PackPride.com recently caught up with Lancaster, Ohio linebacker Ryan Cheek for the first time since he verbally committed to the Wolfpack in late May. He was one of several recruits in town for NC State's big win over the Pirates and, like others, he had plenty of positive things to say.
Cheek turned down offers from Cincinnati, Akron, Ohio University, Eastern Michigan, Marshall and Maryland before committing to the Pack and after experiencing his first game of the year at Carter-Finley he's more confident than ever that he made the right choice.
"We got their at 9 o'clock to get tickets then just hung out at the facilities," Cheek said. "We waited around for the Walk of Champions, and after we saw that we ate and went on the field for warm ups and to watch the game. It was just an unofficial visit.
"The game was just awesome. Overtime was fun and it was good to see the defense play well again. I talked to Coach McCollum and Coach Horton, and they just told me after the game that I picked a good one to go to.
"Hopefully I'll be able to make it to a couple more, it's just hard because it's so far away. If it were up to me I'd go to every home game."
"I saw Brian Slay at the game and talked to him for the first time. That was pretty cool. I also met the defensive end, Markus Kuhn, and Jeff Rieskamp. There were a couple of others, too."
While a few other schools still have Cheek on their mailing lists he doesn't anticipate a change of heart. In fact, he's ruled it out.
"I still get letters but nobody has really called me since I committed," he said. "I'm definitely a solid commit. I'm not going to change my mind."
Cheek missed Lancaster's first game of the year but has put up big numbers since. On the year he has rushed for around 400 yards with six touchdowns and passed for four more scores. In his last game he recorded two sacks, forced a fumble and blocked a kick. All that, mind you, while dealing with injury problems.
"The last game I barely played on offense and just made it through three plays in the second half," he said. "I'm still dealing with an ankle problem and a hip flexor. One day it'll feel fine and the next day it'll hurt. I can't really rest it right now, but they tell me once I can it will be fine."
Cheek is rated a three-star prospect and the No. 28 middle linebacker in the nation by Scout.com.
Photo courtesy of Deidre Webb