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ESPN mentions NC State & College Football Playoffs in same sentence

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Don’t do it. Just don’t do it, ESPN.

They did it. ESPN has listed NC State as one of 13 teams that could crash the College Football Playoff party.

Sure, NC State football is going to be better. They might even be good. Heck, they could end up really good, but I don’t think it’s wise to count the chickens before they hatch.

We’ve been down this road before and while I love seeing the national media hyping NC State, I’d feel much better if there isn’t this huge cloud of expectation hanging over their heads. But, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this team is ready for the hype. Maybe Doeren has his guys mentally focused, ready to ignore the hype and just go out and bust people in the mouth. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The article itself is an insider piece, so you’ll have to pay to read what he says about the Wolfpack, but the gist of it is:

Phil Steele lists NC State as #12 and cites their defense as a major reason.

Is this type of hype good for the Wolfpack, or will it end up biting them in the butt?

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NC State Football

NC State’s Dylan McMahon was One of the Best Offensive Linemen at the NFL Combine

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NC State’s Dylan McMahon participated in the 2024 NFL Combine yesterday with the rest of the Offensive Linemen, and I don’t care where he is currently projected in mock drafts…McMahon was one of the best big fellas at the Combine.

McMahon ranked in the Top-10 in 4 of the 5 events, and in the Top-5 in 3 of them.

3-Cone – 7.26 seconds (2nd)
Shuttle – 4.33 seconds (2nd)
Broad Jump – 9’7″ (4th)
Vertical – 33.0″ (8th)
40 Yard Dash – 5.10 seconds (20)

Heading into yesterday’s activities, 28 Offensive Linemen had recorded a 4.47 second Shuttle Run since 2010. 24 of them went on to be drafted. All 24 of them went on to start 84% of their NFL games.

Yesterday, 6 Offensive Linemen joined the club, and McMahon was one of them.

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New Jersey Numbers to Get to Know on the NC State Football Roster

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There are a lot of new numbers with different last names above them on NC State’s Football roster. Whether it’s new players or players changing their jersey numbers, check out the new numbers on the NC State Football roster.

Changed Numbers

RS JR WR Jakolbe Baldwin – 32 –> 84

SR LB – Devon Betty – 26 –> 8

SO CB Brandon Cisse – 25 –> 2

RS JR WR Dacari Collins – 86 –> 4

RS SR DE Red Hibbler – 47 –> 4

RS JR RB Jordan Poole – 33 –> 3

SO RB Kendrick Raphael – 20 –> 0

New Player Numbers

FR WR Terrell Anderson – 80

FR QB Cedrick Bailey – 16

FR CB Jivan Baly – 22

FR S Brody Barnhardt – 29

FR DE Chase Bond – 92

FR CB Jimmar Boston – 21

FR NIC Asaad Brown Jr. – 26

SR CB Corey Coley – 6

RS FR NIC Tamarcus Cooley – 15

SR C Zeke Correll – 56

RS JR TE Dante Daniels – 87

RS SO OL Val Erickson – 54

JR WR Wesley Grimes – 6

FR WR Keenan Jackson – 82

JR TE Justin Joly – 15

FR RB Isiah Jones – 26

FR LB Cannon Lewis – 33

JR CB Devon Marshall – 16

FR OL Robby Martin – 50

SR QB Grayson McCall – 2

FR OL Trent Mitchell – 60

FR LB Joshua Ofor – 28

RS FR WR Noah Rogers – 5

FR RB Duke Scott – 24

RS FR RB Hollywood Smothers – 20

SR RB Jordan Waters – 7

FR LB Zane Williams – 35

JR LB Wyatt Wright – 25

FR WR Christian Zachary – 83

 

 

 

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NC State’s Brandon Cisse is Embracing the Competition for the Starting Job

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With Shyheim Battle headed to the NFL Draft, there is a starting Cornerback position open in NC State’s defense.

Sophomore Brandon Cisse believes competition brings out the best in everyone, and he recognizes it’s his time to step up.

“This year I have a lot more confidence. I trust my skillset a lot more. Stepping into a bigger role. Competing for the starting job,” said Cisse. “Everyday knowing my talent. This year, the biggest step is football IQ, knowing everyone’s job, and not just mine. I think that’s the biggest strength of my game.”

Earlier this week, Wolfpack Defensive Coordinator Tony Gibson said there is competition for starting roles all across the NC State defense, and one of those spots is at Cornerback across from Aydan White.

On Tuesday, when the media was allowed to view the first hour of practice, Cisse was running with the 1’s opposite of White. Now, who is running with the 1’s on the opening day of Spring Practice isn’t necessarily an accurate projection of who the staff thinks will start come September. I would expect that Maryland transfer Corey Coley is competing hard with Cisse for the job, but he just recently arrived on campus, and is new to the Wolfpacks defensive scheme.

With that being said, Gibson also mentioned that Cisse had 2 picks in 1-on-1’s one day this week.

“The good thing with Brandon (Cisse), is he’s very very smart. He played in our Dime package a year ago. He transitioned to Nickel sometimes midweek during practice. We felt good if we needed to use him in a game there,” said Gibson. “He’s very smart. He’s football savvy. He can play Corner. He can play Nickel. He can do a lot of things for us. The first two days watching him, he had a couple of picks in 1-on-1’s yesterday. Expecting big things out of him.”

As a prominent feature of the Wolfpack’s Dime package in 2023, Cisse played 148 snaps as a True Freshman, which speaks of how highly the coaches thought of him.

When asked this week if he was ever nervous about possibly being the next man up last season, from his perspective, he wouldn’t have flinched.

“I was never nervous. I was ready to step into that role,” said Cisse. “I was learning from those guys, but it wasn’t going to be a big change if I had to go in. I was confident in my game. I knew what I was capable of.”

Cisse knows he is in a competition for the starting job, but he is embracing the competition.

“Competition brings the best out of everybody. Everyday you don’t want to come in and have a bad day,” said Cisse. “Everyday you want to come and put your best play on tape. If you don’t want to play Coach Gibson’s brand of football, then you don’t want to play here.”

 

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With Players Transferring Back Home, Juice Vereen Believes NC State Has Something Special

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When players like Noah Rogers, Hollywood Smothers and Tamarcus Cooley transferred to NC State this offseason, from Ohio State, Oklahoma and Maryland respectively, according to Wolfpack Sophomore Tight End Juice Vereen, the 2023 recruiting class that was supposed to be, is now a reality.

“That was supposed to be the recruiting class in 2023 the first time. Noah (Rogers), Hollywood (Smothers), all these boys,” said Vereen. “To see them coming back, we’ve got something special…really, really special going on now. We’re looking to bring it all back.”

Despite the fact that these players from the state of North Carolina were spread out across the United States, the bond that was built over the years of high school didn’t waiver.

“I was always wanting to play with those boys. Now that I get to play with them, it feels special. We’ve all been bonded since high school. When everybody split their ways, we didn’t stop our communication,” said Vereen. “Now that they’re back, we are as tight as ever again. The bond never broke. Ever. I’m glad those boys came back and realized where home was.”

Rogers played for Rolesville, Smothers played for West Charlotte, and Vereen played for Havelock, but the best players across the state of North Carolina build relationships despite the distance.

“We all got connected through visits. Camps can do it too. I’ve been on camps with multiple of these players…Noah, Hollywood, Lex. Coming up here watching games together, sitting beside each other, getting to know each other a lot,” said Vereen. “That helped us out, leading to these boys making the decision to come back home. We pretty much knew they were going to after their Freshman seasons.”

One of the key components of a football team is the relationship the players share off the field, and according to Vereen, the players from the 2023 class are as tight as ever.

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