If current trends continue, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania may soon rival Miami, Florida as NC State's favorite out-of-state stopping off point on the recruiting trail. The Pack has already landed Pat Bedics, John Bedics, Kyle Newell and Matt Kushner from the Keystone State city. If the Wolfpack coaches have their way, there will be at least one more addition from that town for the class of 2006.
Although his recruiting rankings may not reflect it just yet, linebacker Andres Morales (6-2, 240 pounds) from Bethlehem (Pa) Liberty High School has been one of the fastest rising prospects as of late, and for good reason. He's helped lead his team to a stellar 13-1 record and a spot in the 4A state championship game this weekend. Along the way, Morales has tallied an impressive 135 tackles and 13 tackles for loss and was recently named to the Lehigh Valley Conference all-conference first team.
His play has resulted in scholarship offers from NC State, Connecticut, Rutgers, Missouri and Toledo with interest coming from a host of others.
Morales talked about the Wolfpack, a team that has emerged as a serious contender for his signature on signing day next February.
"I really like the weather down there," said Morales. "The facilities are top of the line and they're making a lot of additions. They were quite amazing. I got a chance to see them when I came down for a visit over the summer.
"Coach (Greg) Williams is the guy recruiting me and he's a real cool guy. He's always been straightforward with me and he's a stand up guy."
Right now, it appears to be a two-team race for Morales' commitment with upcoming official visits looming large in his decision.
"Right now, Rutgers and NC State are my top two," he said. "I'm going to Rutgers on December 13th, and I'll be at NC State in January. I would say the two are dead even right now."
Morales projects as an academic qualifier.