Raynard Randolph has been waiting for his chance to join the Wolfpack family for a while now but after signing with NC State last Wednesday, finds that he still has some unfinished business to take care.
The 6-2, 325-pound prospect was ready to make an impact on the program this past fall, but he had to spend some time at Hargrave Military Academy first.
"The time at Hargrave went pretty well," Randolph recently told Pack Pride. "My best game was against Fork Union, a big prep school rival."
NC State is anxious to get Randolph on campus, as they have projected him as a potential early contributor for quite a while now. Randolph is similarly excited about the future, largely because the Pack stuck by him when it would have been easy not to.
"They've stayed with me," he said. "Any other team could have dropped me easily. They've got confidence that I'm gonna do what I can do, so that means a lot to me."
The Pack is hoping Randolph takes care of what he's responsible for. No one has ever doubted his athletic ability, but the prep school standout still has to finish up in the class room to gain eligibility as a freshman at NC State next fall.
"I'm just trying to get through the same struggle I've been in for the past year, just trying to get to NC State. Right now I'm still testing. I'm taking the ACT here coming up. The SAT just passed, and I'm still taking tests. I think I have to pull up my score a little bit on the SAT... that and the ACT.
"I'm feeling confident. I've got a couple of legit tutors that are giving me some good tools so I can do well on the test."
Randolph has kept in regular contact with assistant coach Keith Willis, who would be his position coach in Raleigh. He said his last trip to Raleigh was during the month of December.
Gwynn Park Head Coach Danny Hayes says: "We do most of our running behind him whether he is playing offensive guard or tackle and have been very successful because of that. He could definitely play on either side of the ball whether it is offensive guard or nose tackle and is one of the smartest linemen I have ever had at Gwynn Park. He's quick off the ball, has good speed and is just a very instinctual player.
"Run blocking really comes natural to him, but he loves to pass protect which you don't find in a lot of lineman. Raynard is very coachable, he picks things up quickly and he isn't afraid to ask questions. It's like having another coach on the field because he knows what all 11 players are supposed to be doing and those are some of the reasons he was the only sophomore captain I have ever had."
Why NC State? "It's so close to home... the business program too. I'm trying to be a Business Management major, and their business program is one of the top-ranked in the nation. That was an extra plus. It all just felt good... it was a good decision."
Picked NC State Over: Michigan State, Maryland, Penn State