Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another reason to appreciate Pack's Irving

N.C. State fans know a lot of the reasons that you want Nate Irving on your football team.

The sophomore linebacker is tied for the ACC lead with 11.5 tackles per game. He has two interceptions and one fumble recovery in two games.

He’s the best player on a defense that might be the Wolfpack’s best hope to challenge for a bowl bid after a rough start.

They might not know another reason you want Irving on your football team.

Before every game, he writes teammate Javon Walker’s name on his glove. Walker played well late last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury at Miami.

He’s out for the duration of this season, too.

“I know how bad he wanted to play,” Irving said. “I just, it hurt me when I found out he couldn’t play. I almost felt his pain.”

Irving’s teammates are important to him.

“Once you’ve got guys that care about each other, it’s more of a family, like you watch my back and I’ll watch your back,” he said.

That’s a guy you want on your team regardless of the tackles he makes or the turnovers he causes.

– Ken Tysiac