The Wolfpacker

November 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 99 of 131

also NC State's special teams coordinator — is in his 34th season as an assistant coach. In Petercuskie's long career, the Noel fam- J ily of Everett, Mass., represents something unique: three sons, all of whom are on schol- arship at major Division I colleges. Jim is a starting senior safety and team captain at Boston College. Rodman is a part- time starting sophomore linebacker for the Wolfpack, and Nerlens is a freshman center for defending NCAA basketball champion Kentucky and considered one of the prized recruits from the freshman class. "Three boys that excel like that on schol- arships, two in football and one in basket- ball, I've never been personally involved in that," said Petercuskie, who recruited both of the Noel family football players. "I'm sure there's been some like that, but not many." One of Rodman's fondest memories grow- ing up was at Everett High when the three brothers were on the court in basketball at the same time for the first time. "Our fans just started going crazy," Rod- man recalled. Jim was a senior on that team, Rodman a junior and Nerlens a freshman. By that point, the older brothers knew their future was in football. Nerlens, though, was just hitting a growth spurt that would push him to 6-10. "At the time, people were looking at me and Jim to be the most athletic people in the family," Rodman said. Jim acknowledged, though, that it became clear that Nerlens would be the best athlete in the family. Nerlens' trademark high-top hair- cut may add a few inches to his height these days. For the younger brothers, Nerlens' hair is proof that he is the jokester of the brothers, according to Rodman, or the "crazy" one as Jim called him. "He's looking for attention," Rodman joked. Jim tried to take credit for being the normal Noel brother, Rodman preferred to label Jim as the most laidback. Despite their differing personalities, the three brothers are tight. The camaraderie of the family got them into sports in the first place. Jim remembered watching the Lakers play in the NBA Finals when he was a young kid. Shortly after that, a friend invited him to tryout for football. "I got a little jealous and I told my mom I wanted to play football, too," Rodman re- membered. "I really wasn't fond of it because I wanted to be the only one playing," Jim added. "It really benefitted us, though." 98 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER erry Petercuskie has been serv- ing as Tom O'Brien's recruiting coordinator since O'Brien's first season at Boston College in 1997. Overall, Petercuskie — who is A year later, both were playing basketball and not long after they took up baseball. Jim said that he still talks to his brothers on a weekly basis. The older brothers also respected each oth- er's recruiting processes. Jim admittedly wa- vered on his commitment to Boston College, taking late visits to Maryland and Penn State. "It was kind of hectic going to signing day," Jim remembered. "It came down to Penn State and Boston College, but eventu- ally I wanted to stick with Boston College." Rodman briefly considered Boston Col- "I've always thought about how we got to this point," Rodman said. "I think about that almost every day, or people will remind me every day of how talented we are, how athletic we are. "It was just a blessing." What has also been exciting for Rodman Rodman Noel Is One Of Three Brothers Playing Major College Sports All In The FAMILY lege, but actually verbally committed to Maryland on two different occasions, first as a senior at Everett High and then when he prepped a year at Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y. Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen was fired, however, following the 2010 season, and Rodman began to explore all of his op- tions. Despite overtures from Florida, Miami and Mississippi State, Rodman chose NC State and the move quickly proved to be an easy transition. "I guess being in the South was different than being up North, but it doesn't really bother me," Rodman said. Rodman has always been one to try to fig- ure things out on his own. He did not lean on his brother Jim too much during the recruit- ing process, which may explain why none of the brothers ended up at the same school. "We just never talked about going to the same school," Jim admitted. "I think we just were all our own selves, and we had different tastes in different schools." That's not to say that Rodman did not at least try to sway Nerlens to consider NC State during his recruiting process. The youngest brother never took a visit to Raleigh, though, before picking Kentucky. When Nerlens, who learned Oct. 17 that he would be cleared to play this season for the Wildcats after there were questions about his eligibility, hits the court in November for Kentucky, three Noel brothers will be playing at the same time in two different sports at the BCS conference level. but I guess whatever would help the team I was just going to make the sacrifice," Rod- man said. "It ended up working out. "It's starting to pay off. I am starting to like linebacker now." Rodman started four of State's first seven games this year and recorded 32 stops, seven tackles for loss and a sack. He also broke up a pass. "I would say my knowledge of football really helps me in this situation," Noel said. "Whenever you can call yourself an athlete, you've got to play multiple positions. I've just got to get better every day at the linebacker position." It's certainly safe to call the Noel a family of athletes. When Rodman and Nerlens com- plete their college careers, it will be time to talk about the next Noel athlete. The youngest of the four children, little sister Nashdah, is a budding basketball player in the eighth grade. "She's already starting," Rodman noted. "She's pretty good, actually. She's pretty tall now, so we'll see how tall she gets." Fortunately the Noels' mother, Dorcina Noel, has experience handling an athlete. "I know the three of us gave her headaches all the time, but she always put up with us," Rodman noted. "She has done a great job with them, a very, very great job with all three of those young men," Petercuskie added. ■ Noel (No. 5) started four of NC State's first seven games this season, recording 32 stops, seven tackles for loss and a sack. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN has been his increased role on NC State's football team. He made the move from safety to linebacker last spring, a switch that did not stun Rodman, but one he also admitted hav- ing hesitations about. "I really didn't want to move to linebacker,

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