Howell: 'It Felt Like Home'

Richard Howell

Marietta (GA) Wheeler power forward Richard Howell took his official visit to NC State this past weekend, and the Wolfpack verbal commitment left pleased with his decision.

Marietta (GA) Wheeler power forward Richard Howell took his official visit to NC State this past weekend, and the Wolfpack verbal commitment left pleased with his decision.

"It went good," said Howell. "I think I bonded with the players at State real well. It was my first time up there where I could really look at the college, and it felt like home.

"I've been to some very good colleges while I've been recruited, and I think I made one of the best decisions in my life."

While in Raleigh, Howell was hosted by a pair of Wolfpack seniors. Although he knows that he won't be able to play with them, he did spend time with a close friend who has also committed to NC State.

"Courtney Fells and Simon Harris were my hosts," said Howell. "I wish they were sophomores or juniors so I could play with them because I bonded with them. We went out and had a real good time."

"C.J. Leslie was also there," Howell added. "I already knew C.J. from AAU basketball because he played with Worldwide too. We're real good friends... I'm going to like playing with him at NC State. I think he's a great player, and I don't think a lot of people know about him yet. I think he's going to be one of the best players in his class... he's going to surprise some people."

While in Raleigh, Howell had a chance to catch the Wolfpack's Red-White Game. What were his impressions of the event?

"They showed they have some good players," he said. "I liked what I got to see from them. They have some talent and some good guys I didn't even know they had.

"I already knew about guys like Courtney and [Ben] McCauley, but [Javy] Gonzalez really stood out to me. He has a nice jumpshot... I think he can play."

Howell is currently rated the No. 51 player overall in the 2009 class and the No. 19 power forward by Scout.com. The 6-foot-8, 225-pounder believes that he has a chance to come in and help NC State win right away.

"When I get to NC State I want to be a scorer and a leader," he said. "I'll play wherever the coaches want me to play. I'm going to do whatever I need to do to help us win the game."

He originally committed to NC State over offers from Oregon, Marquette, Tennessee, Texas, Memphis, and Oklahoma State among others. Maintaining that his decision is final, look for Howell to finalize his decision on the first day of the fall signing period.

"The plan is for me to sign on November 12th," he said. "I'm not sure if I'm going to sign at my school that day or not. I might have something downtown with Mfon Udofia and Ari Stewart, two of my AAU teammates. We may do something downtown that night together with our AAU coach."

As one of the key cogs in Marietta (GA) Wheeler's lineup, Howell is looking forward to his senior season. A difficult schedule lies ahead, but he believes that his team will be ready.

"We started working out on Monday," said Howe.. "I think we're real solid... we'll be good. We've just got to put everything together.

"This year we have a lot of events. We're playing in the Beach Ball Classic, the City of Palms, and we're doing a tournament in Florida and one in Kentucky. We're going to a lot of places."

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