeties coach Manny Diaz continued his hot streak on the recruiting trail. After landing top 10 in-state talents Andre Brown and Gerard Miller last season, Diaz went into Virginia and beat out programs such as Michigan State, West Virginia, South Carolina, and Maryland for the talented offensive tackle.
"Coach Diaz is just a great guy," McCuller said. "He's been on me hard since this spring, and that lets me know how much they want me."
Recently measured at 6'8 and 315 pounds, McCuller just turned 17 on September 8th, meaning he's still growing physically and has the frame to add even more weight once he gets in the strength and conditioning program at NC State. He's being recruited to play the right tackle position and is already fully qualified.
The Wolfpack really turned up the heat for him shortly after his camp performance at NC State. He entered the camp as an unknown, but after spending a few days working with Coach Barry, the staff knew he was what they were looking for in an offensive lineman.
"Coach Diaz had said he wanted me to come to camp so everyone could see me," he said. "It went great, and they knew I was going to some other schools. They offered me after I got back from my road trip, and I was shocked in a way, but it made me happy to get that first offer."
"Committing takes the pressure off of me wondering where I'm going to go," McCuller added. "I think I was put in the right situation where the best school for me was the first to offer.
"My mom and dad are happy for me. They think I made a great decision, and they are going to support me no matter what."
West Virginia, Michigan State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Maryland among others were expressing heavy interest in McCuller. He says they all have indicated he had a scholarship offer on the table, but now it's a moot point.
"All those schools basically said I had an offer," he said. "I talked to Michigan State today, and they said they just got my film and wanted me to know they want me. They were just a day too late."
"I'm already committed to the Wolfpack," he added.
McCuller plans to take his official visit to NC State later this year and may make it down for a couple of unofficial visits as well.
He is the seventh known commitment for the Class of 2005, joining high school quarterback Mike Greco, Hargrave stars Andre Brown and Willie Young, and junior college players Chad Green, Greg Peterson, and Garrett Kline.