NC State landed DE Shea McKeen in the class of 2008 and that signaled the Pack’s desire to become more of a recruiting force in the state of New Jersey. Since then, the Wolfpack has targeted several other Garden State standouts with the latest being massive DT Tyson Chandler from North Plainfield (NJ) High School.
At 6-6, 340 pounds Chandler is a behemoth at the defensive tackle position and he was able to translate that into a huge junior season. On the year he collected 55 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and nine sacks en route to all-conference, all-area and all-state honors.
To date Chandler boasts scholarship offers from NC State, Maryland, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Temple, South Florida and New Mexico State. Over the summer the rising senior was able to take in camps at Rutgers and Connecticut while also working in a recent unofficial visit to NC State. It would appear that the visit to Raleigh boosted the Pack’s chances to land Chandler later in the year.
“I went to NC State about two weeks ago,” he said. “I really liked it. I only got to meet the offensive line coach and the strength coach. I also had a chance to watch their morning runs and tour the facilities and dorms and I really liked it. I had a really good feeling from then from when I first got there. The Murphy center is real nice. All the players were cool and it really felt like a big family there.
“NC State told me that I could start off at defensive tackle my first year but if I’m not making plays they might move me to the offensive line.”
NC State special team’s coach Jerry Petercuskie has spearheaded the Wolfpack’s recruiting efforts in New Jersey and Chandler indicated that he’s made a very favorable impression.
“Coach Petercuskie is recruiting me and he came in May to see me at the school,” said Chandler. “I got to see him again when I went down and he was real cool. He set up the visit for me and was just a really cool guy.”
Although there’s still a ways to go before Chandler makes a decision on his future college, three programs have separated themselves on his favorite’s list.
“NC State really stuck out when I went there and I also like Connecticut and Rutgers,” he said. “Those are pretty much my top three.”
Chandler added that his official visits will be key when it comes time to make a decision and he knows exactly what he’ll be looking for when making those all-important trips.
“I think I’m going to wait and take my official visits first (before making a decision),” he said. “I’ve visited a lot of the places I need to go but I want to make my decision after my official visits.
“I really just want to go to a nice place but college is going to be a different experience for me so I want to go somewhere that I feel comfortable and not out of place.”