Former NC State Punter A.J. Cole is entering his 2nd season as the starting Punter for the Raiders. Cole showed up to camp last year as an undrafted rookie, with the job of beating out starter Johnny Townsend, who was taken in the 5th round the year before.
He beat out Townsend for the job, and served as Las Vegas’ starting punter in 2019, ranking 13th in the NFL in yards per punt (46.0) and 33 of them were downed inside the 20-yard line, which ranked 5th.
Cole is entering the 2nd year of a 3-year contract he signed with the Raiders last year, and his base salary in 2020 will be $675,000.
Zonovan Knight Makes Jets History in NFL Debut
Former NC State All-American (Kickoff Returner) and All-ACC Running Back Zonovan Knight made his NFL debut today in the Jets 31-10 victory over the Bears, and in doing so, he made New York history.
Knight had 69 yards on 14 carries (4.9 yards per carry) and had 3 receptions for 34 yards, giving him 103 yards from scrimmage, setting a new Jets record for yards from scrimmage in an NFL debut.
Bam went undrafted earlier this year, but then signed an undrafted free agent deal with New York. He initially made the Jets 53-man roster, but then was waived a few days later to make space for an Offensive Lineman. Two days later, the Jets signed Knight to their Practice Squad, and that’s where he was until he was called up to the 53-man roster on October 25th.
Though Bam has been on the 53-man roster since then, today was the first time that he was Active. This came after Jets Running Back James Robinson was listed as a healthy scratch. When Running Back Michael Carter left the game in the 1st half with an ankle injury, it was Knight’s turn to step in as RB1.
Knight ended up playing 49% of the offensive snaps for the Jets today.
Also, dude was wearing a Scarface sweater for his postgame press conference…serious drip.
Also, Knight made a bet with Jets Running Back Michael Carter, a former Tar Heel, that if NC State beat UNC, he would have to wear an NC State shirt tomorrow to practice. Love it Bam!
Zonovan Knight says him and Michael Carter had a bet on the NC State/UNC game and Carter had to wear a Wolfpack shirt on when they come in and lift on Monday pic.twitter.com/gZX60kaUCi
— Antwan V. Staley (@antwanstaley) November 27, 2022
Knight might have just made a big enough splash to justify more of an active role with the New York Jets.
Carlos Rodon Finishes 6th in 2022 National League Cy Young Award Voting
Earlier this week, the 2022 Cy Young Winners were announced, and former NC State All-American Pitcher Carlos Rodon came in 6th in the National League voting.
Sandy Alcantara, MIA: 30 (first-place votes) – 210 points
Max Fried, ATL: 10 (2nd), 7 (3rd), 5 (4th), 1 (5th) – 72 points
Julio Urías, LAD: 7 (2nd), 9 (3rd), 5 (4th), 1 (5th) – 66 points
Aaron Nola, PHI: 5 (2nd), 6 (3rd), 4 (4th), 2 (5th) – 48 points
Zac Gallen, ARI: 3 (2nd), 5 (3rd), 6 (4th), 6 (5th) – 45 points
Carlos Rodón, SF: 3 (2nd), 1 (3rd), 4 (4th), 7 (5th) – 30 points
Corbin Burnes, MIL: 1 (2nd), 2 (3rd), 1 (4th), 8 (5th) – 20 points
Yu Darvish, SD: 3 (4th), 1 (5th) – 7 points
Edwin Díaz, NYM: 1 (2nd), 2 (5th) – 6 points
Kyle Wright, ATL: 1 (4th), 1 (5th) – 3 points
Logan Webb, SF: 1 (4th) – 2 points
Ryan Helsley, STL: 1 (5th) – 1 point (MLB)
Rodon finished the 2022 season with a 14-8 record, a 2.88 ERA, 237 strikeouts (179 innings) and a WHIP of 1.03. In the National League, he ranked 6th in ERA, 2nd in K’s, 9th in WHIP and 9th in Wins.
In 2021, Rodon finished 5th in the Cy Young Award voting for the American League.
Rodon is now a Free Agent, and is set to become a very wealthy man after the past two seasons he’s put together.
Trea Turner Wins First Silver Slugger Award
Former NC State All-American Shortstop recently won the National League Silver Slugger Award for the Shortstop position, the first of his career.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) November 10, 2022
Silver Slugger, Trea Turner. pic.twitter.com/nyz1R6PtwJ
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) November 10, 2022
These guys know how to rake.
Here are your 2022 NL Silver Slugger winners! pic.twitter.com/J1ZO8LXrsv
— MLB (@MLB) November 11, 2022
Among Shortstops, Turner led the MLB in hits (194) while coming 2nd in Batting Average (.298), doubles (39) and RBI’s (100).
Turner also earned his 2nd All-Star appearance in 2022.
The Dodgers recently issued a Qualifying Offer to Turner, who is now a Free Agent, and as expected he declined it.
Turner is about to make boat loads of money.
Pack Pros: NFL Week 10 Report
This past weekend was the 10th week of the 2022 NFL season. Below is a breakdown of how the former NC State players on NFL rosters did.
Wide Receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling had 3 receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown in the Chiefs’ 27-17 win over the Jags.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling has his first Chiefs touchdown pic.twitter.com/2du6vUOnU0
— Chiefs Insight (@Chiefsinsight) November 13, 2022
What a one-handed CATCH by Marquez Valdes-Scantling 🔥pic.twitter.com/WYWyvCNzZ1
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) November 13, 2022
Punter AJ Cole averaged an insane 58.8 yards per punt (5 punts) in the Raiders’ 20-25 loss to the Colts.
WE HAVE A NEW PUNTER KING
Welcome back #Raiders AJ Cole to the top spot!
Folks, there are 8 weeks of season left, 3 punters battle it out for 2 all-pro spots (though don't count out new-look Hekker, he's-definitely-elite Dickson, or quickly-rising Camarda)
— Puntalytics (@ThePuntRunts) November 15, 2022
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett was 22 of 35 for 212 yards with a touchdown in the Browns’ 17-39 loss to the Dolphins. He also rushed the ball 7 times for 40 yards.
This goes down in Jacoby Brissett's personal Hall of Fame. The feel, the step up. the seed. pic.twitter.com/mC99aR47k5
— Cory (@realcorykinnan) November 15, 2022
Kevin Stefanski’s offense, w/ Jacoby Brissett is averaging the 5th most yards per game (375.9) and the 10th most points per game (24.1)
Meanwhile Joe Woods’ defense is giving up the 16th most yards per game (349.1) and giving up the 2nd…yes SECOND, most points per game (26.4)
— Brandon Wolf (@BrandonWolfCLE) November 14, 2022
Defensive Tackle Justin Jones had 3 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and 1 QB Hit in the Bears’ 30-31 loss to the Lions.
— Just🥶Acy🥶Dawg™️ (@Just_Acy) November 13, 2022
Linebacker Bradley Chubb had 3 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and 3 QB Hits in the Dolphins 39-17 win over the Browns.
Quarterback Russell Wilson was 21 of 42 for 286 yards and a touchdown (1 interception) in the Broncos’ 10-17 loss to the Titans.
Russell Wilson season-by-season Passer Rating ranks
2022 28th pic.twitter.com/Ruvustb8Wm
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) November 15, 2022
Running Back Nyheim Hines had 1 reception for 9 yards, and returned 3 punts for an average of 8.3 yards per return in the Bills’ 30-33 loss to the Vikings.
I asked McDermott about Nyheim Hines lack of involvement in the offense. Here's what he said. pic.twitter.com/n1yaHGK2hJ
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) November 14, 2022
I'm a little surprised with how little Nyheim Hines has been involved in the offense. I know he's only been here a week and a half, but thought they would be more eager to get him on the field.
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) November 13, 2022
Defensive Tackle Kentavius Street had 3 tackles in the Saints’ 10-20 loss to the Steelers.
Defensive End James Smith-Williams had 2 tackles in the Commanders’ 32-21 win over the Eagles.
Cornerback Nick McCloud had 1 tackle in the Giants’ 24-16 win over the Texans.
Punter Trenton Gill averaged 43 yards per punt on 3 punts in Chicago’s 30-31 loss to Detroit.
Guard Joe Thuney (Chiefs), Center Garrett Bradbury (Vikings) and Tackle Ikem Ekownu (Panthers) played 100% of the snaps for their teams.
Joe Thuney in 41 pass block snaps yesterday didn't allow a single pressure.
— Chiefs Hive (@chiefshive) November 14, 2022
Garrett Bradbury casually picking up Von Miller on a stunt pic.twitter.com/pK3L4OGGke
— Tyler Forness (@TheRealForno) November 14, 2022
Ikem Ekwonu vs Falcons:
• 19 pass blocking snaps
• 0 sacks allowed
The Panthers rookie tackle hasn’t allowed a single sack in 8 consecutive games 👀 pic.twitter.com/7f35F4FZWA
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) November 11, 2022
Linebacker Germaine Pratt (Bengals)
Defensive Tackle BJ Hill (Bengals)
Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers (Pats)
Running Back Zonovan Knight (Jets)
Juston Burris (Panthers) – Concussion