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Virtual Junior Day a Hit With Football Recruits

Unable to host recruits on campus because of the extended dead period mandated by the NCAA because of the coronavirus pandemic, NC State football coach and his staff have gotten creative in their pursuit of new talent

Recruiting is always a challenge for college coaches under the best of circumstances. It's only gotten more difficult these days in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the NCAA's ban on in-person contact with prospective players and their families.

The current conditions have forced coaches, such as NC State's Dave Doeren, to get creative in their approach to recruiting.

To this point, Doeren and his staff have done a solid job, landing commitments from three of their top targets -- four-star quarterback Aaron McLaughlin and three-star cornerback Mario Love and three-star running back Caleb "JuJu" McDowell.

Thursday, the Wolfpack football staff turned to technology to make up for its inability to hold an actual Junior Day by holding a Zoom conference with some of its most sought-after recruits in the Class of 2020. Several 2021 prospects with State offers also participated in the virtual event.

In all more than 30 high school juniors and seniors were involved. From all accounts, the consensus was that things went very and that most of the players came away impressed with both the sales pitch and State's organizational skills.

While SI All Wolfpack is still working on compiling a full list of attendees, here is a sampling of observations from that that have confirmed their participation:

T.J. Quinn, 3★ 2021 Safety, Valdosta, Ga. (Lowndes HS)

“They had different coaches in different spots of the campus just showing us around. It went good and I enjoyed it and we just got to meet all the coaches as well."

Andre Dollar, 4★ 2022 Tight end, Mustang, Okla. (Mustang HS)

"I did take part in it. I thought it was amazing. They were very prepared with different coaches and staff in different parts of the facility; each one giving detailed information about their specific part. I learned a lot of stuff about the football and academic programs. It was great to see how the program adapted to this whole Covid situation."

Caden Fordham, 3★ 2021 Linebacker, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (The Bolles School)

"Mainly they talked to me about the culture and how it’s a family, also it’s a new staff and the guys are great. Also, Coach (Tony) Gibson is one of my favorite coaches. I really relate well with him. They said I would fit very good in their new defense of scheme and that I am one of their top backers."

C.J. Williams, 4★ 2022 Wide receiver, San Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei HS)

"After an awesome virtual Junior Day, I am ecstatic to say I have received an offer from THE North Carolina State University! Thank you to Coach Tim Beck and the entire staff."

Other players that have confirmed their participation in the virtual Junior Day are twin tight end targets Cedrick and Fredrick Seabrough.

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