ACC race for Kimble

Mitch Kimble

In seemingly every recruiting cycle, there are late offers that go out just weeks before national signing day, where the new schools in the mix rank a bit higher on the national scale than the previous offers. It happened multiple times for Mitch Kimble down the stretch, as Syracuse and North Carolina State have become major players for his services despite his current pledge to Northern Illinois.

Mitch Kimble thought he was headed to Northern Illinois until recently. The coaching staff from the school took over at North Carolina State after an impressive 2012 campaign, where his scholarship offer carried over, and Syracuse come out with a late offer for the Jerseyville (Ill.) Jersey Community High quarterback as well.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder visited the Orange over the weekend and visits Raleigh next weekend before a decision will likely become public.

"I'm feeling good, I had a great weekend and it was a lot of fun," Kimble said of his time in Central New York. "It was a good experience and I got to know the coaches and players more. It was a good time.

"Once they (the staff) told me about wanting me to come out there, giving me a scholarship, I had to come out and see the coaches. They seem passionate about what they do; my comfort level with them is good."

Kimble weighs education and athletics similarly, so checking out both ends of the equation was paramount over the weekend.

"They were telling me to look into the school more, it's a great education," he said. "And from a football standpoint, they talked about the chance to come in as a freshman and compete for the starting job, which is a great opportunity.

"But academics are big, going to a school that offers a good engineering program, which is what I want to go in. Syracuse definitely has that and N.C. State has that too so it'll be a tough decision."

The visit ended with the dual-threat signal-caller admitting Syracuse was on top, but the race remains far from over, especially with his verbal pledge still attached to NIU at the moment.

"I haven't talked to the coaches yet, but for right now I'm still committed," said Kimble. "There's a possibility it changes. I'm actually taking a trip to North Carolina State this weekend. It's just Syracuse and N.C. State…

"The N.C. State coaches are from Northern Illinois, so I've known those guys for a while. I'm comfortable around them; it will just be going this weekend to get to know them better. "

The visit with the Orange included a tour of the program's new facilities as well as some dining at area staples like Dinosaur Bar-B-Que as well as getting to know his host.

"It was Ben Lewis, the receiver," said Kimble. "He was great, he made me just feel comfortable the whole time. I had a fun time hanging out with him and getting to know him."

Another wide receiver, Missouri prospect Corey Winfield, has an interesting connection with Kimble. He is also currently committed to NIU, but was also recently offered by Syracuse before taking an official visit over the weekend.

"We've actually been texting each other," the QB admitted. "We had a good time together, we enjoyed it. We really liked what we saw at Syracuse."

"…It doesn't change much, because we have the chance to play together," he continued on their discussions. "The chance of playing at a good program moving to the ACC is a big thing for us, we're excited about that."

As far as the difference between the two ACC schools seemingly out front of the race, things are tight.

"They both don't have much experience at the quarterback position, but Syracuse is a bit younger," said Kimble. "So going there, I would have a great chance to compete for the starting job. It's not a guarantee, but it's something to work at."

With a visit slated for the weekend and a sit-down with family soon after, a commitment to one of the ACC schools could be made in just about a week's time.

Said Kimble, "It will probably for sure be after next weekend... after next weekend it will be clear where I want to go. "

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