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Top senior Julius Randle blogs about his N.C. State visit, rehab and getting his first mural

Julius Randle said his visit to N.C. State was the best one yet.

Julius Randle is the top-ranked prospect in the Rivals150 for 2013 and recently cut his list down to six – Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Florida and Oklahoma. Randle, a forward at Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), has agreed to give USA TODAY High School Sports exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a monthly blog.

What’s up everybody! I’m back from my big visit to N.C. State, and I can definitely say that I had a great time down there with the Wolfpack.

My man Coach (Orlando) Early picked me up from the airport late Thursday night and me and my mom just went back to the hotel and got some sleep.

That next morning they came and picked us up and we were hanging out and I saw someone had tweeted me a picture of this big wall painting they did on me. It was crazy so I told my boy Rod (Purvis) that he had to take me there to see that. We went over there and I took a picture beside it. I had to. That’s definitely the craziest thing a fan has ever done for me. I loved it.

After that, I went and met with the athletics director (Debbie Yow) and she was real cool. I liked her. Then we went and watched the practice and after that I went with Rodney to some pizza place. There were a lot of students there, so that was cool to get the chance to interact with them. They were saying stuff like I had to come to N.C. State and they were making deals with me, like, if State beat UNC the next day, then I’d have to commit on the spot. They were all real cool.

I saw the young boy Damon Harge working out while I was down there too. Man that dude is nice! He does not miss! That cat was shooting like 80 percent from 3-point range. He’s crazy now, but when he gets some more height, I’m telling y’all it’s a wrap.

That night we were gonna have dinner with the coaches, but the roads were real bad with ice and stuff so I just went back to Rodney’s room and we just hung out there.

That next morning Coach Early came by and picked me up and took me over to see College GameDay.

When I walked in the whole student section went just crazy. I mean, it was really loud. I’m not the kind of guy that cares too much for attention, so I was really caught off guard by it. It was the loudest chant I’ve ever heard. The chant during the game wasn’t too loud because I think the fans were worn out from the chant from earlier.

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I didn’t know what to do. I was so shocked at how loud it was so Coach (Mark) Gottfried pushed my hand up and helped me wave to the crowd. It was pretty funny.

I had a good time at College GameDay. I met Jalen Rose and all of them. So that was cool.

We went and had lunch after that and of course the coaches gave my mom some red velvet cake. Every coach knows that’s her favorite, so I thought it was cool that they had a different red velvet cake every day that she was there.

That night we went to the arena and I was chilling with Cat Barber before the game, so that was cool too. That game was so live though. They kinda scared me a little bit at the end because UNC was coming back, but my prediction ended up being right.

It was so loud in there. After the game we went to Cookout and hung out. There were a lot of fans out so it was pretty live all night. We had a good time.

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That next morning we had breakfast with the coaches and I talked more one-on-one with Coach Gottfried a little. I like him even more after this visit. He’s a really genuine person. The whole team really seems like a family. They’re all like brothers and that’s something I really liked about them.

I think the biggest thing I learned over the weekend was that if I came there they wouldn’t have to change anything about their system for me. It just fits me. Other coaches talk about what they’ll change for me, but with State they don’t have to do that. That’s big.

All in all, I’d have to say that this was my best visit so far. I had a ball at Kentucky, and yeah they had Drake and everything, but this visit just had a lot more going on.

State definitely set the bar high on the visits.

My next two visits are to Texas and Kansas, so I’m really looking forward to those. Kansas will have College GameDay there too, so I know that will be crazy.

Well, other than that, my rehab is going really well.

Basically, right now I’m still just lifting and doing spot shooting. I actually go to the doctor on Monday and I’m hoping to hear some good news. To be honest, every time I go to the doctor I expect the worst because anything other than him saying “you can play” is a letdown.

I just really want to play man!

But you guys definitely send some prayers up for me because I’m feeling really good. I’m not gonna rush back, but I’m feeling pretty good so we’ll see what he says Monday.

OK guys, I’ve gotta head out, but, as always, I appreciate you reading my blog and I know you guys will be checking back in with me in the next few weeks after my Kansas and Texas visits.

Take care y’all!

Don’t forget to follow Randle on Twitter @J30_Randle.



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