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NC State Center Garrett Bradbury 1 of 3 Finalists for the Rimington Trophy

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NC State Redshirt Graduate Center Garrett Bradbury has been named 1 of the 3 finalists for the 2018 Rimington Trophy, along with Ross Pierschbacher (Alabama) and Sam Mustipher (Notre Dame). The Rimington Trophy has been awarded to the best Center in college football since 2000.

Garrett Bradbury, NC State

Named a team captain for the 2018 season, Bradbury played 99.0% (901 of 910) of the snaps for the Wolfpack this season. He did not allow a quarterback pressure all season and was named a first team All-ACC performer (the first first-team selection for a Wolfpack center since 1987) as well as being named a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy – the only center on that list. Most recently, Bradbury scored a touchdown in the final regular season game against East Carolina, rushing the ball from the one-yard line. (Rimington)

When Bradbury arrived in 2014, he was a 2-star Tight End out of Charlotte, North Carolina. Back then he was 6’3” and weighed 240 pounds. Now he’s the same height, but weighs 300 pounds. Arriving as a Tight End, he then was moved to Defensive Tackle…then to Offensive Guard…and finally landed at Center.

Bradbury trusted the process, and the result has been a story no one expected to be written.

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NC State OL Coach Dwayne Ledford Reportedly Heading to Louisville

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According to FootballScoop, NC State Offensive Line Coach Dwayne Ledford is heading to Louisville to follow his former Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield.

Ledford served as the Offensive Line Coach for the Mountaineers under Satterfield from 2012-15.

His name was swirling around the East Carolina head coach opportunity (where he played college football) before Mike Houston from Houston landed the job. After the exodus of Satterfield up in Boone, Ledford’s name has been at the top of the list of candidates to take his place.

While with Satterfield at App State, Ledford was a part of a successful run. He was a part of the staff that helped lead the Mountaineers to 11 wins back in 2015. That year, App State ranked 4th in sacks allowed, and 6th in rushing yards per game in the FBS.

Ledford’s impact at NC State over the past three years has been astounding. The Wolfpack have had three separate running backs rush for 1,000 yards the past three years behind his “Band of Brothers.” Also, they have been one in the best in the nation at keeping the quarterback safe. The Wolfpack rank 5th nationally in 2018 in sacks allowed, and were 2nd in the Power 5 last year.

Under his watch the past three years, the following players have earned All-ACC Honors:

Tony Adams
Will Richardson
Tyler Jones
Garrett Bradbury
Terronne Prescod

According to James Henderson at InsidePackSports, Ledford will add Offensive Coordinator to his job description on the Cardinals staff.

The loss of Ledford is a tremendous blow for the Wolfpack, especially with National Signing Day right around the corner. At the end of the day, this is a business, and he has to make the best moves for his family and their future, but it stings to see him going to an Atlantic Division foe.

Whoever fills Ledford’s shoes in Raleigh will have a firm foundation to build off of.

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NC State Has National Award Winners in Back-to-Back Years for 1st Time Ever

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NC State Redshirt Graduate Senior Center Garrett Bradbury won the Rimington Trophy last week, becoming only the 4th NC State player to win a National Award.

2018: C Garrett Bradbury, Rimington Trophy (Best Center)
2017: DE Bradley Chubb, Nagurski (Best Defensive Player) & Hendricks Awards (Best Defensive End)
1996: PK Marc Primanti, Groza Award (Best Kicker)
1979: C Jim Ritcher, Outland Trophy (Best Interior Offensive/Defensive Lineman)

After Center Jim Ritcher won the Outland Trophy in 1979, seventeen years passed before Place Kicker Marc Primanti took home the Groza Award. It would be 21 more years before the next Wolfpack player brought home some hardware. Last Season Bradley Chubb matched the total amount of National Awards won by NC State players in school history all by himself, taking home the Hendricks and Nagurski trophies.

It took 17 years for NC State to win their 1st two National Awards. The Wolfpack has brought home three in the past 2 seasons.

It’s worth noting that neither Bradbury or Chubb won their awards playing the position they were playing when they arrived in Raleigh, but I’ll write more on that later.

These awards are huge for the individual players, bring the team national recognition, and help in recruiting.

Here’s to hoping the past two years are the beginning of a new trend.

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VIDEO: ACC Digital Network’s Official Ryan Finley Highlights

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The ACC Digital Network released NC State Quarterback Ryan Finley’s Official Highlight Reel.

Finley Facts from the Video
2-Time All-ACC
64.7% career completion percentage. Best in NC State history
10,366 career passing yards. 2nd in school history
60 career touchdown passes. 4th in school history
5 career rushing touchdowns

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Kelvin Harmon’s Legacy at NC State

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Unfortunately, the days of watching Wide Receiver Kelvin Harmon in an NC State uniform have come to an end. Harmon announced on Monday that he would not be returning for his Senior season in Raleigh, would be declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft, and wouldn’t be playing in the Wolfpack’s Gator Bowl matchup against #19 Texas A&M on December 31st.

To be honest, there’s nothing shocking about this news. In a quick survey of three prominent mock drafts right now, he was a Top-10 pick in one, a later 1st rounder in another, and an early 2nd round pick in the other.

Even though Harmon only played 3 seasons at NC State, he’s one of best to ever play the wide receiver position in school history. The question is…how high do you rank him?

He finished his career ranked with the 4th most receptions, 3rd most receiving yards, and the 7th most touchdown receptions.

Career Receptions Leaders
1. Jaylen Samuels, 2014-2017 – 202
2. Jerricho Cotchery, 2000-03 – 200
3. Torry Holt, 1995-98 – 191
4. Kelvin Harmon, 2016-18 – 177
5. Eddie Goines, 1991-94 – 147

Career Receiving Yards Leaders
1. Torry Holt, 1995-98 – 3,379
2. Jerricho Cotchery, 2000-03 – 3,119
3. Kelvin Harmon, 2016-18 – 2,665
4. Owen Spencer, 2007-10 – 2,441
5. Eddie Goines, 1991-94 – 2,351

Career Touchdown Receptions
1. Torry Holt, 1995-98 -31
2. Jerricho Cotchery, 2000-03 – 21
3. Jarvis Williams, 2007-10 – 20
4. Jaylen Samuels, 2014-17 – 19
5. Eddie Goines, 1991-94 – 17
5. George Bryan, 2008-11 – 17
7. Kelvin Harmon, 2016-18 – 16

100-Yard Games
1. Jerricho Cotchery, 2000-03 – 15
2. Torry Holt, 1995-98 – 14
2. Koren Robinson, 1999-00 – 14
4. Kelvin Harmon, 2016-18 – 12
5. Eddie Goines, 1991-94 8

Harmon is the only player on the above lists that only played 3 seasons at NC State. To be clear, of Harmon would have returned for his Senior season, he would have shattered Torry Holt’s are we receiving yards record and Jaylen Samuels’ career receptions record.

If you were to judge these players by what their average season production was, he would top all of them in receiving yards and receptions per season.

Average Receiving Yards Per Season

Kelvin Harmon – 888 yards
Torry Holt – 845 yards

(Koren Robinson would take the cake for the highest average per season (957), but since he only played 2 seasons, he isn’t on the above list.)

Average Receptions Per Season

Kelvin Harmon – 59
Jaylen Samuels – 50.5

(Koren Robinson averaged 55 receptions per season at NC State.)

100-yard games per season

Koren Robinson – 7
Kelvin Harmon – 4

Harmon’s Junior campaign was one of the best single-seasons in school history, ranking 4th in receptions (81) and 4th in receiving yards.

Most Receptions in a Season
1. Jakobi Meyers, 2018 – 89
2. Torry Holt, 1998 – 88
3. Jerricho Cotchery, 2003 – 86
4. Kelvin Harmon, 2018 – 81
5. Jaylen Samuels, 2017 – 76
6. Kelvin Harmon, 2017 – 69
6. Tramain Hall, 2003 – 69

Most Receiving Yards in a Season

1. Torry Holt, 1998 – 1,604
2. Jerricho Cotchery, 2003 – 1,369
3. Jerricho Cotchery, 2002 – 1,192
4. Kelvin Harmon, 2016-18 – 1,186
4. Torry Holt, 1997 – 1,099
5. Koren Robinson, 2000 – 1,061
6. Jakobi Meyers, 2018 – 1,024
7. Kelvin Harmon, 2017 – 1,017

If you break it down by season, Harmon was one of the best to play the position as a Freshman, Sophomore and Junior. His 462 receiving yards as a Freshman ranks 3rd in school history for a frosh. His 69 receptions as a Sophomore are tied for the most ever, and his 1,017 receiving yards rank second. Harmon’s 81 receptions is the 2nd most by a Junior (behind teammate Jakobi Meyers), and his 1,186 rank 2nd as well.

As you can below, NC State has had a legacy of 1st Team All-ACC, but it had been 14 years since Jerricho Cotchery made the team in 2003. That’s the longest drought in school history.

NC State 1st Team All-ACC Wide Receivers

2018 – Kelvin Harmon
2018 – Jakobi Meyers
2003 – Jerricho Cotchery
2002 – Jerricho Cotchery
1999 – Koren Robinson
1998 – Torry Holt
1997 – Torry Holt
1994 – Eddie Goines
1993 – Eddie Goines
1991 – Charles Davenport
1988 – Nasrallah Worthen
1986 – Nasrallah Worthen
1975 – Don Buckey
1972 – Pat Kenney
1967 – Harry Martell
1966 – Gary Rowe

Harmon is one of the Top-4 wide receivers in NC State history. That’s not even debatable in my mind.

Personally, I think Holt is still the G.O.A.T. Even though Harmon averaged more receiving yards and receptions per season, Holt dominated him in touchdowns (31). Also, Harmon never had a season like Holt’s Senior season (1,604 receiving yards & 16 touchdowns.

If you’re looking at accolades, Holt was a consensus 1st Team All-American in 1998 and Robinson was a 2nd Team All-American 2000 (I know all of the All-American Teams haven’t been announced for 2018). Cotchery was a 2-time 1st Team All-ACC honoree (as was Holt).

With all that being said, I reserve the top spot for Holt, but a legitimate conversation can be had for Harmon to be #2, 3, or #4.

Wolfpack fans, consider yourself privileged. You had the chance to watch one of the greatest of all-time in school history the past three years in Kelvin Harmon.

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