The younger brother of legendary Wolfpack quarterback Philip Rivers, NC State fans have been hoping that the Wolfpack could make a move with Stephen and getting him on campus only improved their chances.
"It was a great visit," Rivers told Pack Pride this morning. "It really opened my eyes. I enjoyed spending time with the coaches and the facilities are top-notch, but I already knew that.
"I've been back a couple of times since Philip left, but I was able to see everything this time around and it was definitely impressive. NC State's a special place."
Rivers had a chance to talk with NC State offensive coordinator Dana Bible.
"I enjoyed that a lot," he said. "We watched some film and talked about the offense. Obviously it's appealing with the quarterbacks coach Bible has coached and the success he's had.
"Their situation at quarterback is appealing. Coach Bible talked about how Russell would only be around another year or so and then you have Mike Glennon. After Glennon they'll be looking for the next guy, and it will be a competition... and that guy could probably start three years."
Stephen and his family lived in Raleigh while Philip attended NC State, and he remembers his time in the area.
"There's not too many people still at State when we were associated with them, but it's a great place," he said. "When we were there we loved the area and enjoyed our time in Raleigh.
"Philip, he talks about his time at NC State a lot. He loved it. He loves everything that went on at NC State and enjoyed his time at the school and within the program. He's always talking about how much fun he had at State in Raleigh."
Some speculated that the reason Rivers didn't list NC State early was because he may not want to follow in his brother's footsteps. Is that the case?
"Honestly early on I think the distance was a big factor for me," he said. "It's about 12 hours from my house and earlier I really focused in on some schools closer to home, but I'm looking for the best situation as far as being able to play."
Rated a three-star prospect and the No. 28 quarterback in the country by Scout.com, Rivers passed for 2,200 yards with 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions during his junior campaign. The 6-foot-7, 205-pounder eerily resembles his older brother on film, and Stephen admits he's heard that before.
"College coaches tell me that I throw like Philip all the time," he said. "Our release points are about the same. If you'd ask Philip he would probably say my feet are a little faster than his but that may be because I'm not quite as big as he was. But that's probably the thing... my dad has said I'm a little quicker on his feet.
"He was bigger than me though. Right now I'm 6'7 and about 205 pounds. I want to be up to 215 by the start of my senior season. That would be nice."
|"He loved it."|
Rivers believes that he is able to play in multiple offensive systems because of his familiarity with different schemes.
"I've actually had a good situation in high school where we ran two different offenses," he said. "One was a spread and the other is play-action passing, out of the I. It would be a bonus for a school that they run an offense more like those on the next level."
Rivers admits that he's starting to focus in on his recruitment. He has held offers from NC State, Florida State, Mississippi State, Stanford, UCLA, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt among others.
"Some of those schools have folks already committed," he said. "I haven't narrowed it down to the point of committing... I want to get out and make sure I see the schools, get to know the coaches. That's a big part of my visit to NC State."
While Rivers hopes to have a decision by the start of his senior year, he isn't rushing to pick a school.
"I may go visit Vanderbilt in July, and I might go back to Mississippi State one more time," he said. "I'm not really in a hurry to pick a school, but if something were to stand out to me I'll do it. I'm not really looking at putting out a top three or top five... it could be a deal where when I'm ready I'll just make a decision.
"I'm looking for the best situation when it comes to playing time. I don't necessarily want to go in and start right away, that doesn't come along often, but I want to compete for the job and play a decent amount of years. I also want to be comfortable with the coaching staff and have the ability to win. The school may not need to be winning right now, but I want to see the potential is there. It's like when Philip was at NC State, they were winning seven, eight, nine games a year and competing in the ACC. I want to be able to compete like that wherever I go."