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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Brandon Costner (2009)

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With the NBA Draft coming up this Thursday night, we thought that we would catch up with Brandon Costner to see how he is feeling with the big day approaching. The former McDonald’s All-American has been trying to show that he belongs in the NBA by attending every workout possible and leaving with positive feedback wherever he has been. Here is how our conversation with Brandon broke down:

WPH:How have the NBA workouts been going and what has been the feedback that you’ve been getting?

Costner: Things have been going very well. I’m very upbeat. I had my last workout with the Nets 2 days ago. In all of the workouts I thought I really played well, and showed these guys that I belong and that I’m an NBA player. I’m really excited.

WPH: What has the competition been like at the NBA workouts?

Costner: The competition has been tough. Each workout is different and the intensity varies. Some teams run you to death and then play you to see if you will quit. Other are more interested in seeing your skills by doing drills and playing games of 3-on-3 and 1-on-1.

WPH: Obviously your pursuing a career in basketball, but what are some of your other aspirations in life? What do you plan on doing “when the ball stops bouncing”?

Costner: Hopefully I can milk basketball as long as possible. But my future lies in youth. I would like to develop a basketball academy and teach the game and teach fundamentals. I want to be a leader and a mentor to younger people. I would also like to start a non-profit organization one day that gives inner city kids the chance to learn to play sports that they might not be accustomed to like golf and tennis. I really want to do as much as I can to affect as many young people as I can. So many people were instrumental in helping me become the person I am today and I want to do the same for others.

WPH: How would you describe your time at NC State?

Costner: I really enjoyed my time. I was there all four years. I gave the school all I had. Obviously I wish we could have been more successful, but I wouldn’t change anything for the world.

WPH: What is your favorite memory from playing basketball with the Pack?

Costner: I would have to say making the tournament finals my Freshmen year. My biggest thing is winning and we were playing some of our best basketball then.

WPH: What is your relationship like with Coach Lowe?

Costner: I have a real good relationship with Coach Lowe. I talked with him 2 days ago to give him an update on how every thing is going. It’s the type of relationship that a player should have with his coach.

WPH: Why did you decide to forego your Senior season?

Costner: It really had a lot to do with me graduating. I also think that it is hard to ignore the grumbling around campus and from the Wolfpack Nation about how many wanted to see the old regime out of there. When the majority of people had negative things to say to me, I kind of got the feeling that it was my time.

WPH: How much do you think the negativity of the fanbase and media outlets affects you as a player and the team as a whole?

Costner: I wouldn’t say that it consumes us, but we definitely hear it. Seeing that this is a our job, we understand that it is part of the territory and we are used to it. The ignorant rumors and people saying that we don’t care about the university and that we don’t care about winning hurt. Half the people don’t know how much goes into what we do every day. Bottom line nobody loses on purpose. It’s the paper, it’s the friends at school who read this stuff religiously. They come up and say “did you see what so and so said about you.” Then we go and see what people have said. One of the biggest things was the year that J.J. was here. I think that as a team it affected us and we were out there trying our best and they are saying that we have chemistry issues and that Gavin is messing with my girlfriend. The thing is, we all get along and we are a really tight team. I mean we all hang out outside of basketball.

WPH: Did all of this negativity leave a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to your opinion of NC State?

Costner:I definitely don’t have a bad taste in my mouth. I truly believe that the State fans that supported me and my teammates and the people that are really positive and love the university made my time at State worthwhile.

WPH: What relationships did you develop with your teammates that you think will last into the future?

Costner: From day one on campus me and Courtney have kind of been inseparable. I talk with Ben, Simon and Trevor every day. We all became very close especially because of everything we went through. I see us doing that through the rest of my life. All of the NC State alumni and the present team make a big Wolfpack family. People like Josh Powell, Marcus Melvin and Anthony Grundy have come back and been big impacts on all of us. They all come back and play and workout in the summer. If we are not talking every day then it is every week. All of us have a lasting bond and friendship. It’s a huge family. I talked with Engin all last year and he is one of my best friends. They are the ones that teach us how to be student athletes and better people.

WPH: Are you going to be like the Alumni that you have mentioned, coming back in the summers and pouring into the Pack players?

Costner: Oh definitely. I want to come back and be one of the guys like Josh Powell, who took me under his wing. I want to come back and pass on the tradition.

WPH: Thank you so much for your time Brandon. We wish you the best and look forward to following you wherever you go.

We really appreciate Brandon’s honesty and transparency. I hope that this interview will be read by as many State fans as possible. I think Brandon’s words are important to hear. The words that we say and the words that we type can truly be detrimental to the health of our Basketball program.

Thank you Brandon for all that you gave to this university!

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Pack in the Pros

Joe Thuney Starts 50th Straight Game, On his way to a 3rd Straight Super Bowl

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Former NC State All-American Offensive Lineman Joe Thuney started his 50th consecutive game for New England yesterday, in the Patriots’ 37-31 victory over the Chiefs. Thuney has started every single regular season and postseason game since entering the league as a rookie.

The Pat’s and Thuney are on their way to their 3rd consecutive Super Bowl.

Thuney’s NFL young NFL career: 3 seasons…3 Super Bowls.

The three Super Bowl appearances is the 2nd most ever by a former NC State football player.

Jim Ritcher – 4
Joe Thuney – 3
Mike Cofer – 2
Perry Williams – 2
Mike Jones – 2
Torry Holt – 2
Russell Wilson – 2
J.R. Sweezy – 2
Steven Hauschka – 2
(Bill Cowher – 2 – as a head coach)

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Bradley Chubb Named to 2018 PFWA All-Rookie Team

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Former NC State consensus All-American Bradley Chubb didn’t take long to establish himself in the NFL, officially being named to the PFWA (Pro Football Writers of America) 2018 All-Rookie Team.

2018 PFWA ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
Offense
QB – Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
RB – Saquon Barkley, New York Giants; Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos
WR – Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons; DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers
TE – Chris Herndon, New York Jets
C – Billy Price, Cincinnati Bengals
G – Will Hernandez, New York Giants; Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts
T – Mike McGlinchey, San Francisco 49ers; Braden Smith, Indianapolis Colts
Defense
DL – Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos; Marcus Davenport, New Orleans Saints; Da’Shawn Hand, Detroit Lions; Daron Payne, Washington Redskins
LB – Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts; Roquan Smith, Chicago Bears; Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys
CB – Jaire Alexander, Green Bay Packers, Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns
S – Jessie Bates, Cincinnati Bengals; Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers
Special Teams
PK – Jason Sanders, Miami Dolphins
P – Michael Dickson, Seattle Seahawks
KR – Tremon Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
PR – Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals
ST – Zeke Turner, Arizona Cardinals (PFWA)

Chubb finished his rookie campaign with 12 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 60 total tackles. His 12 sacks broke Von Miller’s Bronco’s rookie sack record of 11.5 set back in 2011. Chubb earned Rookie of the Month honors in October, when he tallied 5.5 sacks over a three week span.

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Bradley Chubb Makes PFF’s 2018 All-Rookie Team

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Former NC State Consensus All-American Bradley Chubb finished with 12 sacks in his first season in the NFL, breaking the Broncos’ Rookie Sack Record, and tying for the 7th most in NFL history by a rookie.

ProFootballFocus released their 2018 All-Rookie Team today, and Chubb made the cut, and it was because of more than his ability to sack the quarterback. Here’s what they had to saw about the former Nagurski Award winner.

EDGE DEFENDER

Bradley ChubbDenver Broncos

Chubb takes the headlines from the rookie defensive linemen class based on sack totals alone, but as we’ve proven, sack totals aren’t predictive of future sack totals, so a better indicator of potential future play for the former NC State standout is his rookie-leading 58 total pressures, something that correlates over much better from year to year.  That’s something that should excite Broncos fans for some time. (PFF)

PFF 2018 All-Rookie Team

QB – Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
RB – Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
WR – D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers
WR – Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
Flex Offense – Robert Foster, Buffalo Bills
TE – Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
OT – Mike McGlinchey, San Francisco 49ers
Interior OL – Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts
Interior OL – James Daniels, Chicago Bears
Interior OL – Will Hernandez, New York Giants
OT – Braden Smith, Indianapolis Colts

Edge Defender – Marcus Davenport, New Orleans Saints
Edge Defender – Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos
Interior DL – Da’Shawn Hand, Detroit Lions
Interior DL – Vita Vea, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
LB – Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys
LB – Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts
CB – Jaire Alexander, Green Bay Packers
CB – Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns
S – Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers
S – Jessie Bates, Cincinnati Bengals
Flex Defense – Justin Reid, Houston Texans

K – Jason Sanders, Miami Dolphins
P – Michael Dickson, Seattle Seahawks
R – Tremon Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Special Teamer – Zeke Turner, Arizona Cardinals (PFF)

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Philip Rivers and the Chargers Defeat the Ravens 23-17 to Advance

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Former NC State quarterback Philip Rivers led the Chargers to a 23-17 victory over the Ravens yesterday in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, setting up a matchup against the Patriots in the Divisional Round next weekend.

Rivers had a quiet performance, completing 22 of his 32 passes for 160 yards (0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions).

His 9-yard run and celebration thereafter were probably my favorite moments of the game.

You gotta love this guy.

Rivers’ record in the playoffs is now 5-5, but he will have to go up to New England, and beat Tom Brady and Patriots to bump that to a winning record.

This will be the 8th time Rivers has faced Brady, and he’s yet to walk away with a victory.

“It’s exciting to get another chance,” Rivers said. “I think it just goes to show, unless you’re the Patriots and I know there’s some other teams that get in the postseason a lot, it’s hard. They’ve been in the conference championship I think seven or eight in a row or whatever, but for most of us it’s not that easy to get in and when you get in and now you know you’re one of eight teams, that’s all you can ask for is a chance.” (Chargers)

Rivers is joined by two other former NC State football players in Defensive Tackles Justin Jones (Rookie) and T.Y. McGill (4th season).

McGill recorded a tackle for loss against the Ravens, and Jones finished with 2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 1 sack.

The Chargers and the Patriots are set to kickoff next Sunday at 1:05pm on CBS.

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