Gwynn Park (Brandywine, Md) standout defensive tackle Raynard Randolph had been on the NC State radar for months with the Pack very near the top of his wish-list throughout the recruiting process. The 6-3, 300 pound lineman boasted scholarship offers from several schools but put his recruiting to an end this past weekend when he committed to the Wolfpack after an official visit to Raleigh. Pack Pride talked to Randolph about what he saw on the visit that led him to his decision.
“The visit, it was wonderful,” said Randolph. It was just a lot of love down there. The atmosphere was great. Everything went perfect.”
One of the focuses for Randolph during the recruiting process has been the education side of college and he said that aspect of his visit was a highlight.
“The tour I got was wonderful,” he said. “I’m trying to major in business and one of the people taking me around was majoring in that and she was telling me a couple of facts about the business program and how highly it’s ranked. So, that was a big plus.”
Randolph was hosted by a current defensive lineman who did his part to sell the NC State program. That, combined with time spent talking to head coach Tom O’Brien and defensive line coach Keith Willis helped put the Pack over the top.
“Leroy Burgess hosted me,” he said. “He was telling me that the fans were wonderful and the education system was good, too. I also talked to Coach O’Brien and he’s a real straightforward guy and tells you exactly how he feels.
“Coach Willis has been recruiting me and he was telling me that he really wants me there and we talked about my business major. He was telling me how good the business program is. Plus, State is only about four hours from home so he was like, this is home.”
Randolph said he loved the vibe he got from the current team when in Raleigh and they went out of their way to make sure he felt like NC State could be a home away from home.
“They (the team) were always messing with me talking about how I needed to come on home and I liked that. It was cool and made me feel like I was at home.”
Randolph was a second team All-Met selection as an offensive lineman in 2008. He is currently rated a three-star prospect and the No. 55 defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com. ESPN rated Randolph as the No. 23 defensive tackle in the nation. He chose the Pack over offers from Michigan State, Maryland and West Virginia among others.