Pack Has Ground to Make Up With Underwood

Where does NC State stand for Fuquay-Varina defensive tackle Shaun Underwood? Pack Pride has the latest.

Pack Pride spoke with Fuquay-Varina (NC) defensive tackle Shaun Underwooda couple of times over the last week or so and it's clear that he's quickly establishing himself as one of the state's top prospects for the class of 2011.

At Saturday's Shrine Bowl Combine held at Eastern Alamance High School, Underwood checked in at 6-0, 318 pounds and ran an impressive 4.97-second 40-yard dash. He also put up 29 reps of 185 pounds on the bench press. That combination of size and strength has led to a string of scholarship offers with more certain to come.

He already boasts offers from all five Division I football programs in the state of North Carolina, as well as Penn State, South Carolina and New Mexico.

Though Underwood has not visited any schools over the past couple of weeks the last place he was at was NC State, and that trip was not too long ago.

"I went to one of their practices," Underwood recalled, speaking of NC State. "I've been up there quite a few times. That's the place I've visited the most. I had a good time the last time I was there. I liked watching them do their one on one drills and just pretty much the whole practice. It was pretty good.

"I think I talked to all of the coaches except for the linebackers coach. Coach (Mike) Archer is the one that's recruiting me. I always get letters from him, but as far as me calling him, I haven't talked to him like that.

"I really like their defensive line coach. We really hit it off every time we talk. I can see that their team is getting better. They had a lot of injuries last year which kind of hurt their season."

Will Underwood's familiarity with the NC State program prove difficult for other schools to overcome? Where does the Pack fit into his list of favorites?

"I mean, I think they're in my top five or so," he said.

To land Underwood, the Pack will likely have to beat out a trio of schools that the rising senior currently places at the top of his list. So who are the three?

"Probably Penn State, UNC and Wake Forest. At Penn State I would probably have a chance to come in and start. At least that's what they're telling me because they're losing a lot of seniors. At Wake Forest, I like their academics. UNC has like a big family atmosphere over there."

Underwood has visited Wake Forest and North Carolina, but he hasn't been to Penn State yet. He hopes to visit every school that has offered him this summer -- at least those that he is able to fit in.

He plans on making his decision after taking some official visits and after his senior season.

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