For high school players in Canada, earning an opportunity to play football for a major university in the United States occasionally happens but it certainly isn't an everyday occurrence. However, that never deterred OL Ahmad Jaradat from London, Ontario. The 6-4, 290 pound lineman prepared for years with the hopes of one day landing a division one scholarship and this past weekend, that dream became reality when NC State extended an offer.
"Me and my friends get together every Saturday and watch the college games," Jaradat told Pack Pride. "So this was a dream come true for me. It was amazing and I'm speechless. I've worked my whole life for it to try to make it come true."
The Wolfpack had been involved with Jaradat since early October, led by the efforts of NC State special team's coach Jerry Petercuskie. However, the Pack waited until this weekend to make their scholarship offer official. Jaradat wasted no time in accepting.
"I committed," he said. "Just the whole experience of the weekend with the players and stuff like that was what sold me on NC State. Then, the coaching staff just put it over the top."
Upon arriving in Raleigh, Jaradat experienced the first major difference between Ontario and North Carolina- about 90 degrees.
"When I got off the plane I couldn't believe it," he said. Right now, in my hometown it's -20 degrees. So it's freezing. So I had a jacket on, a hat, I was bundled up. I walked off the plane and I was like, what is going on. I was sweating."
From the airport to NC State, Jaradat's first glimpse of the Pack's facilities blew him away.
"When I got to the stadium, the Murphy Center, as soon as I got out of the car all you could see was that statue with the wolves and I was just astonished. I was like wow. The girl I was with, she told me that building was just for the football players. I was amazed. I mean, honestly, just the stadium and everything just amazed me."
Jaradat got to spend time with the Pack coaches and was hosted by German-native, DE Markus Kuhn.
"Markus Kuhn hosted me and they called us "international" for the weekend," said Jaradat. "The I spent quite a bit of time with the coaching staff. Their knowledge of the game is just unreal. I was with coach Horton (NC State offensive line coach Don Horton) for an hour and a half. We just watched tape together and his knowledge of the game is just unreal. The amount of players he's sent to the NFL is just astonishing. Definitely his track record speaks volumes."
While helping lead his team to a 6-3 record in 2007, Jaradat proved to be a versatile weapon- lining up at offensive tackle, tight end and nose tackle. However, he'll likely start out at center for the Wolfpack.
"They recruited me for guard or center but mostly center though," he said.
Jaradat will enroll at NC State in January and be available for spring practice. He plans to major in education. In addition to the Wolfpack, Jaradat was also recruited by Connecticut, Colorado and Iowa.