Weekend Visit Puts the Pack out Front

Pack Pride talks with Maryland defensive end Jason Ankrah after his unofficial visit to NC State this past weekend.

Defensive end figures to be a position that the NC State coaching staff will focus quite a bit of attention on over the next 12 months. After landing just one junior college DE in the class of 2008, the Pack will likely look to sign several at this spot for the class of 2009. One talented prospect that is just now emerging on the recruiting scene is Jason Ankrah from Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Md.

A two-way standout as a junior, Ankrah rarely left the field- doubling at right guard and defensive end en route to all-sentinel honors. On the year he tallied 19 tackles, one sack, one pass deflection and four QB hurries.

At 6-4, 240 pounds and boasting 4.79-seconds in the 40-yard dash, Ankrah has the frame, size and potential that has caught the eye of several colleges. After making an unofficial visit to NC State this past weekend for the Wolfpack's basketball game with Duke, Ankrah talked with Pack Pride about his recruiting.

"So far I have scholarship offers from Virginia and Maryland," said Ankrah. "Syracuse offered me but I don't have the paperwork yet and also Buffalo. Rutgers is another school that is showing a lot of interest. NC State hasn't offered me yet. They said I had something coming in the mail tomorrow but they couldn't tell me what it was because of the NCAA rules. But they said I had something coming so I think it's an offer."

The Wolfpack took a huge step in establishing themselves as a major player for Ankrah after his visit to Raleigh. In fact, it was enough to propel State straight to the top of his favorite's list. Ankrah talked about the highlights of his trip.

"They showed us around the facilities, the stadium and everything and it was really nice," said Ankrah. "That's my top school right now. The coaches are real nice and they're just straight up. We went to the basketball game and that's the best atmosphere I've seen in a long time. I feel like I would fit in there perfectly. The coaches were just showing me a lot of love and made me feel like I was at home."

Despite an early advantage for the Pack, it doesn't appear Ankrah is any hurry to end his recruiting. In fact, he says he'll likely wait until the fall to make a final decision.

"I'm going to wait until my senior season is over and see what other offers come in," he said. "Then, I'm going to make a decision with my family."

Ankrah is one of two Quince Orchard standouts receiving heavy division one interest. The other, Travis Hawkins, is also a major prospect for NC State and Ankrah gave an assessment of his teammate.

"Travis, he's fast, strong, aggressive. He could probably play every position on the field other than offensive and defensive line. He's a true athlete. Travis is a quiet guy but he makes plays and he's a leader."

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