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August 6, 2013

Path to NCSU came together quickly for Schooley




Sometimes an opportunity comes together so quickly and perfectly that it's simply too good to pass up. Such was the case that brought sophomore offensive lineman Quinton Schooley from Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., to NC State this fall.

Schooley had first caught the eye of NC State offensive line coach Mike Uremovich during the spring evaluation period, but although colleges had broached the subject of potentially enrolling this fall, Schooley was fully anticipating playing next fall at center, a new position for him, for Butler.

He had arrived at Butler on a mission to fulfill a dream of playing Division I football after not getting offers coming out of small Chanute (Kan.) High. In less than a year, he had bulked up from 235 pounds to over 290 pounds. He also moved to the interior of the line after playing tackle.

Then in late-May, not long after Uremovich spotted Schooley at Butler, the wheels were set in motion.

"At the end of May, Coach U told me there might be a possibility they could offer me for next semester," Schooley recalled. On Memorial Day, another conversation between the two revealed that indeed, NCSU was ready to offer him a scholarship.

"He told me that they had just watched my film, and he told me that they wanted me to come down for a visit and play this fall," Schooley said. "I came on the visit, committed.

"Within two and a half weeks; it went fast. It was crazy."

Schooley never hesitated to make the move despite it swiftly coming together.

"It's always been a dream of mine to play Division I football, and out of high school I didn't know if it was going to happen cause I didn't have any offers," Schooley said. "This is my opportunity, I am going to take full advantage of it.

"I didn't want to stay at Butler and risk getting injured cause then this would all be gone."

Boise State and Illinois were two other schools that also talked to Schooley during the evaluation period. At NC State, he could provide depth at center this fall or take advantage of the redshirt season that's still available to him.

Schooley's approach: whatever the coaches want him to do.

'If they want me to backup, I am completely happy with that," Schooley stated. "If they want me to redshirt, cause I still have my redshirt, I'll be fine with that. If they want me to play, great, that's a dream come true.

"I'm not really planning on anything, just working hard in practice and trying to earn my spot."

Since arriving at NCSU, Schooley has dropped a few pounds to get around 280 pounds on his 6-foot-3.5 frame. He has also become more comfortable at center, which he admitted "takes a little getting used to." Another adjustment for Schooley has been city life.

His hometown of Chanute had a population in 2010 of 9,119. The city of Raleigh had added almost 20,000 people alone since the decade started, bringing its estimated population to 423,179 in 2012. In fact, to Schooley, that's been the biggest adjustment.

"I am from a small town, always have grown up in a small town," he said. "No matter where you go football is football. You got to be physical, good technique.

"It's football."

And now for Schooley it's college football on the highest level, an opportunity to good to pass up.



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