18 of the 20 former NC State players on active NFL rosters saw action in Week 14 of the 2019 NFL season. Check out a breakdown of how they did below.
After some wondered if Quarterback Philip Rivers (starter) would be benched after two dismal weeks in Week 10 and 11, the Wolfpack legend has rebounded mightily. After recording a QB Rating of 106.3 in Week 13, Rivers was near perfect in the Chargers’ 45-10 thrashing of the Jags, with a QB Rating of 154.4, completing 16 of 22 for 314 yards and 3 touchdowns (0 interceptions). It was his best performance of 2019.
Philip Rivers' trash talk is amazing 😂
— ESPN (@espn) December 10, 2019
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett (starter) rebounded, playing much better in the Colts’ 38-35 loss to the Bucs. After three straight games with a QB Rating in the 70’s, Brissett was 19 of 36 for 251 yards and 2 touchdowns (0 interceptions) for a QB Rating of 93.6.
Jacoby Brissett throws a 💣 to Marcus Johnson for 6️⃣ pic.twitter.com/Du4U4hPkRt
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) December 8, 2019
Linebacker Germaine Pratt (starter) led the Bengals with 8 tackles in their 27-19 loss to the Browns, playing 72% of the snaps. Pratt has started 5 straight games, and the 8 tackles were a career high.
Germaine Pratt's PFF grades since being named the starter. pic.twitter.com/oApjSXo0mX
— Jeaux Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) December 9, 2019
Quarterback Russell Wilson (starter) played one of his worst games of 2019 in the Seahawks’ 28-12 loss to the Rams, completing 22 of 36 for 245 yards and 1 interception for a QB Rating of 69.8.
Running Back Jaylen Samuels (starter) rushed the ball 7 times for 16 yards, and had 2 receptions for 18 yards in Pittsburgh’s 23-17 victory over Arizona, playing 47% of the offensive snaps. It was his 4th start of the year.
Place Kicker Stephen Hauschka (starter) was perfect, making all 3 field goal attempts (36, 47, 48) in Buffalo’s 24-17 loss to Baltimore.
Defensive Back Juston Burris (starter) had 3 tackles and 1 QB Hit in the Browns’ 27-19 victory over the Bengals, playing 32% of the defensive snaps.
Running Back Nyheim Hines rushed the ball 4 times for 1 yard, and had 4 receptions for 28 yards in Indy’s 38-35 loss to Tampa Bay, playing in 56% of the offensive snaps. He also lost a fumble. Hines returned 2 punts for an average of 17 yards.
Center Garrett Bradbury (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in Minnesota’s 20-7 victory over Detroit.
— Sean Borman (@SeanBormanNFL) December 8, 2019
Since Week 5, #Vikings center Garrett Bradbury is PFF's #10 ranked center in terms of Pass Blocking Efficiency at 98.4%.
— Purple FTW! Podcast (@PurpleForTheWin) December 9, 2019
Offensive Guard Joe Thuney (starter) played 100% of the offensive snaps in New England’s 23-16 loss to Kansas City.
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) December 10, 2019
Wide Receiver Kelvin Harmon had 1 reception for 30 yards (4 targets) in the Redskins’ 20-15 loss to the Packers, playing 85% of the offensive snaps.
Excellent job by Dwayne Haskins staying poised in the pocket on 3rd and 13. Blitz gets picked up and he finds Kelvin Harmon open over the middle to pick up the first down. #Redskins pic.twitter.com/KwUHp46YaD
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) December 8, 2019
Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers had 1 reception for 35 yards (3 targets) in the Patriots’ 23-16 loss to the Chiefs, playing 57% of the offensive snaps.
Defensive End B.J. Hill had 2 tackles in the Giants’ 23-17 loss to the Eagles, playing in 37% of the defensive snaps.
Offensive Guard J.R. Sweezy (starter) played 60% of the offensive snaps in the Cardinals’ 23-17 loss to the Steelers. Sweezy was limited in practice last week due to illness, and has been limited this week as well.
Defensive Tackle Justin Jones (starter) had 1 tackle in Los Angeles 45-10 victory over Jacksonville, playing 77% of the defensive snaps.
Punter A.J. Cole (starter) punted the ball 5 times for an average of 44.2 yards in the Raiders’ 42-21 loss to the Titans.
Offensive Tackle Will Richardson played 18% of the offensive snaps in the Jags’ 45-10 loss to the Chargers.
Offensive Guard Ted Larsen played 5 Special Teams snaps in the Bears’ 31-24 victory over the Cowboys on Thursday night football.
Quarterback Ryan Finley (Bengals)
Quarterback Mike Glennon (Raiders)
Linebacker Bradley Chubb (Broncos) – knee
Defensive End Kentavius Street (49ers) – knee
Justin Gainey Named Associate Head Coach at Marquette
Former NC State Point Guard Justin Gainey (1997-00) has been hired by Marquette as their Associate Head Coach, serving along head coach Steve Wojciechowski, the former Duke point guard.
“We are excited to welcome Justin and the Gainey family back to Marquette,” Wojciechowski said. “Justin is one of the nation’s top rising coaches and his talents, ability to build meaningful relationships and myriad of experiences alongside some of the game’s best teachers will serve our program, and most importantly our players, incredibly well.” (Link)
This isn’t Gainey’s first stint at Marquette, serving as Director of Operations from 2014-17. The past two seasons, Gainey served as an Assistant Coach with Sean Miller at Arizona. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant Coach at Santa Clara for one season with his former head coach at NC State, Herb Sendek.
Gainey’s coaching career began at NC State, where he served as Director of Operations for three seasons (2006-09), and then he went on to work at Appalachian State and Elon as well.
Dennis Smith Jr. Showing Love to Fayetteville in the Midst of Covid-19
Former NC State Freshman of the Year Dennis Smith Jr. never forgets where he came from. The New York Knicks Point Guard is always showing love for Fayetteville, North Carolina.
According to Ian Begley, DSJ is providing food vouchers for 575 first responders at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, and 32 computers for local students in Fayetteville.
Here’s a quote from Dennis Smith Jr. on his donation: “Fayetteville and basketball have given so much to me…. I wanted to show support for the real heroes during these tragic times – the first responders.” Smith Jr.’s full quote, via the Knicks, is here: https://t.co/EtvF1LhVKh pic.twitter.com/G1RpvhGTjF
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) March 27, 2020
Andrew Knizner Enters 2020 as the #6 Prospect in the Cardinals Organization
Former NC State Catcher Andrew Knizner enters the 2020 season ranked as the #6 prospect in the Cardinals organization.
Knizner was drafted in the 7th round by St. Louis in 2016, and was called up for the 1st time to the Big Leagues last year, when Yadier Molina was placed on the disabled list.
The jump wasn’t an easy one, with Knizner hitting .226 in 18 games.
Despite some time in the Majors at the end of last season, Knizner will begin 2020 in Triple-A Memphis, where he has already played 83 games, hitting .283.
Cardinals legend Molina is back to full strength, and backup Matt Wieters was signed to a 1-year deal, meaning it’s not quite time for Knizner.
Will Wilson Enters 2020 as the #10 Prospect in the Giants Organization
Former NC State All-American Shortstop Will Wilson will is entering the 2020 baseball season ranked as the #10 prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization.
After being drafted by the Angels with the 15th overall pick in the MLB Draft last year, Wilson hit .275 in 46 games of Rookie ball with the Orem Owlz.
In December, the Angels traded him to the Giants.
In his final season at NC State, Wilson led the team with a .335 batting average, 20 doubles, 16 home runs and a .661 slugging percentage, and finished eighth all-time in career doubles (57) and homers (39), and ninth in total bases (409).
Wilson is the 3rd highest draft pick in NC State history, and only the 2nd batter to be drafted in the 1st round, alongside another shortstop who is currently in the league as well: Trea Turner.
According to MLB.com, Wilson is expected to make it to the Majors in 2022.