RB Curtis Underwood from Lackawanna (NY) High School was a major target for head coach Tom O'Brien when he was still the head coach at Boston College. After a coaching change brought him to Raleigh, O'Brien wasted no time in reestablishing the ties with western New York's top player.
At 6-0, 210 pounds, Underwood rushed for 2,114 yards (8.66 yards per carry) and 21 touchdowns as a senior and helped lead Lackawanna to the Section VI Class B championship. He finished off the season by receiving the Connolly Cup, an award given to western New York's top player regardless of position. He was also named all-western New York and all-state.
Underwood had seen interest in his talents take off over the last few weeks with schools like Penn State, Pittsburgh, Maryland and Syracuse getting heavily involved. However, a trip to NC State was all Underwood needed to see to pull the trigger for O'Brien and the Wolfpack.
"Yes sir, I committed," he said. "They have really nice facilities. They've got a new coaching staff that has a winning tradition but the thing that sold me on State the most was the southern hospitality. Everyone down there was so nice. The players were easy to get along with and they made me feel like I was already accepted into the Wolfpack family."
Although former Boston College DB coach Kevin Lempa had headed up Underwood's recruiting previously, current Wolfpack RB's coach Jason Swepson assumed the duties after the move to NC State. For Underwood, the constant was head coach Tom O'Brien.
"He's just a nice, laid-back guy," said Underwood. "You think the head coach is this big guy that you can never talk to but coach O'Brien isn't like that. I know that he's someone I can talk to and go to with my problems if I need to."
Underwood projects as an academic qualifier.