In addition to North Carolina and South Carolina, the state of Georgia has emerged as prime recruiting territory for the NC State coaching staff. They've extended scholarship offers to several Peach State prospects so far this year and added another last week when they offered standout safety Elton Ford from Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta, Ga.
After tallying close to 100 tackles, five tackles for loss and three sacks as a junior at Lithonia (Ga) High School, Ford transferred to Chattahoochee for his senior season.
So far, he's helped his squad to a 4-1 record and piled up some impressive stats along the way. He's notched 50 tackles, two interceptions, three pass breakups and a blocked punt. On offense, he leads the team in receptions with nine catches for 110 yards.
Those totals come after an awesome showing at the Kennedy/CES Combine held in Georgia earlier this year. Measuring in at 6-0, 200 pounds, Ford ran an impressive 4.47-second 40-yard dash and recorded a 40-inch vertical jump.
Despite his impressive numbers, Ford received his first scholarship offer a little over a week ago when NC State came calling to make their pledge official.
"Coach Petercuskie called me," said Ford. "They have been trailing me for the longest and they just wanted me to know that they enjoyed my highlight tape and wanted to offer me a full ride. They told me they want me to come to campus and introduce all the coaches and see if I can commit. I'm planning to come up there in December for my visit, but I'm not sure about the date yet."
Ford added that landing an offer from a major division one program was an honor but one that he's worked hard to achieve.
"It felt great to get that first offer," he said. "I was so excited but at the same time, I knew it was coming. I've really worked hard for it."
The Wolfpack coaching staff actually got a jump on Ford's recruiting while still at Boston College and over time, have built a solid relationship with the athletic safety. He said he recognizes that the Pack is struggling right now but it won't necessarily have any bearing on his decision.
"Actually, when the staff was still up at Boston College, they were recruiting me then and they just kept with it when they went to NC State," he said. "Since they got there, I know it's been tough with new coaches coming in because I went through that myself but I'm not worried about that. I'm just looking forward to playing early and helping my team win. That's what I'm focused on."
In addition to NC State and an offer from Middle Tennessee State, Ford is also hearing from Boston College, Arkansas, Wake Forest, Louisville, Michigan State and Purdue among others. Out of those schools, three stand out with one obvious leader.
"My top three right now would be NC State, Louisville and Wake Forest," he said. "State would be my favorite. Not only because they offered but because I like their program."
Ford says he plans to commit in December which seems to coincide nicely with his scheduled trip to NC State.
"I'm planning to commit sometime in December, I'll say that," said Ford. "I don't plan to mess around. Me and my mom want to get to know all the coaches. I want to get to know my position coach and I plan to commit then."
S #5 Elton Ford -