Name: Brian Slay
Hometown: Ashburn, Virginia
High School: Stone Bridge High School
Position: Defensive Lineman
Notes: Earlier this month, NC State landed its first commitment in the 2009 class when defensive end Brian Slay verbaled to the Wolfpack.
"I just had that feeling," said Slay. "I was there and after talking with coach Willis I told him that I wanted to commit to NC State.
"He said that was great and to just take some more time and think about it because it's a big decision. I drove home with my family and thought about it some more and I knew that was what I wanted to do so I called the coaches today and committed officially to coach Willis. It's official now... I'll be playing at NC State."
The 6-foot-3, 275-pounder first burst on the scene as a sophomore at Kennesaw (GA) Harrison High School. In 2006, he earned all-county honors after recording 88 tackles and 10 sacks.
Slay turned some heads on the combine circuit last spring and summer, but a move by his family had him suiting up for Stone Bridge High School during his junior campaign. In his first season at Stone Bridge, Slay tallied 65 tackles and six sacks to help lead the Bulldogs to the Group AAA Division 5 state title.
Capable of sticking at defensive end or possibly growing into a defensive tackle, Slay stated that he was recruited to play defensive end by the Wolfpack.
NC State was the first school to offer him a scholarship, but he had been receiving heavy interest from Clemson, Auburn, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Virginia, and Virginia Tech among others.
"I really liked all the coaches there and I'm telling you the feeling I had when I got there was unreal," said Slay. "Their weightroom blew me away and everything was just great about it. My parents loved it and they are behind my decision.
"I just wanted to get the whole recruiting process over with so I can focus on my academics. I've visited other schools, and I've just not had this feeling. I know NC State is where I want to go to college. I'm glad it is already behind me."
Stone Bridge head coach Mickey Thompson knew he had landed a good player when Slay arrived from Georgia, but even he didn't know how good of a player Slay was.
"He was good on the highlight tape I saw, but he's even better after seeing him play everyday and working with him," said Thompson. "Honestly, I think he's a game-changer on the defensive line. He runs stuff down from the backside, forces fumbles, applies pressure... he's just a big, quick athlete.
"The thing with Brian is he's right around 6'2 or 6'3 and 275 pounds but he has great athleticism for a guy his size. The biggest thing for him is he's now in a solid weight program as he's working out daily in our weight class and he'll be even bigger and stronger next year."
Because of his size, Slay might eventually project as a defensive tackle, but his head coach feels that athletically he would be able to impact at defensive end.
"I'm sort of biased because I see him everyday, but I think he has great athleticism for a guy that size and he could be an edge-type player... he can play on the end, but with his physical attributes and ability, he could turn into whatever you're looking for. He will be able to play whatever the coaches want him to play."
"We have six or seven guys on our team that are receiving attention," added coach Thompson. "I'm sending out five or six game packages to various schools, and the first name mentioned is always Brian. I think with as good a crew as we have here, that says a lot.
"It's all the attributes I've mentioned to you before... his physical ability and the way he can move on the corner. He's ran down some extremely quick backs and just made plays for us."
Scouting Report: "Lining up at defensive end for Stone Bridge High School, Brian Slay is a high-intensity player who excels at making plays in the opposing team's backfield. He is quick at the point of attack and his size and strength allow him to manhandle offensive linemen on the high school level. He does a great job of shedding blocks and routinely beats the linemen across from him.
"Slay is explosive out of his stance and gets from point A to point B in a hurry. He moves well and is agile given his size but will likely be destined for defensive tackle in college where he could shine. Slay also plays with quite a bit of fire and emotion. As he matures and develops, Slay has the potential to develop into a solid defensive lineman for NC State down the road." - Pack Pride Recruiting Analyst Steve Williams
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