Right now Scout.com has North Hunterdon (NJ) Annandale's Kevin Haplea pegged as the No. 6 tight end in the nation. Considering he has been highly interested in NC State for a while now, it might come as a bit of a surprise that the Pack is only now offering.
Going into last week the recruiting process was already looking pretty good for Haplea. He held offers from Miami, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, West Virginia and others, and several other schools were highly interested.
A lot has changed since then. Last Thursday the 6-4, 240 pound tight end from the Garden State picked up an offer from Florida State. The next day Louisville offered a scholarship as well. On Tuesday of this week Clemson offered, and NC State offered on Wednesday.
Why did it take the Pack so long to offer? There's a pretty good reason, according to Haplea himself.
"I started looking at (NC State) the summer (after) my sophomore year," he explained. "So they had my sophomore highlights. A coach came to my school last winter -- coach Petercuskie. We're not allowed to talk but we said 'hi' in the hallway.
"I think the concern he had at the time was that I was around the same height but only about 225 pounds. I'm up to about 240 now. I guess he just wanted to make sure I filled out like I could with the frame I've got."
According to Haplea the delay hasn't hurt the Pack too much. It just means the two parties have some catching up to do.
"I used to be in more constant contact with them, but then I guess it kinda fizzled out a little bit. We haven't really talked that often. When I first started getting my first few offers they weren't really talking to me. They've just recently picked up again.
"After the spring I'm going to check out all the places I have offers from. I want to see all the schools I want to keep on my list. Then I'll look at the schools I haven't been to and just do as much research as I can. From there I'll start to narrow things down. But I'll give everyone the same chance."
Haplea has a pretty good tie to the Clemson program.
"The new assistant head coach at Clemson actually coached my high school coach at Virginia Tech in 2004, I think," he said. "We were in contact with him earlier and we've been talking to them for a while. Florida State and Louisville were a little out of the blue."
Haplea attended the Penn State spring game last weekend. So far this spring he has visited Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, West Virginia and Syracuse.
What are his summer plans?
"I'm leaving the last half day of school to go to Florida for a trip down there," he said. "We originally planned to see Miami and Florida. Now with the Florida State offer we're probably going to try to swing by Tallahassee, too. Maybe we'll take a road trip to some place like Clemson, too."