Nate Irving Remembers What Week 1 Was Like

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Nate Irving loved playing football in Carter-Finley Stadium as a member of the Wolfpack.  In fact, he still can’t wait for football to begin in Carter-Finley Stadium.  Check out his tweet from earlier today:

Tomorrow a lot of players will run out of the tunnel for the very first time.  On the other side of the coin, tomorrow will be the last “first game of the season” some players will ever have in Raleigh.  Players will be filled with excitement and nerves.

Looking back, Irving remembers the nerves of his very first game for the Wolfpack, and what he remembers was panic, instead of a majority of the plays in the playbook.

“The first time I was suiting up for a college game I was so nervous.  I forgot about half of the playbook,” said Irving.  “All I could think about was “hit them before they hit you”…and “don’t get ran over.”
Every player has a different routine before they hit the field.  They will listen to whatever music works for them, but when there is three minutes till kickoff, the red lights will turn on in the locker room, and the white lights will go off.  Silence will fill the room and focus is the only thing on the menu for three minutes.  Irving remembers what it was like to focus prior to running out on the field, literally day-dreaming of the other teams plans.
“Before every game I made sure I stretched with teammate Bobby Floyd,” said Irving. “After the stretch, I would leave and go sit down and just think about things that other coaches might try to do to our defense, and envision myself making plays.”
The Wolfpack only has 11 Seniors running out on the field tomorrow night, and Irving remembers all of the emotions that came with the knowledge that this was the beginning of his final season.
“The first game of my last season was a special one.  I missed the year before because of my car accident so I didn’t know what to expect,” said Irving.  “I was nervous if I was still going to be able to run and tackle?  Would my leg hold up?  Is my lung ok?  It was a very emotional time for me.”
Last season NC State came out of the gate and almost lost to Georgia Southern.  If it wasn’t for a 35-yard touchdown pass from Jacoby Brissett to Matt Dayes with under two-minutes to play, the Wolfpack would have walked out of Week 1 with a loss.  Some players have a hard time getting up for the Troy’s of the world, and live for the hype of the big opponent.  That was never a problem for Irving.
“I approached every game the same.  I was a leader during my time and I would feel like I cheated myself and my teammates and coaches if I didn’t prepare the same…week in and week out,” said Irving. “To me, it wasn’t about who we were playing.  It was about making sure we were ready for anybody we faced.”