OL Brandon Jeffries from Shelby, NC was a huge NC State target just a few years ago. However, the Parade All-American offensive lineman cast his lot with Tennessee over NC State, Georgia, UNC and South Carolina. Despite being rated a five-star prospect and one of the top five linemen in the nation, Jeffries struggled to gain weight and found himself buried on the Tennessee depth chart. Ultimately, he decided to leave the Vols program and explore other options.
"I wasn't as big as I needed to be when I was at Tennessee," said Jeffries. "I just had a tough time adding weight and I was thinking about just giving up. But then, I started putting on some weight and I've gained about an inch and I'm up to 6-5 and about 310 pounds. I've been working out with a guy that used to be at Penn State, Shamar Finney, so I've been able to stay in pretty good shape."
NC State didn't appear to be an immediate option for Jeffries but it appears some local ties to the Pack may have ultimately got the Wolfpack back in play.
"My high school coach knew the coaches at State and we have a lot of kids from Crest that go to NC State so they got in touch with Coach Barry and Coach Amato and let them know I had left Tennessee," he said. "I talked to the coaches at State and they let me know I had an offer to go to NC State. I'm leaving to go up there for an official visit tomorrow and I'm pretty much set on going to NC State. I'm not going to visit anyone else."
Since leaving Tennessee, Jeffries has had to get his academic house in order before being eligible to enroll at NC State. He said that's nearly completed and won't be a problem.
"I've been going to a community college and I've got two more classes I've got to finish and I'll be ready to go," said Jeffries. "This past year was my sit out year so I'll be ready to play for State next fall. I'll have two years of eligibility there."
With a second lease on college football life, Jeffries said he definitely feels he has something to prove.
"I know a lot of folks didn't think I could make it because they didn't think I could get big enough. But I want to prove to them that I can and I plan to be an all-american at NC State."