"I'm kind of surprised I didn't have any offers, but my coaches told me last week that NC State was going to offer," said Welch. "I just got the official letter today... it feels great.
"NC State hasn't been recruiting me long. I think about a month ago they came to Elder and left some camp information and a card. I mailed them my highlight tape and that's when they offered me. I haven't talked to the coaches yet, but I'm going to call them here soon."
Welch's mother was in North Carolina and after finding out about the offer she stopped by NC State to gather more information.
"My mom is actually down in North Carolina for some business so she went by NC State [on Tuesday] and did a tour with the coaches," said Welch. "She told me that it was a really big school and the facilities are great. She also said that the coaches were real impressive... I could tell she liked it a lot.
"I don't know too much about them so I'm going to visit for maybe the Junior Day, a spring practice... I want to get down there. I was told that they use their tight ends a lot and that will be a big factor in my decision. I know they have Jeff Rieskamp there... he played here at Elder. He was a really good defensive end for us... we actually went to the same grade school."
Welch has also heard about NC State's coaching staff from the coaches at Elder High.
"My coaches said the NC State coaches were great guys," he stated. "I was talking with coach tonight, and he was telling me again about how the NC State coaches are."
Checking in at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Welch totaled 32 catches for 470 yards and four touchdowns during his junior campaign. While NC State is the first school to offer, a host of other colleges are expressing interest and could do so in the near future.
"I was talking to our coaches and they think once you get the first offer a lot more schools will offer you," said Welch. "I've been getting letters since my sophomore year from schools like Indiana, UC, Virginia, Kansas, Michigan State, UCLA, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, LSU, and some others.
"I'm going to Michigan State's Junior Day this weekend, and I've been up to Notre Dame for an unofficial visit."
Part of the reason why Welch doesn't have more offers could be because he's battling back from a shoulder injury suffered midway through his junior year. The injury prevented him from playing basketball this year, but he believes that he'll be ready to go next fall.
"My labrum, I tore it in my right shoulder," said Welch. "I'm not playing basketball, but it's doing a lot better. I'll be ready when we start back with football."
Admitting that he is in no hurry to make a decision, Welch says a few schools stick out.
"I would say my top five would be NC State, Virginia, Notre Dame, UC, and Ohio State," he stated. "But I have no idea when I will commit to a school. I don't plan on making a decision before the start of my senior year, but you never know."
Welch projects as a full qualifier as he currently has a 3.4 GPA.