Each year it seems like prospects start to emerge earlier than the previous year. Rising junior defensive end Noah Spence from Bishop-McDevitt High School in Harrisburg (PA) already has a long list of verbal offers.
NC State is one of the schools that identified Spence's talent early and couldn't resist in offering him, at least verbally. Written offers cannot be extended until September 1 of this coming fall semester, but you can bet those verbal offers will certainly translate into written offers.
Spence is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, prospect in Pennsylvania for the Class of 2012. That's high praise, considering the state's 2012 haul is considered to be a significant upgrade over the current crop of rising seniors.
At 6-3 and 225-pounds, Spence has outstanding pass rushing skills and has a knack for creating havoc in the offensive backfield. Opposing high school coaches and players are going to have their hands full trying to keep him in check for the next two years, while Spence is going to be bombarded with phone calls and offers in the coming months.
Spence told Pack Pride last week that 12 schools, NC State among them, have offered him scholarships so far. While contact is greatly limited under NCAA regulations, Spence has gone out of his way to do his research on schools. He has already visited the two major Pennsylvania schools in BCS conferences -- Pitt and Penn State -- as well as NC State and Rutgers, another school that's not too far from his home.
How did his trip to NC State go?
"I liked the southern hospitality," the personable Spence laughed. "I really liked the coaching staff and their defense. I liked their facilities and the campus life there."
Spence said NC State verbally offered him around Easter of this year. That's when a lot of schools started extended verbal offers, as it wasn't too long after the Premier Showcase at Rutgers, where he firmly established himself as one of the top junior defensive prospects in his class.
"I know they talked to my coach when they came in to visit the school," Spence said of the NC State coaches. "I talked to them while I was down there for the visit. Other than that we really can't have a lot of contact with the coaches yet."
Though Spence says he had a great time on his trip to NC State it's far too early for him to start talking about favorites.
"It's totally wide open," he added. "I haven't narrowed anything yet."
He's not sure which schools have the edge, but he does know what he's looking for in a school. Listening to Spence speak it's as though you are talking to a seasoned veteran of the recruiting process, when in reality it's still very new to him, and he's still very young.
"I'm gonna have to fit in real well with the defense," he said. "What they're running, what my body type is like with the position they want me to play. I'm gonna have to feel like I belong there. It needs to be a family atmosphere. Those are the two most important things. Plus, my parents are going to have to like it.
"They're (parents) definitely okay with me leaving the area. They said if I choose to go far they'll fly out and see me. They'd be cool with that. They just have to feel the same way I do as far as me fitting in with the school. I'm definitely not excluding any schools yet."
Pack Gets in Early With 2012 Standout
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