Thursday, August 13, 2009

O'Brien explains transfer's troubled past

While describing N.C. State’s background check on Michael Lemon, coach Tom O’Brien explained the history of the defensive end who is expected to begin practice with the Wolfpack on Friday.

Lemon, a defensive end, was dismissed from the Georgia football team in July of 2008 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of battery, disorderly conduct and public intoxication.

O’Brien said Lemon had been through extremely difficult times. He described how Lemon’s mother was killed, her home was set ablaze, and Lemon’s younger brother was rescued from the flames.

According to the Macon Telegraph, Phaba Lemon died of blunt force trauma to the head on Feb. 21, 2007. Her boyfriend, Herbert Hart Jr., pleaded guilty to murder and arson and is serving a life sentence, the Telegraph reported.

“(Michael Lemon) had some issues at that point and was trying to grow up, and made a mistake,” O’Brien said. “But. . .it’s a one-time thing and we’re very satisfied he’ll be a great student here at N.C. State.”

Michael Lemon was charged after punching a fellow student several times at a cookout in Athens, Ga., after seeing the student talking to his girlfriend, according to the Telegraph. Court records show he was sentenced as a first offender to 12 months probation, 240 hours of community service, three weekends in the county jail and anger management counseling.

He attended Georgia Military junior college before transferring to N.C. State. O’Brien said he had numerous conversations with Lemon’s former coaches, including Georgia head coach Mark Richt, before deciding to give Lemon a chance to come to N.C. State.

O’Brien said Lemon had been readmitted to Georgia.

“We’ve done extensive work with him and are very satisfied with all the issues he had when he left Georgia,” O’Brien said. “(We had) a lot of conversations with Coach Richt, and a lot of people were very satisfied with the individual we’re getting.”

Scrimmage notes. Running back Toney Baker and the play of quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Mike Glennon were among the highlights of N.C. State’s second scrimmage Thursday.
“Toney Baker’s getting a little better, showing a little more toward where we want to see him,” O’Brien said, “and by the numbers the quarterbacks were pretty good today. I think Russell made some great throws.”
Wilson and Glennon were a combined 23-for-40 for 198 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Linebacker Ray Michel led the defense with seven tackles, and redshirt freshman Terrell Manning made four tackles for loss.
After a shaky first scrimmage, Josh Czajkowski made all three of his field goals – from 23, 34 and 37 yards.

Pack loses two. Offensive lineman Desmond Roberts, who played a reserve role last season as a redshirt freshman, will transfer to a junior college, O’Brien said.
Freshman quarterback Everett Proctor had surgery Wednesday to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder and is out for the season. Proctor was expected to redshirt this season.

Ken Tysiac: 919-829-8942 or


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Lemon has had some rough breaks. I hope he takes this second chance opportunity to make the most positives he can out of it. Go Pack!