Doeren already recruiting N.C. State's commitments

lkeeley@newsobserver.comDecember 2, 2012 

— Tylar Reagan, a three-star offensive lineman committed to N.C. State, was in Tom O’Brien’s office the day after the Wolfpack beat Boston College.

Less than an hour later, O’Brien was fired. A shocked Reagan learned the news as his family was at a gas station filling up to drive home to Jacksonville, Fla.

But less than a week later, Reagan was surprised again when N.C. State quickly filled its head coaching opening with Northern Illinois’ Dave Doeren.

“I was surprised at how fast it got done,” Reagan said. “I talked to (running backs/tight ends) coach Des Kitchings throughout the week, and he kept me updated on who they were talking to.

“I don’t really know a whole lot about coach, but it sounds like he’s bringing in a good amount of excitement and a pretty exciting offense that gives us the chance to score a lot of points and be the best team we can possibly be,” added Reagan, who also said that he is 100 percent committed to the Wolfpack. “I’m excited to meet him and talk to him and start to build a relationship with him.”

Reagan is one of 18 high school seniors, and one of seven three-star recruits, committed to N.C. State. The class is ranked 56th in the nation by and 10th in the ACC.

Doeren said at his introductory news conference Sunday in Raleigh that he started calling recruits Saturday night. One of those calls went to three-star receiver Kyrin Priester, from Snellville, Ga.

Like Reagan, Priester said he was surprised by the O’Brien firing. But, unlike Reagan, Priester has had second thoughts about his commitment.

“I was connected real good with coach (Mike) Reed and coach (Troy) Walters,” Priester said of two of O’Brien’s assistants. “I had a good relationship with them. That was really why I picked N.C. State, because of those two. If (Doeren) brings in someone new, I’ll just have to see how he is.”

Priester still considers himself an N.C. State commit. He said his initial phone call with Doeren went well and that he wants to get the know the new staff. And that’s the result Doeren is looking for as he makes his introductory calls.

“I’m calling all of them and letting them know, ‘hey, I’m here, I want to get to know you, and I want you to get to know me,’ and build that relationship and keep that door open for every single one of them,” Doeren said. “That’s the right way to do business.

“At the same time, I understand that I didn’t recruit them originally. My goal is to see how many of them are true to their word, how many of them fit the systems we run and how many of them really want to be here and go from there.”

There are a few more spots left to fill in the 2013 class, and athletics director Debbie Yow has instructed Doeren to be “aggressive and assertive,” in his recruiting. And that’s exactly what Doeren plans to do.

“Recruiting is competition and relationships, and I love both of those things,” Doeren said. “I look forward to selling the product that we have. State has top-notch facilities, high ambitions and a beautiful city, there’s so much here to brag about, and I look forward to doing that in the high schools and homes I get into here. There’s a lot of things to do in a short period of time.”

Keeley 919-829-4556; Twitter @laurakeeley

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