When I saw that Second Empire made OpenTable’s 2015 list of the 100 “most romantic” restaurants in America, I cringed a bit. Not because I don’t think the restaurant is worthy, but because I felt bad for anyone who was there this past New Year’s Eve hoping for a romantic evening. I happened to be there with ten or so of my closest friends, and thanks to us, the room we were in wasn’t quite so romantic for anyone who was dining with us. Anyway, sorry folks.
National Signing Day for college football came and went this week and along with it came clear indicators of Dave Doeren’s plans for the Wolfpack’s future offensive attack. Highlighted by a pair of in-state, four star running backs, Doeren planted his flag firmly in staking his claim on in-state recruiting and a run-heavy offensive attack. Garner High School’s Nyheim Hines and Princeton High School’s Johnny Frasier highlight an incoming class that also features several solid offensive lineman. Obviously, the recruiting trail was blazed long before the Wolfpack’s late 2014 success; but that success, propelled by a run-first, throw-when-you-must attack, validates the recruiting strategy and should offer Wolfpack fans a mild dose of cautious optimism.
I’ve never been one to get sucked into recruiting season, favoring the dose of reality that comes in the fall over the pie-in-the-sky hope of less-than-perfect recruiting ratings systems. You can throw all the stars that you want at a player, but the player still has to play and the coach still has to coach. That said, I was drawn into this year’s hoopla by the mild national attention that a running back from my former high school received, even going so far as to watch the press conference announcing his commitment.
Taking the long view, I’m excited about the direction of NC State football. We have a young, enthusiastic coach who has tasted success and seems hungry for more. I just hope the university gives him time to grow and develop, just as many patient coaches work so hard to do with their young players.