Talbert: 'Coach O'Brien was Happy'

Cincinnati (OH) Winton Woods tight end Anthony Talbert isn't surprised by the lack of major recruiting attention he has received. Frankly, he doesn't seem to care either.

Cincinnati (OH) Winton Woods tight end Anthony Talbert isn't surprised by the lack of major recruiting attention he has received. Frankly, he doesn't seem to care either.

"I'm not sure how many catches I had last year, but it wasn't a lot," said Talbert. "We are more of a run-oriented offense, so I didn't get to make a lot of catches, but I had enough to put together a highlight tape.

"I think that did limit how many schools were on me, but that's okay. I still got out there enough for schools to look at me and offer me a scholarship. That's what matters."

Talbert received offers from Cincinnati, NC State, Miami (OH), Akron, Ohio U., and Buffalo. All of the offers, except for one, were for him to play tight end... the Cincinnati Bearcats offered him as a defensive end.

NC State offensive line coach Don Horton began recruiting Talbert in the spring, and the Wolfpack offered a scholarship at the beginning of September.

"I remember they came to one of my workouts in the spring," said Talbert. "It was coach Horton, and he said they were going to be recruiting me. At that point, I was hearing from them here and there and they were sending me a lot of stuff.

"It wasn't until after my first game this season did they offer me... that was when my coach told me I had the offer from NC State."

The Wolfpack swooped in looking to lock Talbert up early. After extending a scholarship offer, they quickly scheduled an official visit for September 26th. Talbert came up and was hosted by defensive tackle Wayne Crawford, who received assistance from fellow redshirt freshman George Bryan.

"Wayne Crawford was my host," said Talbert. "He was a cool guy. He knew a lot that was going on around campus, and he kept telling me how great the school was.

"One of the players that really stuck out was another tight end, George Bryan. He's a really cool guy. He was saying to me that it is a good program, and I should come there and play. He said the school is great, and the coaches allows tight ends to be successful in their offense."

Bryan, now the Wolfpack's starting tight end, is being backed up by a walk on, Eric Weaver. With Anthony Hill graduating, that would leave NC State with just three scholarship tight ends in 2009, and one of them, Matt Kushner, will be returning from a serious knee injury. Did the chance to play early factor into Talbert's decision?

"That was probably one of the reasons I did commit, the early playing time," he said. "At the same time, if I don't play early I won't be discouraged because the spot isn't going to be given to me. I know I have to work hard to get on the field."

Even before arriving in Raleigh for his visit, Talbert felt like he would commit.

"I knew for a couple of weeks that I would be going to NC State," he said. "It was mainly after I started talking to the coaches. I realize how good a program it is. They are in the ACC, and it doesn't get much better than that.

"My mom came up with me on my visit, and she liked it too. She likes the school a lot, and it is a beautiful campus. What she liked the most was the coaching staff. She thought the coaches seemed to be all about the kids on the team and not just about it being a business. She feels like they really care about the players, and I know that was important to her."

Talbert informed NC State head coach Tom O'Brien that he wanted to commit in their final meeting of the weekend.

"I committed to coach O'Brien in the meeting," he said. "We were talking about how the weekend went, and I had some questions for coach O'Brien. I wanted to know what he likes for recruits to do when they are committed. He said that he wouldn't want them to go on any other visits because NC State is committed to them so he would want them to be committed to NC State. After he told me that, I went ahead and committed. I can understand what he means because it shows loyalty. When you give a commitment it should be solid because he is being loyal to you by holding a scholarship for you.

"After he answered that question I committed... coach O'Brien was happy. He stood up and gave me a big handshake. Then the rest of the coaches said they were happy too."

Checking in at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Talbert is already an effective blocker and he can stretch the field from the tight end position. NC State likes the attributes he brings to the table.

"They like that I have good size and big hands," he stated. "Once they do start throwing me the ball, I won't drop it. They also like that I have a good frame where they can put a lot of weight on me."

With his college decision behind him, Talbert can now focus on his senior season on the field and in the classroom. Sporting a 3.5 GPA and a qualifying SAT score, he already has a potential major in mind and another visit scheduled.

"I'm going to back down in November for a game," he said. "I think it's going to be the Miami game that we go back down for.

"My decision is solid. I like the school a lot, and I'm sure I'm going to fall in love with it even more. I'm thinking about majoring in chemical engineering, and I know they have that there."

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