Indianapolis (Ind.) Decatur Central offensive tackle Lukayus McNeil took his first official visit of the recruiting process this past weekend to N.C. State, and the experience opened his eyes.
"I had a great time," McNeil said. "I really didn't know too much about them until I went there, and then I liked it a lot."
McNeil watched N.C. State take down Richmond at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday, but it was the people around the program that really intrigued him.
"It was mainly the coaches and the players," McNeil said. "The quarterback [Jacoby Brissett] was the one I spent all the time with when I was there. He always had a positive attitude and loved the team. He kept talking about the team with everything and it was coming from his heart - it wasn't recruiting stuff."
Big Ten schools like Indiana and Michigan State had attracted McNeil's attention early in the process, but the trip to ACC country has broadened the 6-foot-7, 268-pound lineman's horizons and N.C. State has made a move up his list.
"They are one of the tops now - right at the top," McNeil said. "It opened up my eyes a little bit. I've been looking all over, but this made me realize I'm not going to be too close to home no matter where I go and it has me looking anywhere."
Now that he has one official visit under his belt, McNeil will wait to schedule any more and does not know who will receive his four remaining trips.
"I am going to know later on, but I don't know right now," he said. "I think I am going to wait a little bit longer when I have more time."
McNeil will continue making unofficial visits, however. He has a couple game visits scheduled to schools later this month.
"I go to UK this weekend. I'm really excited about that," McNeil said. "I am going to one of [Indiana's] games soon. Probably not this week, but next weekend."