Despite a background that has included coaching from two fathers of University of North Carolina players, Wilmington Hoggard High punter Wil Baumann has committed to N.C. State.
The most influential coach in Baumann's career has been Keith Wood, a former Southwestern Oklahoma State kicker recently hired as head coach at Fairmont High after serving as a Hoggard assistant.
But punting guru Bill Renner, the father of North Carolina redshirt freshman quarterback Bryn Renner, helped fine tune Baumann's punting. Baumann also has been helped by Tom Barth, the father of current Tar Heel kicker Casey Barth and former North Carolina player Connor Barth, who kicks for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Casey and Connor Barth both played for Hoggard.
"I don't think they will care too much," Baumann said of committing to the Tar Heels' rival. "They've got a really good punter right now [Grant Schallock], and I don't think they've got a spot [for a punter] right now."
Baumann said he is a longtime fan of N.C. State and is eager to enter the school's engineering program. He is 6-foot-5 and 180 pounds and averaged 44 yards per kick as as a junior.
He also had a scholarship offer from Northwestern, but said he chose N.C. State because of its academics (he carries a 3.5 grade-point average) and proximity to home.
-- Ken Tysiac