Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day-after signing observations on N.C. State

Now that national signing day is over, here are some leftover points on N.C. State’s class, with quotes from coach Tom O’Brien.

- Bryan Underwood and junior college transfer Tobais Palmer will provide the Wolfpack with a different look at slot receiver than it’s had under O’Brien. They’re both small (5-foot-11) and super-quick.

In the past, N.C. State has had primarily tall wideouts during O’Brien’s tenure.

"It looks a lot different from the Owen Spencers and the Jarvis Williamses we’ve had in the past, the big, tall rangy guys out there," O’Brien said. "So it’s going to be interesting. I think Dana (Bible) is excited about the challenge to coach those kids.”

- Without a lot of depth at quarterback in the program, N.C. State helped itself by picking up the state’s top-rated player at the position in Waynesville Tuscora’s Tyler Brosius.
He passed for 3,454 yards and 34 touchdowns as a senior and was committed to Virginia before changing his mind.

"Tyler is a big, strong-armed kid,” O’Brien said. “A lot of the qualities that the quarterbacks we’ve had in the past, I think he has. He did an excellent job in the Shrine game. One thing a lot of the coaches in the Shrine Bowl came out saying was they were amazed at how quick of foot he was, because he had to do the wing-T and it’s something he’s never done before.”

- With 2009 rushing leaders Toney Baker and Jamelle Eugene gone, freshman Mustafa Greene might have a chance to help at running back immediately.

Unproven players such as James Washington, Brandon Barnes and Curtis Underwood are the other candidates for time in the backfield. Greene’s chances to play will hinge on how well he can learn pass protection.

"You look at the running back situation, and in his mind he probably feels like he has a great chance,” O’Brien said. “That’s probably why he’s coming. You look at it, there’s not a lot of carries or a lot of yards by the three guys that are there. As with all freshmen, who knows who’s going to play and who’s going to be able to play? It’s been explained to him that the faster he learns the offense, and as a running back that means he’s going to have to learn some pass protection because he’s going to be in there when we pass and he can’t whiff on that. Certainly a lot of those young kids can carry the ball. The ball is in their hands and they can carry the ball, but he’s going to have to learn how to protect the quarterback, too."

- Raleigh Athens Drive’s Robert Crisp is the best offensive line prospect the Wolfpack has signed in a long, long time.

"He has really good feet. . . .He’s not on the ground a lot,” O’Brien said. “With our evaluation, when you looked at the guys, a guy like Teddy Larsen who was here and played, if you can move your feet and get good body position and don’t end up on the ground all the time because you’re off balance, I think balance is the key to being a good offensive lineman. And he’s got great size and great reach with his arms. If you draw up a prototype body, he’s got what you want in an offensive lineman. Certainly he’s got to come in and learn his right from his left and know which way to go and who to block. But if he can do those things, he’s got physical skills that look like he can be a really good offensive lineman.”

- N.C. State signed one player who’s been in some trouble in defensive back Pete Singer – whose father also is Crisp’s guardian.

Singer has an April 7 court date in Chatham County on charges stemming from a June 16 traffic stop. The charges – all misdemeanors – include carrying a concealed weapon, possessing a handgun by a minor, driving after consuming alcohol under age and simple possession of marijuana.

O’Brien said he has had extra talks with Singer about the charges.

"Certainly - that’s why we signed him,” O’Brien said. “We’re very comfortable in signing him and happy he’s part of the Wolfpack.”

O’Brien also said he is still recruiting defensive lineman Fre’Shad Hunter, who was dismissed from the Cary High football team and apparently won’t sign a letter of intent with anyone this spring. Hunter is probably headed for junior college or prep school.

- Billy Bennett, the former Boston College place-kicker, will be asked to help immediately on kickoffs.

N.C. State’s returning kicker, senior Josh Czajkowski, will continue handling field goals and extra points.

"Certainly we’ll have to address the kicker in another year because Josh is going to be a senior,” O’Brien said. “Josh did as well as he could last year, but we need to get somebody to kick the ball to the end zone, or certainly inside the 5- and 10-yard line with some hang time on it, not just a line drive. That was one of the things that certainly when you look at the defensive side, if they keep coming in and the ball is on the 35-, 40-yard line, they’re still two first downs down from where they ought to be starting. . . .We think he has the leg strength to get the ball in the air so that we can cover and hopefully we can get them inside the 25-yard line.”

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

With the schedule we just got - we need everything and everyone.....HELP!

Dave said...

I loved the part where Coach O'Brien said he had "extra talks" with Pete Singer concerning his pending charges. Did he bother to have a "talk" with Singer about his most recent run-in with the law? The one that occurred this Jan. 17 where he broke into an ex-girlfriend's apartment in Chapel Hill, trashed the place and did$4000 worth of damage? Probably couldn't have that talk, because Mr.Singer (Crisp's guardian) promptly whisked young Pete out of state to rehab. How much more is O'Brien willing to put up with from this kid in order to keep Crisp?