The room was filled with excitement as Pack fans chanted his name and erupted into cheers after Ryan officially inked his name on the scholarship papers and the letter of intent. (which his mother immediately faxed to the school after the signing)
The event began with Erasto Hatchett, Ryan's brother-in-law and coach at Word of God Academy, thanking everybody for coming out and supporting Ryan over the past year and a half. He spoke of Ryan's character and his drive to be the best, and thanked all those who have helped along the way.
Hatchett's speech was followed by very telling comments by Walton coach Joe Goydish, who let the Wolfpack fan's know what a treat it's been to be able to coach such a talented and charismatic young man. He explained how Coach Lowe believed in Ryan from the very beginning and how he thinks Ryan is certainly, now, one of the ten best players in the nation.
Next was Ryan's father, who has been quiet and behind the scenes during this entire recruitment. The emotion in his tone was obvious as he talked of Ryan's motivation and drive to excel. Tears of joy filled his eyes when he explained to the Wolfpack fans how proud Ryan has made him as not only a player, but as a young man.
The mic went back to Ryan as he opened up the floor for questions. One of the more interesting questions came from a woman who wanted to know who the guy was that Ryan was throwing all the alley-oops to in the highlight reels ,referring to Wolfpack recruit CJ Leslie, who just so happened to be sitting 15 feet from Ryan, taking in the excitement while taking down an order of hot wings. "I know CJ is going to make the right decision. I don't know what he's waiting for." said Ryan, making those in attendance burst out in an excited laughter.
After the question and answer session, it was time to eat. Most Wolfpack fans stuck around and ordered wings, talking about the bright future that seems to be approaching in Raleigh. While they ate, Harrow took it upon himself to make rounds around the restaurant, talking to Wolfpack fans and thanking them for the support.
The event was unlike any signing day we've ever witnessed. The scene itself told the story of the passion and enthusiasm that the NC State fans encompass. For the first time in a long time, Wolfpack fans feel that the program is finally turning the corner. We spoke to one fan in attendance who had this to say. "This was amazing. It just is evidence that the Wolfpack fans are the most passionate fans in the world. Nobody cares about their program like we do. I've never heard of a signing day party like this, and even with the bad weather, this many fans showed up? It's amazing. It's great for Ryan and NC State is on it's way back to the top, you better believe that."
The pure excitement that Ryan brings to the court each game was found on the patio at Sammy's today. His charisma, quick wit, and loyalty to the NC State program had those in attendance walking away impressed. The mood is slowly changing in Raleigh. The storied NC State program that helped build the ACC, is quietly inching it's way back with the help and recruiting efforts of one of it's own, head coach Sidney Lowe.
We have tons more to come on this event. Keep checking back for:
-Full video coverage of the speeches and the signing
-A video interview with Ryan Harrow
-A video interview with CJ Leslie
-Quotes from Coach Hatchett, his mother and Ryan himself
*Here are some pictures we shot at the event: