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NC State’s Deonte Holden to Play in NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

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Graduate Redshirt Senior Defensive End Deonte Holden will be playing in the NFL Players Association Collegiate Bowl.

Holden was awarded a 6th year of eligibility last year, giving him the opportunity to play one more year in 2019.

In 9 games this year, Holden has 8 tackles (2 tackles for loss), 1.5 sacks and 1 QB Hurry.

Two years ago, NC State Cornerback Mike Stevens played in the Collegiate Bowl.

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3 NC State Freshmen Honored on PFF’s All-American Freshmen Teams

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ProFootballFocus released their Freshmen All-American Teams today, and NC State has 3 players represented.

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Freshman Offensive Tackle Ikem Ekwonu earned 1st Team Honors.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE

First Team: Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

NC State quarterbacks will not have to worry about their blindside for years to come, as Ekwonu shined in his first season and will only improve from here. The left tackle did not allow a single sack in 369 pass-blocking snaps and conceded a pressure rate of 4.6%, which ranks fourth among freshman offensive tackles with at least 100 snaps played. He was also a stalwart in the running game, recording a stellar 85.5 run-blocking grade. (PFF)

Ekwonu started in 7 of 12 games this year, leading the team in pancake blocks.

Linebacker Drake Thomas earned a spot on the Third Team. He finished his first season with 34 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and 1 interception, starting in 3 games.

Zonovan Knight was an Honorable Mention at Running Back, rushed for 745 yards and 5 touchdowns, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

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Payton Wilson is the 1st Freshman to Lead NC State in Tackles Since 1988

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Redshirt Freshman Payton Wilson led NC State in tackles in 2019, with 69 total tackles and 5 tackles for loss.

According to my best reading of the Media Guide, Wilson is the first Freshman to lead the Wolfpack in tackles since Jesse Campbell did so in 1988.

Also, if my research is correct, since tackles began being recorded in 1977, Wilson is only the 2nd player in NC State history to lead the Pack in tackles in his first year on the field.

What makes this even MORE IMPRESSIVE, is the fact that Wilson only started ONE game this season.

 

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NC State Promotes Tony Gibson to Defensive Coordinator

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NC State fired Dave Huxtable on Monday after serving as the Defensive Coordinator for the Wolfpack the past 6 years, and Head Coach Dave Doeren promoted Tony Gibson to take his place today. He will also serve as the Linebackers coach as Huxtable did.

“I look forward to building our defense with Tony Gibson as the leader,” said Doeren. “He has a strong vision for what we need to do on defense and his knowledge of our personnel and recruits will help us design the structure of our defense around our talent.” (GoPack)

Gibson served as the Co-Defensive Coordinator this year in Raleigh, and also coached the Safeties. He was influential in the institution of the 3-3-5 defense, and is much more familiar with running it.

Prior to arriving in Raleigh, Gibson served as the Defensive Coordinator at West Virginia from 2014-18.

In 2016, Gibson was named the Big 12 Defensive Coordinator of the Year by Athon as his defense led the Big 12 in scoring defense and total defense.

In 2015, the Mountaineer defense ranked second nationally in interceptions, fifth in turnovers gained and 11thin 3rddown defense ,while leading the Big 12 in rushing defense, INTs and ranking second in the league in scoring defense and total defense.

Known for reopening the “Pittsburgh Pipeline” while recruiting for WVU, Gibson spent a year as the assistant head coach at Arizona (2012) and spent the 2011 season as the secondary coach at Pitt, where he mentored two All-Big East performers and recruited the nation’s top running back.

From 2008-10, he was the assistant head coach and safeties coach at Michigan, where he recruited and signed eventual Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Denard Robinson.

From 2001-07 he coached defensive backs on the WVU staff that posted a 58-14 record and advanced to two BCS bowl games. The Mountaineers won or shared four Big East titles during his first stint.

Gibson recruited 32 players on the 2005 team that won the Big East title and the Sugar Bowl and 40 players on the 2007 Big East Champ/Fiesta Bowl Championship team.

Gibson began his career at Glenville State in 1996, coaching defensive backs and the kickoff teams.

In 1997 and ’98, Gibson worked at Cumberland (Tenn.) University, coordinating the program’s special teams and recruitment in addition to mentoring the team’s defensive backs. His career then carried him to West Virginia Tech, where he spent two seasons as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator (1999-2000).

Gibson graduated from Glenville State in 1994. He was a defensive back from 1991-94 and was a part of two WVIAC championship teams.

The Van, West Virginia, native began his coaching career at Gilmer County High School in Glenville, West Virginia, in 1995, where he was head coach and interim athletic director.

He and his wife, Kerry, have two children, son Cody, who is a member of the Illinois football coaching staff and daughter, Ashton.

Year by Year Coaching History
Year Position School

2018 – Co-Def. Coor. & Safeties – NC State
2016 – 2017 – Assoc. Head coach/Def. Coor. /LB – West Virginia
2014 – 15 – Def. Coor./LB – West Virginia
2013 – Safeties – West Virginia
2012 – Asst. Head coach/Safeties/Def. Special Teams – Arizona
2011 – Secondary/Pass Game Coor. –  Pitt
2008 -10 –  Asst. Head coach/DB/Special Teams – Michigan
2001 – 07 – DB  – West Virginia
1999 – 00 – Def. Coor. – West Virginia Tech
1997 – 98 – DB/Special Teams – Cumberland Univ.
1996 – DB – Glenville State (Link)

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Punter Trenton Gill Breaks NC State Single-Season Record

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Redshirt Sophomore Trenton Gill was a walk-on before the season began, and was encouraged to earn a scholarship in Fall Camp prior to the 1st game.

He walked off the field after the last game of the season as the 2019 ACC leader in Average Yards per Punt (47.6), and the new single-season record holder at NC State, breaking Johnny Evans record set back in 1975.

2019 ACC Punt Leaders

NC State Single-Season Leaders

Gill is the new record holder with a booming average of 47.6.

Gill is the 7th Wolfpack punter to lead the ACC in average yard per punt.

In my opinion, it was a crime that Gill earned 3rd-Team All-ACC honors, but from Walk-On to any All-ACC honors of any kind is an amazing story.

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