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Former Wolfpacker, Andrew Knizner, to make St. Louis Cardinals roster, back-up Molina

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Andrew Knizner hasn’t ‘officially’ been declared the back-up catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, but as manager Mike Shildt said, ‘you can read between the lines.’

Knizner is hitting .280 this spring and has 25 spring training at-bats. The Cardinals starter, Yadier Molina, has 28 and the other two catcher vying for a roster spot have 10 a piece. So yeah, read between the lines. Andrew Knizner is all but locked into a roster spot and the backup catching role.

Yadier Molina, the long-time Cardinals backstop is almost a sure-fire hall of famer. The guy is about to play his 17th MLB season, all with St. Louis. He sports a .293 career average and is one of the best defensive catchers that’s ever played. But he’s 38 years old, and for a catcher that plays almost every day, that’s almost unheard of.

That is why St. Louis is grooming their next back stop. Former NC State star, Andrew Knizner.

“It’s good he’s getting the multiple looks,” Shildt said. “He’s creating familiarity with them. He’s done more than his share to get his opportunity to go play. We know Yadi (Molina) is our guy, but he (Knizner) has been a good teammate over the last couple of years. He’s been patient, taking advantage of his time and he deserves to get his opportunity when it’s appropriate, and he has taken advantage of it.” (St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Knizner was the #6 rated Cardinals prospect coming into the 2020 season after being drafted in the 7th round in 2016.

Over his career at NC State he hit .312 and hit 15 HRs, but the real reason everyone loves his bat so much is that he’s an elite contact guy who will take a walk and rarely strikes out. On top of that, he’s profiling to be an above-average defensive catcher.

Keep an eye out for Knizner this season as he gets his chance to prove he’s the St. Louis Cardinals’ catcher of the future.

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State G Terquavion Smith Earns a Spot on the 2023-23 NBA G-League All-Rookie Team

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Former NC State Guard Terquavion Smith earned a spot on the 2023-24 NBA G-League All-Rookie Team.

Smith averaged 22.3 points, 3.4 assists and 3 rebounds per game for the Delaware Blue Coats. What’s crazy, is that he only started in 3 of the 36 games he played in. With that being said, he averaged 30.7 minutes per game. Smith shot 35.6% from three.

As a 2-way player, Smith also played 16 games for the Philadelphia 76ers, averaging 3.3 points in 5.3 minutes per game. He shot 37.1% from three.

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NC State LB Payton Wilson Visited with the Steelers Yesterday

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Former NC State Linebacker Payton Wilson had a Top-30 visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday. Wilson is the first Linebacker the Steelers have brought in.

Wilson has already had Top-30 visits with the Dallas Cowboys and the Carolina Panthers.

PFF ranks Wilson as the #1 Linebacker in the 2024 Draft, and #26 on their Big Board.

1. LB PAYTON WILSONNC STATE

PFF BIG BOARD RANK: 26

Wilson has the length, movement ability, IQ and tape of a first-round linebacker. What will likely keep him from being drafted on Day 1 is his injury history and age. If healthy, he can be a starting inside linebacker in any defense. (PFF)

Will someone take Wilson in the 1st round? Will he be a 2nd round pick? If he slips past that, that’s just stupid.

 

 

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NC State’s DJ Horne Declares for the NBA Draft

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NC State Guard DJ Horne has officially declared for the 2024 NBA Draft.

 

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A post shared by DJ Horne (@djhorne)

Horne is trying to become the first Wolfpack player to be drafted since Dennis Smith Jr. was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 6th pick in the 1st Round.

While Horne might not currently be projected to be drafted, he is trying to change that tune at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament which begins tomorrow.

Horne is a special player, and genuinely possesses the skill set to compete at the next level. Whether he is drafted, or signs a 2-way contract, what he put on tape this year warrants a chance.





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Former NC State Defensive End Savion Jackson is Receiving Interest from NFL Teams

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Former NC State Defensive End Savion Jackson is receiving interest from NFL teams. Thus far, those teams are the Rams, Chargers, 49ers, and Broncos.

Last season as a Senior, Jackson had 40 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks in 12 games for the Wolfpack. His Run Defense grade on PFF was 80.6, ranking 4th on the team.

According to current projections, Jackson projects to be taken on Day 3 of the 2024 NFL Draft, or picked up as an Undrafted Free Agent.

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