Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wolfpack not playing for future yet

It would be tempting for N.C. State’s underclassmen to start playing for next year.

The Wolfpack is 2-6, 0-4 in the ACC, with no chance of winning the conference title. But freshman wide receiver T.J. Graham said the younger players aren’t giving up on this season or the current seniors as N.C. State prepares to visit Duke on Saturday.

“There are seniors on the team that want to win now,” Graham said. “It’s not fair for us to be preparing for another year when we’ve got guys on the team that, this is their last year. We should be playing for them.”

Despite the daunting odds – N.C. State needs to close with four straight wins to become bowl eligible – Graham said the Wolfpack hasn’t given up on the postseason.

Personally, Graham is trying not to get frustrated when opponents kick away from him. He already has set the school record with 809 kickoff return yards, including a 100-yard return for a touchdown against Boston College.

“If you don’t have to run the ball back, I can make plays on offense,” he said. “I appreciate a ball coming my way. It’s good to have good special teams because you can change field position very easily. If I don’t have a chance to (return kicks), then I guess there’s no way I can do that. I guess I’ll just have to come out on offense, suck it up and make plays on offense.”

– Ken Tysiac