A lot of change has happened within the NC State Football program over the past couple of months, whether that be the loss of coaches, or players.
Here’s a look at which players are gone:
Quarterback Matt McKay transferred to Montana State, where he will have the opportunity to play immediately because it is an FCS program, with 2 years of eligibility remaining. McKay started the first 5 games of the 2019 season, before losing the job. He was a former 4-Star recruit out of Wakefield High School in Raleigh.
Punter Morgan McKenzie Morgan transferred to Weber State, where he will have two years of eligibility, because it is a FCS program. McKenzie was expected to be the starter, but ultimately lost the starting job heading into 2019 to Trenton Gill, who earned a scholarship in the preseason. Gill went on to break NC State’s single season record for average yards per punt (47.6).
Defensive Back De’Von Graves transferred to Northern Arizona, where he will have the opportunity to play immediately (FCS), with two years of eligibility remaining (as well as an unused redshirt season). Graves logged an astronomical amount of reps, playing right under 600 snaps last year. He started the year as Jarius Morehead’s backup at Strong Safety, but still saw significant playing time. After all of the injuries at Cornerback, Graves was moved to Cornerback. He started in 4 of the 11 games, finishing with 23 tackles, 4 pass breakups and 1 forced fumble. With the graduation of Jarius Morehead at Strong Safety, Graves was seemingly set to start for the Wolfpack next season.
Linebacker Brock Miller left NC State as a Graduate Transfer, and he will spend his final year of eligibility at Boise State, where he will be allowed to play immediately. Miller started in 11 of NC State’s 12 games in 2019, logging 40 tackles and 7 tackles for loss. Even though Miller got the most reps, Redshirt Freshman Payton Wilson led the team in tackles at the same position.
Defensive End Xavier Lyas will joined Graves in transferring to Northern Arizona, where he will have two years of eligibility left, and is able to play immediately. Lyas wasn’t getting the reps he wanted, transferring after 8 games, recording 4.5 tackles for loss and 4 sacks.
Offensive Guard Joshua Fedd-Jackson decided to transfer for his final year of eligibility. He was hoping to graduate in the Spring, which would give him the ability to play immediately wherever he landed. With that being said, there is a possibility that Fedd-Jackson skips his final year of college to opt for the NFL Draft. Fedd-Jackson earned 1st Team All-ACC honors this past year, and ranked in the Top-10 nationally in run blocking.
Defensive End Joseph Boletepeli entered the transfer portal in January, but has yet to find a landing spot. Boletepeli has three years of eligibility remaining, though he has already used his redshirt season. He entered Week 1 as the starter, but never started a game, playing 162 snaps in 7 games as a reserve, with 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Boletepeli was a 3-star prospect out of Heritage High School in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
Defensive End Jeffrey Gunter also entered his name into the portal in January, and has also yet to find a new home. Gunter never actually played a snap for the Wolfpack, sitting out last season after transferring from Coastal Carolina. Gunter had a lot of buzz surrounding him, earning C0-Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year honors, and was expected to be a difference maker for the Wolfpack in 2020.
Cornerback Nick McCloud decided to spend his final year of eligibility as a Graduate Transfer elsewhere, but he has yet to find a new home. McCloud was going to be a key veteran in the Wolfpack secondary in 2020, starting every game as a Junior, before missing most of last season due to injury.
The irony of all of this, is the NCAA is considering changing the rules, where a player can transfer one time in their collegiate career, and have the ability to play immediately. They were supposed to vote on this in April, but it could be moved back to June. If this passes, the players listed above who haven’t made a decision yet, might be the lucky ones.