Here’s the transcript of NC State head coach Dave Doeren speaking to the media today at the 2018 ACC Kickoff.
Q. Last day and a half we’ve heard a lot about CTE, concussions and football. What do you guys do to educate and protect your players?
DAVE DOEREN: Player safety is a big deal, and I think in the last — I’ve only been a head coach seven years, but in the last seven years through the NCAA and NFL, you’ve seen a ton of research being done, Brian Hainline heads that up for the NCAA. And we’re just trying to learn about it, to be honest. I can’t give you the facts. We know that it’s there. Don’t know exactly what all the exact information is. But we care a lot about these guys. We care a lot about this game.
From the changes in practice where we can’t have two- a-days on back-to-back days, we don’t ever wear full pads on back-to-back days, wear half pads, full pads, pro pads, so we’re changing that rigor of contact from back in the day when — I’m not that old, but when I played we had 14 straight days of two-a-days and they were all full padded. That just doesn’t happen anymore.
So the ability to develop players, which is what we take incredible pride in at NC State, starts with being healthy. You have to be at practice. You have to be in the weight room. You have to be in the meeting room. You have to be your best you can be, and I have to set a schedule that allows these guys to stay that way.
The advances in technology are incredible. Like our ability to track the volume they run, how fast they run, how many times they change direction, the contact that takes place, it all adds up, along with the information that’s coming in on a yearly basis from the NCAA. Just trying to take it all in and doing the best that we can with that info to help the game of football.
And really it’s not just football, it’s athletics. There’s so many contact sports, including soccer. You see kids that aren’t allowed to head a soccer ball anymore at certain ages. I think we’re all learning as we go, and at the end of the day, I have three sons, we treat our players as sons, we want them to compete hard in a very physical sport but compete as safely as they can.
Q. This is kind of a two-part question. First I want to get a status update on Peyton Wilson, and how does that commitment and some others show the really improved recruiting in state for the Wolfpack?
DAVE DOEREN: As you guys know, Peyton suffered an injury probably midway through his senior year and re-injured that knee a couple months back and has had it repaired. He’s doing great. Saw him in the training room the other day, and don’t know is he out for the season. I don’t know. He is a phenomenal athlete.
His recovery time will be faster than most people’s. So we’ll see. But great prognosis. He’s feeling really good and was the top player in the state last year.
As you guys have followed, I can’t give specifics, but those kind of things have helped, and going back to what Germaine said, it started five years ago. We were talking about why he should stay home, and some guys like Germaine have done that, and you’re seeing those guys, B.J. Hill, Kentavius Street, Nyheim Hines, Will Richardson, these were these in-state guys that had out-of-state opportunities that stayed home that are now reaping the benefit of the blueprint.
The thing that we have that other people don’t, Raleigh, North Carolina, is the fifth fastest growing city in the United States. We’ve got apple moving, we’ve got Amazon possibly moving in. You couldn’t live in a better city than we live in right now. Our University has 23 sports, 21 of them went to postseason play.
This is a great place to be, not just because our staff and our players have built a great football program. The entire thing, the big picture of it, it’s just the timing is right, and it’s hot. If you were buying stock, you might want to buy a bunch of it and get ready to sell it, know what I mean, because it’s going up. But we’re excited about what’s happening in the state, and you can see that.
Q. There’s a new redshirt rule allowing you to use a freshman up to four games and not burn the season. Could Payton Wilson be a candidate later in the season —
DAVE DOEREN: Well, medically —
Q. How will you use him?
DAVE DOEREN: If he’s cleared by then, yeah, but I’m not going to put him at risk, either. We’ll see where he ends up. But the redshirt rule in general I think is a great rule for many reasons. Back when that rule was created, what the current — the old redshirt rule was, there was 120 players on scholarship at that time, and since then it’s been reduced to 85, and so our usable number of players has gone down, and over the course of the year when you have attrition and players get injured, it affects your roster, and the number of players taking reps adds up, then their higher percentage for injuries takes place.
So now to be able to take those guys maybe in fall camp — let’s say we’ve got 20 signees, maybe five of them are ready for the first four games, so you play them, and then maybe they prove they’re ready for the rest of the season, and you keep playing them. Maybe at some point they get injured, or you know what, we shouldn’t have played him this early, thought he was ready, he’s not, we’re going to redshirt him.
And then there’s guys in fall camp that maybe sprained and ankle or they’re immature and they’re not ready, flat out. And maybe you have depth at a position group, so they don’t even get a chance to be ready. Or you have attrition and they recover from an injury and they’ve been on the scout team and now they look really good in practice, like the defense or the offense is struggling to go against this player, and now you have an opportunity to play him and you can.
I think it’s awesome for these kids, and it’s going to help our roaster, our depth when we have attrition. I know Germaine has dealt with it for two years. Our linebacking corps has been decimated two years in a row with injury. They’ve had two guys playing two spots for two seasons. So to be able to plug some guys in and fill it out and help on special teams, and for those kids that are in the developmental program, there’s kind of now a carrot hanging out there like, hey, I could get in a game here and help the football team even if it’s not right away, I think that’ll keep them motivated throughout the season.
Q. What would you say is Darian Roseboro’s best quality, and how important will he be to your defense this fall?
DAVE DOEREN: Darian is extremely strong. He’s tough. Those two things, when I think about how he plays on the edge, he’s going to knock people back. There’s going to be — we call it a dent, but there’s going to be a dent on that side of the ball which disrupts play and helps guys behind him. I think that’s the biggest thing. He has experience, which you can’t coach. He’s played for three years. He’s made a lot of plays in big games. It’s important to him. I think he’s a lot like Ryan and Germaine; they’re in their last year of football. This means a lot to them. They want to leave a legacy. We finished in the top 25, and I know these guys want to go out leaving our program in a better place than they found it.
I think we all believe that way as then that that’s our job to leave something better than when you picked it up. So he’s going to be highly motivated to play well. And I think the fact that you guys are all asking that question, I guarantee you motivates you, because those guys are hearing that they can’t be as good as last year’s D-line, which will be hard to do.
I don’t know how many years the NFL Draft has been happening, but only three times in the history of the draft have all four D-linemen been drafted ever, so this was a unique thing to have happen, so for him I know it’s a motivating factor.
Q. The team has had some issues in the past in the secondary, and I just want you to speak a little bit about what do you project for the secondary this year on defense?
DAVE DOEREN: You know, I’m excited for those guys. I think every year there’s — in this conference there’s a huge challenge. I think you’ve just got to pick your poison on defense in college football. I think you can say that you want to be great in pass defense and then you’re giving up a bunch of run plays. That’s just not how I’m wired.
I think our defensive football team and our offensive football team both believe in winning the line of scrimmage, and it starts from a mentality standpoint our identity is play hard, play tough, play together. You don’t do that if you don’t stop the run, if you can’t run the football. Our coverage, they’re going to have one- on-one out there a lot, and we ask a lot of them. Now, we do some things to help them with middle field players and some cover-two, but if you’re going to stop the run, your corners are going to have to cover, and in our league, your safety to the field or your nickel to the field is going to have to cover.
And we play against some of the best receivers in college football week in and week out. West Virginia is going to have some of the best receivers in college football, and we play them. Marshall has one of the top receivers in college football, and we play him.
So that’s a challenge. It’s a lot easier than just, yeah, we’ll get that fixed. But our DBs are very athletic. They take it personal. They’ve got good coaches, and we run a very good scheme, but we’re going to stop the run first. I promise you that, and that’s just a mentality that we have.
Q. Thoughts on Ryan Finley’s performance up to this point and what the ceiling is in your opinion for him?
DAVE DOEREN: You know, I think for Ryan, he’s as hard on himself as we could be on him. I think it’s just daily improvement. I think he believes in the process, I believe in the process, our coaching staff, our strength staff. It’s a daily grind to get better at what you do, and where does that get him in the end, we’ll see. But I know he has goals for our team. He has goals for himself, and the only way that he can reach those things, these watch lists, all that’s great, but I know if you talk to him, he’s not going to win a single award if he doesn’t handle the day-to-day work he needs to do. He knows that. And I appreciate that because he believes in that.
I think that’s what’s fun about coaching guys like Ryan and Germaine. I mean, they truly love the day-to-day work that goes into getting to the end of where you want to be.
He’s going to have a great season as long as he just continues to trust his process and his routine.
Q. You’re coming off an excellent season, and actually I noticed four seasons in a row, winning record. You’ve got a returning quarterback with excellent stats. He’s a veteran. What are your expectations that you’re expressing to the Wolfpack alumni?
DAVE DOEREN: You know, I think it’s just continuing to build things the right way, play hard, compete, recruit local guys, and help them reach their goals and dreams, be physical, win as many games as we can and do it the right way. I want to win a championship. Everyone knows that. Every coach in the world will tell you that. But I’m going to do it the right way, and we’re going to do it with class. We’re going to help these guys become better men and reach their academic goals. There’s just a lot more to it to me than just winning.
I mean, and I want to win, don’t get me wrong. I came to NC State to win a championship. And I want to do that. But I’m going to do it where these guys are getting that total experience they can get, and our staff and all of us, the biggest challenge is getting everyone to work together towards a common goal and being the guy that gets to lead that charge, it’s a blessing. It’s the hardest thing and the funnest thing that you get to do.
So I’m excited. I tell the alumni the same thing. Like just look at the progress. Five years ago we had zero wins in the ACC, this year we tied the school record. Five years ago we had no draft picks, this year we broke the school record. So the progress is there. Everyone sees it. Now it’s just continuing to get better and just raising the standard for this program again, and that’s what this year is about.
Q. You guys are in a similar position to what you were going into last year’s camp at the running back position, replacing a guy coming off a great year. Are you looking for someone to kind of step in and seize the reins the way Nyheim did or maybe more of a committee approach with Gallaspy and Person?
DAVE DOEREN: Well, we’ll see how it plays out. I’m excited for Reggie being a senior, and he’s dealt with a lot of knickknack injuries, and he’s healthy and he feels great right now. So for him to be going into his senior year feeling good is a positive thing for these guys. But we have three young backs that we don’t know enough about yet. We’ve got to get them out there and battle test them and get them hit and get them into a bunch of drills, see if they can hang on to the football, how are they going to protect.
You take Nakia Robinson, who had a good spring game, Ricky Person, highly touted young man, has a lot of tools, and Trent Pennix, who just got here at the end of June, those three guys are going to get soaked. They are. How it ends up, I can’t give you the answer. Would we love for one guy to take over, sure, that’s great, but I have no problem with the rotation, too, because they all have good skill sets.
Q. You’re always applauding the home field advantage, the fans, obviously five of your first six games at home. The top of the season has got to be important, has got to be everything that Wolfpack Nation wants, right?
DAVE DOEREN: Well, we have the best fans in the state of North Carolina. Our football fan base is incredible, and if you’re in Carter-Finley Stadium and that place is rocking, I don’t care where else you play. It’s intimidating, it’s loud. They can’t hear. Our players feed on it, our recruits feed on it.
Everyone knows how I feel about people leaving the stadium. I want them to stay, okay. But it’s an awesome place. We sold out every game last year and expect to do the same. Our season tickets were higher last year going into where we were compared to last year. I expect that trend to continue and look forward to being out there and hearing our fans cheer for our players and get after the opponents.
Former NC State Offensive Lineman Justin Chase Transfers to ECU
Offensive Lineman Justin Chase announced he was transferring from NC State back on December 1st.
Now we know where he will be playing his final year of eligibility.
Chase is transferring to East Carolina as a Graduate Transfer.
— Justin Chase (@justinchase_73) April 11, 2020
Chase only saw action in the first two games of last season for the Wolfpack, playing 2 snaps against ECU, and 12 against Western Carolina. He was a 3-Star prospect in the Wolfpack’s 2016 recruiting class.
NC State’s Dave Doeren Buys Lunch for Rex Hospital Employees
Earlier this week, NC State head football coach Dave Doeren bought lunch for 100 employees at Rex Hospital in Raleigh.
The food bought was from Moe’s Southwest Grill.
Rex is where NC State sends their players if they need to go to the hospital.
Alan Wolf, media relations manager for Rex Healthcare, told Jonas Pope IV of the News & Observer how much Doeren’s generosity meant.
“It’s a stressful time to be at the hospital,” Wolf told the N&O on Tuesday. “These are folks on the front line of helping patients through this pandemic. To have an outpouring of support from people like coach Doeren and those in the community who have donated all sorts of food, lunches, meals, it’s been an amazing thing to see.”
“It’s thoughtful, it’s generous and it’s heartwarming,” Wolf said. “When you’re in the hospital for however long your shift is and all of a sudden there’s a boxed lunch that a football coach donated, it means the world.” (N&O)
2020 Vegas Odds: NC State Football Regular Season Wins: 4.5
After a rough 2019, in which NC State’s football team posted a 4-8 (1-7) record, every Wolfpack fan is looking for a glimmer of hope that 2020 will yield better results.
Vegas has released their odds for the 2020 college football season, and NC State is projected to win 4.5 regular season games, missing a bowl for the second straight year.
According to their projections, here’s how ACC football teams are projected to improve or worsen in 2020.
Boston College: -1
Georgia Tech: –
NC State: +0.5
Virginia Tech: –
Wake Forest: -1
NC State Ranks 4th in the ACC in Football Revenue
FootballScoop shared their research last week on the highest grossing college football teams, and NC State ranked 4th in the ACC.
1. Florida State — $69 million
2. Clemson — $61 million
3. Miami — $56 million
4. NC State — $46 million
5. Syracuse — $44 million (FootballScoop)
The dates of their research were from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.
For some perspective, the ACC doesn’t have a school ranked in the Top-15 nationally.
Power 5 — Top 15
1. Texas — $156 million
2. Georgia — $123 million
3. Michigan — $122 million
4. Notre Dame — $116 million
5. Ohio State — $115 million
6. Penn State — $100 million
7. Auburn — $95 million
8. Oklahoma — $94.8 million
9. Alabama — $94.6 million
10. Nebraska — $94.3 million
11. LSU — $92 million
12. Tennessee — $91 million
13. Wisconsin — $90 million
14. Florida — $85 million
15. Washington — $84 million (FootballScoop)
Wake Forest is tied for the 2nd lowest Football Revenue out of all the Power 5 schools, and Boston College ranks 5th.