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Blaske selects Wolfpack
Austin Blaske, adorned with a chain around his neck, carries the American flag while leading the South Effingham Mustangs onto the field for their 2018 season opener against Long County. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

GUYTON -- South Effingham offensive tackle Austin Blaske committed to North Carolina State University over the weekend after taking a recruiting visit with his family. Blaske said the Wolfpack coaching staff began recruiting him about a month ago and he wanted his family to get a glimpse of the Raleigh, N.C., campus before solidifying his commitment.

“The school is great,” Blaske said. “The athletics are great. You get a sense of family there.

"They all treated me like family.”

N.C. State was already a favorite of Blaske’s headed into the weekend. He had multiple offers piling in the week leading up to his Raleigh trip.

“I think I was going up there knowing I was going to commit but I wanted to make sure my mother and my brother saw it first,” he said.

Blaske, 6-foot-5 and 278 pounds, said his ultimate goal was to simply play college football. Playing in one of the sport’s most respected conferences puts the icing on the cake.

“There’s going to be some unbelievable defensive lineman and I think I can give them a run for their money with my speed,” Blaske said. “I think it’s going to be fun to play in a Power 5 conference. I think playing in the Power 5 is definitely awesome.”

The Wolfpack will debut new facilities just in time for Blaske’s arrival.

“I was impressed because they are redoing everything,” he said. “I saw a picture of it and I thought it’s going to be cool because by the time I get there they are going to have these new things in place.”

Blaske, who was recently ranked as a 4-star offensive tackle, said his recent rise to stardom is just settling in.

“My freshman year I was probably 6-2, 185,” Blaske said. “I kind of felt it all today because it kind of all came together. All my hard work has paid off. I had a chance to sit back and see the big picture. I just worked really hard.

"I grew and developed during the offseason and realized how good I can be.”

 Blaske said he’s thankful to have the support of his peers and is hopeful his fame will open the door for others to get noticed.

“I think it’s awesome,” he said. “I think it’s going to open up a little bit and open some eyes. More people are going to start coming by. The 912 is not just an area code. It’s a lifestyle for us.”

Blaske chose the Wolfpack over Boston College, Charlotte, East Carolina, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati and others.