Wednesday, April 1, 2009

N.C. State spring notes: DTs a surprise

Near the halfway point of N.C. State’s spring drills, with seven workouts completed, the improved play at defensive tackle might be the most unexpected development.

The Wolfpack already is in great shape at one tackle position with senior Alan-Michael Cash returning as one of the most underrated players in the ACC. N.C. State also is stout on the ends with senior returning starters Willie Young and Shea McKeen.

At the other tackle, senior Leroy Burgess has had a fantastic offseason in the weight room and is a much-improved player, defensive coordinator Mike Archer said Tuesday. And sophomore J.R. Sweezy and junior college transfer Nathan Mageo have proven stronger than expected as the backups.

“Those two guys, Mageo and Sweezy, have been very pleasant surprises,” Archer said. “They’re going to make a difference in our depth.”
Some other notes from spring practice:

- Coach Tom O’Brien is looking for progress from redshirt freshmen Andrew Wallace, R.J. Mattes and Zach Allen as well as freshman Sam Jones on the offensive line. But the learning process has been slow.

“You can see their toughness, you can see they’re doing what they have to do,” O’Brien said. “But there’s still that tentativeness you can see right now that we have to get out of them, and you can only do it by playing and practicing.”

- Freshman Donald Coleman enrolled in the spring in hopes of competing for the starting free safety position, but has missed four straight practices with mononucleosis.

That leaves sophomores Jimmaul Simmons and Justin Byers competing with senior Bobby Floyd for the starting position, and nobody has stepped forward to claim it.

- Highly recruited redshirt freshman Terrell Manning, who missed last season with a knee injury, is competing with sophomore Dwayne Maddox for the starting field linebacker position.

Archer said Manning is extremely talented and constantly making progress, but still learning the system.

“Every day he sees something new, and he asks questions, so I think he’s going to be OK,” Archer said.

- Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Can't wait for football at Carter-Finley! Go Pack!

Anonymous said...

you must lead a sad life

Anonymous said...

No, it's very happy! A bad day as a wolfpack fan is better than a good day as a tarheel fan!

Anonymous said...

Ain't it the truth! Let's all remember November 22nd in Chapel Hill. Ahoooooooooooo!

Tarheel paul said...

Next time you win a championship in any sport or even have a winning record, then you can cry wolf.

William said...

Darrion Caldwell won a National Championship just recently in wrestling. He whooped the top ranked wrestler in the country at any weight class.

Congrats on your recent title by the way.