NC State appears intent on signing at least one TE in the class of 2005. Jonathan Hannah of South View High School in Hope Mills, NC has been high on the Pack's wish-list for months and at least one other TE, Corey Wootton (6-7, 255 pounds, 5.0-seconds in the 40) of Don Bosco Prep School in Ramsey, NJ has emerged as well.
Hailing from a school with no fewer than nine college prospects, including S Darius Mann (Louisville), Michael Ray Garvin (Florida State), OL Nate Nurse (Wisconsin) and four-star OL Brian Roche, Wootton watched as college scouts flocked to the New Jersey powerhouse program in droves. Along the way, several came away impressed with the all-league performer who played a huge role in helping lead his team to a 10-2 record and spot in the state finals.
Possessing the agility and athleticism to play TE and the frame to one day line up as an offensive tackle, Wootton has pared his list of potential schools down to just four.
"Right now I'm looking at Louisville, Connecticut, NC State and Northwestern," said Wootton. "NC State and Louisville like me as a TE and Connecticut said I could play either (TE or OL) but I don't really have a preference."
Wootton has already made official visits with Connecticut and Louisville earlier this month and came away impressed with both programs.
"Connecticut is a program that's really been building and doing good," he said. "They were 2A just a couple of years ago and now they're going to a bowl game," he said. "Louisville was really good and they're a top program."
Before heading to NC State on Jan 14 with teammate Brian Roche, Wootton will make an official visit to Northwestern. However, the Pack is a program Wootton is anxious to see up close.
"I like NC State because they have a good football tradition and I've watched them on TV several times and they've been able to beat a lot of good teams, Wootton said. "Coach Barry is recruiting me and I've started hearing from him more during the off-season. He came up and watched us at practice and said that originally they wanted me as an offensive tackle but, after watching me, said he thought I would be a great TE."
Wootton said he probably won't wait until signing day to make a final decision but he knows what he'll be looking for when the time comes to make a choice.
"I'm looking for a school with good academics and a good football program," he said. "I guess the one that can give me the best of both is where I'll go. I'll wait and make my decision after my visits."
Wootton projects as a full academic qualifier and plans to major in Criminal Justice or Business.