After being accepted by four schools, 18-year-old country music star Scotty McCreery has told N.C. State University, “I love you this big.”
He’ll be a Wolfpacker in the fall.
The deep-voiced Garner High School senior broke the news before picking up New Artist of the Year honors over the weekend at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.
In an interview with Cody Allen on CMT Radio, McCreery said, “There were a lot of good schools in Nashville, but I’ve decided to head down to Raleigh where my dad went to college at N.C. State, at least for two years, and maybe transfer to Nashville then. I’m excited. I’ve got some boys going there and some friends. We’ll have a good time.”
On Monday, reaction to McCreery’s school choice among some N.C. State students varied from enthused to Simon Cowell sour.
N.C. State University’s student newspaper, Technician, gave the news front-page play with a headline above the fold. Laura Wilkinson, Technician’s editor in chief, said she was excited by the prospect of a local celebrity joining State’s red ranks.
But Ian Peterson, an Apex junior and president of the all-male acapella group Grains of Time, said the singer – who wowed audiences with his hit “I Love You This Big” and whose first album, “Clear as Day,” went platinum – is “just another bass.”
“We’ll give him the same treatment as everyone else,” Peterson said. “We don’t plan on recruiting him.”
Some students thought McCreery will fit in just as Wolfpack sports stars do.
“I guess it’s really exciting because he’s so cute and talented, but it would basically be the same as having a class with an athlete – it’s just another person,” said Kate Howie, a Monroe sophomore.
Some were impressed that McCreery has chosen to stay down-home despite his success.
“It’s nice to know a local person can (win) ‘American Idol’ and still stay true to what he wants,” said Amber Wallace, a junior from Beulaville. “I respect that he’s an upcoming star and he’s choosing school right now instead of pursuing fame.”
Erin Mooneyham, a Raleigh sophomore, joked (maybe) that she plans to schedule her classes in hopes of sharing one with McCreery.
“I need to find out his major so I can try and get into some of his classes,” she said, adding, “Creepy, I know.”
Others were untouched by “Scotty” fever.
“I love country music,” said Wesley King, a sophomore from Charlotte, “but I don’t know who the (heck) Scotty McCreery is.”
MaryBeth Hunnicutt, a junior from Garner, grew up with McCreery and his family. They attended the same high school and still go to church together.
Hunnicutt said McCreery isn’t only a singer. He’s also a local guy, a longtime State fan and, in some ways, will be just another freshman.
“Some of his best friends go to State, so he will have people here who knew him before he was famous,” Hunnicutt said. “It is still a little weird hearing him on the radio or seeing him on TV, but then when I see him at church or just hanging out in Garner, he’s just Scotty.”