Last year, NC State struck paydirt when they landed defensive end Audi Augustin from Northeast High School in Oakland Park, Park, Fla. While scouting Augustin, they also noticed a talented teammate of his and have since made him a priority a major position of need for the Wolfpack.
Last season, Josh Hartigan, 6-3, 215 pounds with 4.65-second speed in the 40, spent the lion's share of his playing time at defensive end opposite Augustin. This year, he will make the move to LB and that's where numerous colleges project him to star on the next level. Pack Pride caught up with Hartigan recently for the latest on his recruiting.
"Right now I've got about 20 offers," he said. "It's hard to remember them all but the main three are NC State, Tennessee and Pittsburgh. Those are probably the main three I'm focusing on right now."
Hartigan gave a rundown on what he likes about each of his top schools.
Tennessee- "The facilities there were amazing. The coaches were enthusiastic about their job and they really had fun. They showed me great hospitality. I also know two people from my county that are up there playing now."
Pittsbugh- "Their facilities were really nice, too. I like coach Partridge. He's a great guy. With their defense, I think there is a chance of early playing time and they need linebackers so I liked that.
NC State- "The thing with State is they just had the number one pick in the draft and they had like the number one defense in the nation. They signed one of my friends. They have a great defensive coach. They hadn't talked to me a lot about early playing time but they said if I come in and work hard, everything should fall into place. I know that if I go there and stand out, I could get some early playing time. Coach Stroud is recruiting me for State and he's a very nice guy and I really like him. He's showed me that he's got a sense of humor and we text back and forth. He just let me know that he really wants me to go there."
With a solid top three, Hartigan has already started to think about his official visits later in the year. First up will be the Wolfpack.
"I'm supposed to go to NC State on Sept 8," he said. "It's not written in stone yet but I'm tentatively scheduled to go to Pitt on Dec 2nd."
One other school to keep in mind is Florida State. Hartigan's father played for the Noles and it's a team he's always followed.
"It's always been a dream of mine to play for Florida State," he said. "My dad played there and I camped there. They told me they only had about seven scholarships open but one of the coaches let me know that some other spots might be opening up. They haven't been recruiting me too hard yet, though."
Hartigan said that originally, he planned to take all five of his official visits before making a decision but he also admits that if he's blown away on any of his trips, he could make a quick commitment.
"My original goal was to take all five visits and then decide close to signing day," he said. "But if I go somewhere and love it, I could commit on the spot. If that doesn't happen, I'll still probably take all of my visits."