Earlier this year, NC State landed Bunn High School's Brandon Barnes, the number one offensive player in the state. This past Friday the Pack received a verbal commitment from his defensive counterpart, linebacker Terrell Manning.
Manning, from Scotland County High School in Laurinburg, NC chose the Wolfpack over scholarship offers from Clemson, Virginia Tech, UNC, Tennessee and Florida among others.
Rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com, Manning talked with Pack Pride about his decision to run with the Pack in this Q&A.
Pack Pride: What were the main factors that led you to commit to NC State?
Terrell Manning: Basically, from the beginning it was playing time. State is a great school to go to education-wise. The coaching staff was important, too. They played a huge role in my recruiting. Every time I went up there they made me feel like I was at home. I can actually say they made me feel like I was at home because I had been up there between 12 and 15 times and every time I went there I felt just as comfortable. So that played a key role with me and my family.
Pack Pride: Did you have a chance to get to know any of the players already on the team?
Terrell Manning: No, not really. Basically I was just trying to get to know the coaches. They had just came there with Chuck Amato leaving so I was just trying to get to know them better because I felt like I needed to get to know them before the players.
Pack Pride: Was there a point where you knew NC State was the school you were going to commit to?
Terrell Manning: I can say I actually knew about two weeks to a month ago. I had a long time of battling with my decision before I actually made my commitment.
Pack Pride: It appeared you were really close to committing when you were at camp. Did you just need more time to think about it?
Terrell Manning: At the time I was up there I felt real excited about being there but I felt like I needed to come back home and think about it. But I knew it was the place for me.
Pack Pride: Who came in second?
Terrell Manning: Clemson was second and it was a very close decision. Billy Napier is a great recruiter and Clemson has a great program also and I wouldn't have minded playing in their defense, either. But in the long run I had to go with my heart.
Pack Pride: Can you talk about the three main coaches involved in recruiting you to NC State (Tom O'Brien, Jim Bridge and Andy McCollum)?
Terrell Manning: Coach Bridge is a different type of guy. He's excited about everything. And to me, it seems like he might bring a lot of excitement to the game. After that, coach Mac (LB coach Andy McCollum), he's pretty cool, too. He treats me like his son. And coach O'Brien, he's the head dog over everything and I guess he's like a father figure to me too.
Pack Pride: Football is so big at Scotland County and everyone has their college favorites. How did you deal with everyone that was trying to give you advice?
Terrell Manning: Really, you just don't. At times there are people you want to listen to so you can get information. But at other times it's like it's in one ear and out the other. I mean, it's your decision so you have to go with your heart always.
Pack Pride: State has now landed the number one offensive and number one defensive players in the state. What are your impressions of NC State's recruiting class so far?
Terrell Manning: I'm loving what they're putting together. And by me committing they think it's going to bring in other recruits also. As of right now, I'm loving the class of ‘08.
Pack Pride: Are there any other prospects that you've been talking to?
Terrell Manning: Dwayne Allen is the main guy I've been talking to. The rest of them were pretty much going to State anyway. But Dwayne Allen is the one prospect that is still free. I'm planning to go after him. I might have to tackle him.
Pack Pride: Are you still on track to graduate early and enroll at State in January?
Terrell Manning: I'm still trying to enroll early but it all depends on how my classes look for this semester. But once I find that out, then I'll know by the end of my first semester.