McCray: 'They Have Nice Facilities'

One of the top prospects in Raleigh this weekend was Lynchburg (VA) Brookville jumbo athlete Zack McCray who landed an offer from NC State.

One of the top prospects in Raleigh this weekend was Lynchburg (VA) Brookville jumbo athlete Zack McCray who landed an offer from NC State.

"As soon as I got to NC State they took me up to see coach [O'Brien]," said McCray. "He wanted me to make sure that I knew I had an offer from them. We sat down and talked for a while, and he said that after evaluating my film the entire staff wanted to offer me a scholarship.

"We talked some more about a lot of stuff. Coach O'Brien just told me to enjoy their Junior Day and to take it all in. He said to think about everything and when it's time for me to make my college decision to make the best choice for me but to not rush into it."

What did McCray think of the Wolfpack's Junior Day?

"It was really fun," he stated. "I had never been down there before so I really wanted to check them out. They have nice facilities, and I really liked the coaches. I just had a lot of fun down at NC State."

One of the highlights of the visit for McCray was spending time with defensive line coach Keith Willis. Willis and McCray have already started to form a strong relationship.

"Coach Willis is probably the one coach I've made the strongest relationship with as far as who is recruiting me," said McCray. "He's really cool and down-to-earth.

"We talked about how they would use me if I went there and he said they are mainly recruiting me as a defensive end. He said that if it didn't work out or I wanted to move over to tight end, they would look at me over there if need be, but they would first start me out as a five-technique."

Although McCray had never been to NC State, he was being told all about the Wolfpack by 2009 signee Brian Slay.

"I talk to Brian Slay a lot," said McCray. "He's signed to go there and we talk about a lot of things because we're friends. He just told me to go down there and enjoy the visit. He was hoping it would go well and that I would like it at NC State. He wished me the best."

Checking in at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, McCray ended his junior season with 10 catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns, and 87 tackles, 20 sacks, and an interception. His value as a recruit is evident by the attention he has already received, as McCray has already landed written scholarship offers from Virginia, West Virginia, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, Duke, Tennessee, and LSU.

"There was a long stretch where I didn't receive any offers and I got in three over the last week and a half so I'm just taking it all in," said McCray. "I'm having a lot of fun though. It seems like all of these coaches are great and it's a big family. It's going to be a hard decision for me... probably the hardest part will be when I have to tell the other coaches that I won't be playing for them."

McCray experienced some of the recruiting process last year when his first cousin and teammate, Logan Thomas, endured the phone calls and attention that comes with being a highly-regarded recruit. Thomas signed with Virginia Tech, a program that McCray is seriously considering. Will that play a role in McCray's final decision?

"Logan's decision won't play any role in my decision," he said. "He's my first cousin and we're really close, but he's made his decision. He knows what the process is like.

"He's not going to pressure me. I'm going to make my choice. I plan on taking my time and taking some visits before committing to a school."

As it stands now, four programs stick out to McCray.

"There are a few schools coming after me hard," he said. "I'd say LSU, North Carolina, NC State, and Virginia Tech... those four right now are probably sticking out the most to me with Wake Forest and Maryland right behind them.

"I like all of them for different reasons. I just want to get to know a little bit more about them before I make a decision."

Here are McCray's thoughts on those four programs.

LSU: "LSU has a really nice program, and they always compete for the national championship. I really hit it off with coach Miles... he's really funny and a humble guy."

North Carolina: "Butch Davis has really turned the program. It's not far from home and they are doing good things at North Carolina. I think in a few years they can compete for a national championship too."

Virginia Tech: "They are all really cool... I've been around them a lot due to Logan's recruitment. Coach Foster and Coach Wiles are really cool. They've been after me very hard since I went up to camp and was offered by them. It's just a unique situation."

NC State: "NC State is kind of new and just offered me, but I really like them. After taking the visit, I really like the campus and the coaches. Coach Willis is a great coach and a good person. He was telling me how I need to make the best decision for me... as far as what I want to do with my life after college."

McCray has a plan in place. Look for him to reach a decision as soon as he knows what school he wants to attend because he hopes to help recruit other talented prospects.

"I would love to be an early enrollee but with our scheduling at school it isn't possible," he said. "I'm going to commit way before Signing Day. It will probably be in the spring, summer or sometime during the football season. I don't want to drag it out. I want to get it out of the way so I can help recruit some other good players in my class to go to the same school I pick."

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