The Wolfpacker

May 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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PACK Spring Game April 21 at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh feeling good about the Wolfpack. Although he was also receiving attention from Duke, East Caro- O lina, North Carolina and Wake Forest, NC State had been recruiting Blankenship the hardest and was at the top of his list. All that was left was getting an offer. "I know I got the offer [April 23] and then committed [a day later], but the big thing was is there any school I'd rather go to, and I honestly couldn't think of one." ■ Cole Blankenship on committing to NC State Blankenship figured that opportunity would come when he would work out at State's camp over the summer. "I was ready to go to camp and perform," Blankenship said. "I was getting jacked up for that." It turned out that would not be necessary. NC State offered the 6-3, 300-pounder two days after the spring game, much to Blanken- ship's surprise. "I was just ecstatic," Blankenship admitted. "I didn't know him be in position to earn a college degree and hope- fully be able to provide for himself and his loved ones in the future. However, Painter's 85-year-old grand- DeShawn Painter knows playing basketball has helped mother, who raised him, is battling cancer in his hometown of Norfolk, Va. Painter was faced with two options. He could continue at NC State and finish his senior year and hope he didn't miss out on any life-altering situations. The Wolfpack is coming off a 24-13 season Football Gets Its First Verbal Commitment For 2013 ffensive lineman Cole Blankenship of Davie County High in Mocksville, N.C., returned home from NC State's Kay Yow and Sweet 16 berth, and Painter's hard work, experience and mid-range jumper helped in rebuilding the program. He averaged 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last year. The other option was heading home to care for his TRACKING THE what to say. I went home and talked it over with my parents. I know I got the offer [April 23] and then committed [a day later], but the big thing was is there any school I'd rather go to, and I honestly couldn't think of one." Blankenship became NC State's first verbal commitment in the 2013 class. He will likely line up at either guard or center for the Wolfpack. Blankenship played pri- marily center as a sopho- more before moving to guard with some spot duty at tackle his junior season. He will be a four-year varsity-level performer, playing every position on the line at one point. He was named first-team all-state by the Associated Press last season after grading out at 88 percent on his blocking assignments and recording 29 knockdown blocks. "Being named first-team all-state is quite an accomplishment," Davie County coach Doug Illing said. "We haven't had many all- state players come from Davie. We've had a few, but to be on that team as a junior is a credit to his talents and his abilities. People paid attention to what he did on the field. It's a tribute to what he's doing on the field and in the weight room for his ability to stand out like that. "He's a real smart, intelligent player. He knows his assignment at every position. He just stands out. He knows everybody's job, and he coaches everybody because he's played all the positions. He usually grades pretty high, and the 29 pancakes just once again shows his aggressive, nasty mentality." Blankenship, who is currently unrated by, reportedly runs the 40-yard dash in 5.0 seconds, bench presses more than 300 pounds and squats more than 500 pounds. ■ DeShawn Painter Leaves With Fond Memories Painter met with NC State head coach Mark Gottfried and let him know what he felt he had to do — transfer to Old Dominion. "I know it was shocking to Coach G," said Painter. "He has a great coaching style, and I've learned a lot from Coach G. I love the staff. "My grandmother has cancer and I want to be close to home. She's the first one to really believe in me, and I don't know how much time she has got. I want to spend time with her because I love her so much. I just want to be there for her. PAINTER grandmother and enroll at nearby Old Dominion. The Monarchs went 22-14 overall and 13-5 in the Colonial Athletic Association in 2011-12, and have been among the country's top mid-major programs under head coach Blaine Taylor. 16 ■ THE WOLFPACKER mors," Painter said. "My mother is not sick. sected since the news came out. "People have been spreading a lot of ru- had me when she was 17. My grandmother has been sick, but is now getting real sick. I just want to be close to my family, my mother and my sisters. I just don't know how long she has got. "My grandmother pretty much raised me. My mother " Painter knows his decision has been dis- " where in the world after his one season at Old Dominion. He'll try to seek an NCAA waiver in the coming weeks to play for the Monarchs next season and not have to sit out a year. He's mentally prepared for whatever comes his way over the next year or two. "A lot of people were saying that I was transferring because of playing time," Painter said. "I played 20 minutes Painter hopes to play professional basketball some- a game and I was happy at NC State. I was the sixth man on a Sweet 16 team. I was more than happy. academic dreams at NC State made the decision gut- wrenching for Painter. "Basketball is just a game, but this isn't a game, Being so close to realizing some of his basketball and " said. "This is all just happening. I'm known for doing the right things, and I think this is the right thing. I grew up as a man here at NC State. I will always miss it and always love it — the greatest fans in the world and greatest people in the world. "I've developed lifelong friends here. It's a beautiful place " Painter " Cole Blankenship, an offensive lineman from Davie County High in Mocksville, N.C., picked NC State over Duke, East Carolina, North Carolina and Wake Forest. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM and I'm going to miss everything about it. I wish them the best, and I'll always be a Wolfpacker.

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