Today at Sammy’s Tap and Grill in Raleigh, national top 25 recruit Ryan Harrow signed his National Letter of Intent to play basketball at NC State. It was a packed house with standing room only on an otherwise dreary day here in Raleigh. On hand for the occasion were Ryan’s parents, his cousins, his high school basketball coach, his brother-in-law and new Word of God coach Erasto Hatchett, local media, and another national top 25 recruit NC State coaches hope to land in CJ Leslie.
A couple of quick notes:
-Erasto Hatchett did a great job leading the festivities and spoke very highly of NC State and the support Ryan has received from fans of the university. Hatchett was impressive overall and handled the timing of everything well.
-Special credit goes to Sammy himself as he was able to get two sets of videos of Ryan online to be shown on the 14+ high definition TVs in the indoor/outdoor area where the event was held. One of the videos showed Ryan playing as young as five years old while the other captured highlights of more recent years. For those that don’t get to spend much time around campus, in my opinion Sammy’s has really turned into the main bar/restaurant/gathering place around NC State’s campus serving high quality, inexpensive food and drinks and an outstanding setup for watching sports indoors or out (no they don’t advertise on this site).
-When Hatchett mentioned that this was an important event not only because Ryan was going to continue playing basketball, but because he was going to get a great education at NC State, his mom immediately blurted out that the education was the “biggest part”. She was all smiles and the crowd cheered loudly.
-Ryan’s dad was particularly emotional and gave a few words barely holding back tears.
-Ryan’s high school coach declared himself an NC State fan for the next four years and said at one point in time only he and Sidney Lowe knew Ryan was a top 25 player. He then mentioned that he thinks Ryan is really a top 10 player. Worth mentioning also is that he said Ryan’s teachers love him, he is “great in the hallways”, and an even more special person than he is a basketball player.
-Ryan was as impressive as anyone. He stood while speaking to the crowd of 100+ and he didn’t seem nervous at all. He smiled throughout and answered most questions with a quick joke. Kind of like a Julius Hodge in terms of personality(the comparisons continue on the basketball court), but not quite so over the top…more humble in my opinion. I don’t have the exact quotes, but I will do the best I can paraphrasing:
How tall are you?
6’5″? 6’6″? 6’7″? As tall as I need to be to get the job done(joking).
Who is that tall, lanky kid you keep throwing lob passes to in these videos (question came from someone who obviously knew it was CJ Leslie and that CJ was sitting off to Ryan’s right)?
Obviously, we know each other well. I know it looks like in these videos that I don’t like to pass the ball, but I promise I do love to pass(crowd burst into laughter). I think he will make the right decision(smiling of course).
On Lorenzo Brown:
We have known each other since we were 6 years old. We met in a gym playing basketbal, I don’t want to say obviously, but obviously we were the best players there and stayed in touch(smiling and being humble).
Ryan Harrow absolutely should make you excited about NC State basketball. I already mentioned the Julius Hodge comparison in terms of personality. While Ryan is about 5-6 inches shorter than Hodge, he is very similar in terms of his impact on the basketball court. He can dominate the basketball and create opportunities for himself and his teammates. He also has a slight frame(160 lbs) which might keep him in college longer than other kids equal to him in talent (just like Hodge’s lack of strength was a contributing factor in making him a four year player.) A guy I trusted in terms of judging talent once told me that while Julius Hodge wasn’t the best player in the country as a high school senior(Eddie Curry, Tyson Chandler and several other guys were rated ahead of Hodge), but he was the best player in the country for NC State and Herb Sendek.
In my opinion, Harrow is a potential program changer for Sidney Lowe just like Julius Hodge was for Herb Sendek.