NC State clearly wanted a center in the class of 2009 and they met that goal this past weekend after securing a verbal commitment from Marietta (Ga) Lassiter OL Camden Wentz.
At 6-4, 280 pounds, Wentz was an all-county performer this past season whose recruiting boiled down to Louisville and NC State. This past weekend he made his official visit to Raleigh after visiting the Cardinals a week earlier. That trip proved pivotal in the Wolfpack landing the standout lineman. Wentz talked with Pack Pride about his time at NC State.
“It was great,” said Wentz. “I had a great time and I committed. I loved both NC State and Louisville. Both are phenomenal schools, phenomenal programs, great coaches and great players. What it came down to for me was the history that coach O’Brien and coach Horton have with putting players in the NFL. That was what really triggered it. I couldn’t find a separating point between NC State and Louisville. They seemed to be very similar to each other.
“If I had gone to Louisville I would have had a chance to play as a freshman but at State I have a chance to play as a redshirt freshman because they have two centers right now but they’re both redshirt juniors. So after they graduate there will be a chance for me after my redshirt year to compete to play. I don’t have a problem redshirting because the offensive line is the toughest position to make the jump from high school to college because the speed and strength is so much different. So, being redshirted for me is probably a good thing.”
On Saturday Wentz had an opportunity to watch the Wolfpack practice and specifically, the offensive line. Offensive line coach Don Horton made a big impression and that helped pave the way for Wentz’s decision.
“Coach Horton is a very soft spoken man. He helps all of his players. After each play he would go up to each player and tell them what they did wrong or what they could do better. That’s the kind of coaching I like. He’s not going to be screaming his head off or going crazy. He’s going to be straight with you and tell you what you did wrong and then try to help you.”
Living just a couple of blocks apart, Wentz and Woodstock (Ga) OL Duran Christophe struck up a friendship after their recruiting boiled down to the same two programs. Despite being separated by just a short distance, the two had never met before last weekend. However, it didn’t take long for them to become close and now they’ll both continue their careers at NC State.
“The first time we met was last weekend at Louisville and we just clicked because we were down to the same two schools,” said Wentz. “We talked about how we loved both schools. After the visit to Louisville visit we thought we were going there but after the visit this weekend, we talked some more. When we got in the car, we were like, we’re leaning to NC State. Some people thought we were a package deal. We weren’t technically a package deal but I think if he had picked first I would’ve gone where he went because he lives close to me and he’s someone I’m friends with. And if I had picked a school first then that’s probably who he would’ve went with.”
On the ride back to Georgia, both Christophe and Wentz made calls to NC State informing the coaches of their decision. However, the call to Louisville wasn’t as easy.
I”t was the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life. I don’t think they (Louisville) ever thought I was going to commit to NC State because they thought they had me locked up. I think it hit them a little hard. That was the hardest call to make and we were dreading it all the way home because not only was I calling but he was going to call after me.”
Wentz said his recruiting is now over and he plans to work hard on academics and getting in better shape as he makes the transition to college football next summer.
“NC State is my school. That’s where I’m going. I’m not taking any more visits. I’m just working on school and trying to get faster and stronger. This summer I’ll be down on campus.”
Wentz is rated a three-star prospect and the No. 11 center in the nation by Scout.com.