Hakeem Flowers, a highly rated wide receiver from Wade Hampton High in Greenville, S.C., secretly made a commitment to Michigan that never came to fruition.
Flowers held off on his announcement because he wanted to do it in the presence of his teammates at Wade Hampton's banquet Sunday, according to Wade Hampton coach Kent Haltiwanger. But between the time of the pledge to Michigan and the banquet, the Wolverines fired coach Rich Rodriguez.
The new Michigan staff under Brady Hoke couldn't gain traction with Flowers, and N.C. State swooped in late and secured the commitment, which finally was announced at the appointed time, at the banquet Sunday night.
In a telephone interview Monday, Haltiwanger explained what happened. He said three of Rodriguez's assistants from Michigan were hired at Pittsburgh, which came after Flowers hard.
Notre Dame also pushed hard to get Flowers to visit over the weekend. But Flowers visited N.C. State on the weekend of Jan. 15 and developed a good rapport with the Wolfpack's coaches and players.
Last week, N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien visited Flowers at Wade Hampton, meeting with him for an hour, Haltiwanger said.
"They really put the foot on the gas pedal as far as recruiting him," Haltiwanger said.
UCLA, Oregon, Michigan, LSU, N.C. State and Notre Dame were the finalists for Flowers' services. He is 6-foot-3 and about 195 pounds, and ranked the No. 24 player in South Carolina by rivals.com.
He made 41 catches for 986 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, with 31 rushes for 411 yards and four scores.
"He has huge hands, long arms," Haltiwanger said. "He's probably suited to be an outside receiver, but he can play inside as well."
Flowers will give N.C. State a boost as the team's first commitment at a position that lost senior standouts Owen Spencer, Jarvis Williams and Darrell Davis from last season.