While the timing of Cary (NC) defensive end Fre'Shad Hunter's
commitment to NC State might have surprised some Wolfpack fans, it certainly didn't shock him as he went into his unofficial visit looking to make a decision.
"I went to State that Saturday thinking I was going to do it," said Hunter. "I had talked with coach Archer earlier in the week, and we touched bases on some things. After that, I felt like I was going to do it when I came over for the Pitt game."
Hunter made his commitment to NC State official while meeting with head coach Tom O'Brien.
"I just pulled the trigger on it," said Hunter. "Coach O'Brien was real pumped up and seemed excited about it. Everything just felt right for me with State."
The NC State fans left a big impression on Hunter as he sat in the stands for the Wolfpack's 38-31 victory over Pitt.
"It was rainy, but the crowd was crazy," he stated. "That's a true fanbase for you. It was raining and nasty and even got a little cold out there but that didn't stop them.
"There were some diehard fans who stayed and watched them score 21 unanswered points. Man, it was loud and crazy out there."
Rated a four-star recruit and considered one of the top defensive linemen in the country by Scout.com, Hunter had plenty of options. Programs such as LSU, Virginia Tech, Florida State, and Tennessee among others were in pursuit. However, NC State led for much of his recruitment as the hometown school was the first to offer a scholarship. What was the biggest factor in Hunter's decision?
"State's atmosphere, and it's a family," he said. "I have chemistry with a lot of the players on the team, and I know a lot of the other recruits. I talked to Willie Young and some of the other players after I committed... he said welcome to the Pack.
"State was just the best fit for me. I was talking to my mom about it and she said to follow my heart and think about my decision. I knew this was what I wanted to do."
While at State Hunter also had a chance to talk with several recruits. He spent most of his time with Greensboro (NC) Dudley safety David Amerson, another big-time target for the Wolfpack.
"David Amerson was the main recruit I talked to," said Hunter. "I don't want to put all his info out there, but I think he has a top three right now with State his No. 1. When I was there I told him that I was going to get it done.
"I started talking with him a couple of months ago when I came up for a scrimmage and he was there. He kept asking me what I was going to do and now he knows."
Checking in at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds Hunter has the frame to start out at strongside defensive end and could ultimately end up inside at defensive tackle. He spoke some with coach O'Brien about his future position when he committed.
"They are recruiting me right now to be a defensive end," Hunter said. "Coach O'Brien also told me I could probably put on 40 pounds because of my frame and be a defensive tackle, but I think I'm going to start out at defensive end."
Hunter maintains that his commitment is firm. With his decision behind him, look for him to focus on his senior season and academics.
"I wanted to go ahead and get this commitment out of the way so I can focus on my grades," he said. "I'm going to buckle down and work hard so I can be at State next year. They are playing a lot of freshmen and putting together a strong team. Things are just now getting started.
"I'm happy with my decision and know I'm going to State. I did all the thinking I needed to do, and I know my heart is with the Wolfpack family."
Pack Pride Scouting Report: "When evaluating Cary (NC) defensive lineman Fre'Shad Hunter, you have to start with his motor and
intensity. Hunter is extremely aggressive coming off the edge and gives 100% which
is certainly an attribute the NC State coaching staff has to be excited about.
"Hunter has a college-ready frame and where he ends up on the next
level, inside or outside, may simply depend on how much bulk he packs on over the
"In high school he has the ability to dominate due to his size and his initial burst
is tough for linemen to handle at that level. He is still fairly raw as a defensive
lineman with technique which means Hunter has some upside to improve even more.
However, when you combine his size, quickness and motor, Hunter is a prospect with a
huge ceiling and the potential to emerge into a standout college defender down the
road." -- Pack Pride Recruiting Analyst Steve Williams
While the timing of Cary (NC) defensive end Fre'Shad Hunter's commitment to NC State might have surprised some Wolfpack fans, it certainly didn't shock him as he went into his unofficial visit looking to make a decision.
NC State commitment Fre'Shad Hunter talks with Pack Pride.