Safety Darius Gaither of Fairfield Central High School in Winnsboro, SC is one of the Pack's top secondary priorities in the Class of 2006. This past weekend he made his second trip to NC State and he talked with Pack Pride about the visit and gave us a rundown of where his recruiting stands currently.
"I had a real nice time at NC State," said Gaither. "I got there Saturday and took some time to meet the coaches. I told them I was grateful that they were having me and they said that they were glad I could come. They served us some food and took us on a little tour. They have nice facilities.
"At halftime of the game they let me and the other recruits go onto the field. I left after the game was over. All in all it was a good time, especially just since it was only an unofficial visit."
Gaither talked further about the Wolfpack and what stands out with their program.
"I really liked the campus and the coaches," he said. "It seems like it would be a fun place to go to school. I liked the people I met there. The coaches really got me excited. I liked the way they talked about being a defensive football team. They love speed back there at safety and corner, so I think I would fit in well there."
While NC State has certainly made a good impression on the all-american safety, landing him in Raleigh will be no easy task. Clemson and Tennessee appear to be the two schools that will present the toughest competition.
"All I know of right now is Tennessee, Clemson and NC State," said Gaither. I've got an official visit scheduled to Clemson for Jan. 12 and I'll probably schedule one to Tennessee. Other than that I'm not sure what I'll do. I'm just taking it one day at a time." Other schools mentioned by Gaither were UNC, Maryland and South Carolina.
At 6-1, 200 pounds and boasting solid 4.4-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Gaither's likely destination in college is in the defensive backfield. The Pack would like nothing more than for the senior standout to follow in the footsteps of fellow Palmetto State star, JC Neal.
"Most schools are recruiting me to either play safety or corner," he said. "I think NC State's coaches would have me play at safety for them."
With his season over and all attention focused squarely on recruiting, don't look for a decision from Gaither anytime soon. In fact, he told Pack Pride his recruiting could go all the way into February.
"I think I'm going to wait until around Signing Day," he said. "I plan on taking a few more visits so it will probably be a little while before I'm ready to decide."