Following a coaching change in Chapel Hill, three-star offensive guard Bryce Kennedy from Pinecrest High in Southern Pines, N.C., has decided to switch his verbal commitment to NC State on Tuesday, which he announced on Twitter.
"I think going to NC State will be a benefit to me and I have a good connection to the coaches already," Kennedy said. "It would be silly for me to go somewhere I don't know. I know that I can trust NC State to do the right thing [on and off the field]."
Kennedy picked UNC over State in October, but when new UNC coach Larry Fedora decided not to retain offensive line coach Sam Pittman, Kennedy explored his options once again.
"It was a hard decision and it took me a while," said Kennedy, who is the cousin of former UNC defensive tackle Cam Thomas, who now plays for the San Diego Chargers. "I think I made the right one."
NC State coach Tom O'Brien is a former offensive line assistant coach, and that was a draw for Kennedy.
"That was a big deal too," Kennedy said. "I know Coach O'Brien has put a lot of people that were in my position in the NFL."
Kennedy enjoyed going to NC State games during the recruiting process.
"The atmosphere is crazy and the fans are there, winning or losing, and they always pull for their team," Kennedy said.
Kennedy, 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, is expected to enroll early at NC State. He originally was thinking about doing pre-medicine at North Carolina, but will take his time and figure out the best academic fit at NC State.
Kennedy is the fourth Shrine Bowl standout to commit to the Pack. Rivals.com rates him as the No. 23 offensive guard in the country and No. 22 player in the state.
He is NC State's 20th known verbal commitment. Kennedy is the fourth offensive lineman to commit to NC State, joining John Tu'uta, Eddie Gordon and Quincy McKinney. He said the Wolfpack are recruiting him to play guard.
Kennedy injured his shoulder prior to the Shrine Bowl, but expects it to be ready go for spring football.
"I wanted to go to a place where I could play early soon," Kennedy said. "I want to get in there and work hard.
"I want to get in there and get some reps this spring and learn the playbook. I want to learn everything about the offense."
Kennedy said he's gotten to know several of the other NC State commits during the last year and at the Shrine Bowl.
"I had a lot of people working on me, so that's all good," Kennedy said. "I know K'Hadree Hooker, M.J. Salahuddin, and Eddie Gordon.
"I now want [Tarboro running back] Todd Gurley to come. We talked about that at the Shrine Bowl."