NC State's depth at the center position will take a hit after the 2004 season with the graduation of Jed Paulsen- a Remington Award nominee. As a result, the Wolfpack has set out to land a future replacement in the class of 2005 and turned their attention to OL Andy Barbee of Crest High School in Shelby, NC. Barbee anchored a Charger offensive line that played a huge role in leading Crest to the state 3AA state championship a year ago. Pack Pride caught up with Barbee to check in on how his season is going and where he stands in regards to recruiting.
Andy, you guys are hoping to follow up on a state championship. What kind of start is Crest off to this year?
"Well, so far we're 4-1. We lost to Davie County."
How have you been doing personally and has there been anything that you really wanted to focus on this year to make yourself a better offensive lineman?
"I've been doing pretty good. My grade outs have been in the mid and upper 80's and I've been getting better every week. I needed to get quicker and I think I have. When I pull I think I'm getting out there a little bit quicker. I've grown some since last year and I think I'm doing a little bit better job. Right now, I'm at 6-4, 300 pounds."
In regards to recruiting, have you picked up any scholarship offers?
"NC State offered me Sunday night. I was very excited about that."
How did you get the offer from State?
"I was at work Sunday and my dad called. He said the coaches from State had offered. The coaches called me back Sunday night and told me they were offering and I can tell you, that made my day at work a whole lot better."
Who are the main schools you're looking at right now?
"NC State, UNC, South Carolina, Wake Forest."
Anyone stand out to you?
"I really like NC State and UNC. I really like both of those. Both of their centers are seniors this year, which is kind of good for me and puts me in a good situation. I like their coaches. I've met most of the coaches from each school. I like the campuses too because they're not too far from home and I just like it at both places."
Have you had a chance to make it to any State games this year?
"I came to the Richmond game. I really get along good with State's coaching staff. You can tell they like for their players to work hard and they get the best out of them. I like that and they really like to get after it."
Where do you think UNC stands in regards to offering a scholarship?
"UNC said they're still watching some video of me. I sent them some video last week so they're still looking at that but we hadn't really talked about an offer or anything."
Have you set up any official visits yet?
"I was talking to Coach Portee from State about a visit. He was saying we'd set one up after the season because that would probably be the best time for me to get a good visit in. But I'm going to see if I can get up there soon, I'm not sure."
When it comes time to settle on a future school, what will be the things most important in making your decision?
"Everybody wants to play but I'm not too worried about that because I know everyone has to get better. I kind of want to stay, not too close to home but not too far away either. I've been up there a lot and I like the atmosphere and I just like where it's at."
Have you thought about a timetable for making a decision?
"No, I really hadn't thought much about it just yet."
Is State looking at any other kids at Crest?
"I know they're looking at Martray Littlejohn and Travis Padgett."