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NC State head coach Dave Doeren met with the media to discuss NC State’s season opener against ECU.

Doeren talks about team expectations and what he’s seen in training camp, why the two-deep depth chart is being delayed, and what the takeaways are from the 2016 loss to ECU.

He also gets into his thoughts on ECU QB Holton Ahlers, and how his RB and WR depth is going to look.

You can watch the presser above, or check out a bulleted rundown below:

  • NC State coaching staff has 310 years experience.
  • “It’s about winning today over and over and over and over so that we can play well in the moment of truth. That’s what Saturdays are about.”
  • Been able to pay in hot weather and play in the rain in training camp, which will be good prep for what we might see in the opener.
  • Healthiest one of his teams has ever been coming out of training camp at NC State
  • Has a lot or respect for ECU Head Coach Mike Houston. It’s more of his roster than it has ever been.
  • Bringing back a lot of veteran players. They play hard and execute systems well. Play the whole game…with comeback games and games in overtime. They don’t quit, and he respects that.
  • Holton Ahlers has played a lot of football, and he’s known him since he was in high school. Big strong kid that can run around. Super smart.
  • Top receiver C.J. Johnson was Ahlers teammate in high school.
  • Tight End Ryan Jones, who transferred in from Oklahoma, was a kid he recruited out of Mallard Creek.
  • ECU’s tailback is a really, really good football player.
  • Their defense brings a lot or pressure and a lot of stunts, and changes packages quite a bit. Plays hard with good speed. Their strength is getting the ball back, with 21 takeaways last year.
  • This is a good football team. They were a bowl-eligible team last year, and they’re better than they were last year because of who they brought back.
  • Knows their fans will be loud. Will be great to be involved in an atmosphere like that. Team needs to go on the road and play in front of a fanbase like that. Will come home for 3 weeks after this game, and then go to Clemson. Excited to have this challenge in the season opener.
    • “I know this is a tough place. Trust me. Our team knows as well. It’s been a lot of conversation about who we’re playing and where we’re playing.”
  • Dowdy-Ficklen isn’t a stadium NC State has played well in. We’re 1-4 (I think it’s 1-3) in Greenville. Last time he was there (2016), NC State had 13 penalties and lost in a one-possession game.
  • NC State’s offense returns 4 starters on the O-Line: Chandler Zavala, Grant Gibson, Dylan McMahon and Bryson Speas. Then there are guys like Tim McKay and Derrick Eason who have played a lot.
    • They are excited about Anthony Belton at Left Tackle.
    • Seen a lot good things about Lyndon Cooper at Center.
    • Anthony Carter is at Guard and Patrick Matan is at Tackle.
  • At Running Back, he’s excited to see Jordan Houston, Demie Sumo, Demarcus Jones and Delbert Mimms.
  • At Tight End, Trent Pennix and Chris Toudle are healthy and feeling good.
    • Kam Walker has really improved.
    • Two redshirt Tight Ends, Ced and Fred Seabrough have added depth to the position.
    • Excited about depth at the position.
  • At Wide Receiver, Thayer Thomas probably had the best training camp he’s had. Outstanding.
    • Obviously mentioned, that they have Devin Carter.
    • Up and coming guys like Daryl Jones, from Maryland.
    • Keyon Lesane has had a great camp.
    • Julian Gray has had a very productive camp.
    • Jalen Coit shined in 2nd scrimmage.
    • Anthony Smith had a great Spring.
    • Thayer Thomas is better because of Porter Rooks and Jalen Coit.
    • Feel like the WR room has guys who can rotate.
    • Jasiah Provillon has done some things here ion the last 3 or 4 practices.
    • Increased our depth of playmakers.
    • Leaned on Emeka Emezie in the past, so the question is how are they going to create production? It’s going to come in a lot of guys hands. We’re going to see if one guy outperforms others as games start, and he will get more time.
  • On the D-Line they have Savion Jackson, Cory Durden, Davin Vann, Josh Harris and C.J. Clark. Those 5 have played a lot.
    • Travali Price and Claude Larkins are two younger guys who are rotating in now.
  • At Linebacker, Payton Wilson, Isaiah Moore and Drake Thomas look really good and healthy.
    • Seen improvement of Jaylon Scott, Jayland Parker and Caden Fordham rotating behind them.
  • Have competitive depth in the secondary, and will be able to rotate some.
    • Tanner Ingle and Jakeen Harris with Cyrus Fagan and Devan Boykin at Safety.
    • Tyler Baker-Williams and Josh Pierre-Louis are at Nickel and Dime.
    • At Cornerback they have Shyheim Battle, Aydan White, Derrek Pitts and Teshaun Smith.
    • “We’ll see how this plays out. There’s going to be a lot of guys, particularly early, getting some rotational time. As you guys know, as the season goes on we’re going to need them all. I think it’s important early to give a lot of guys opportunities.”
  • At specialist we have place kicker Chris Dunn and Long Snapper Joe Shimko. Then there’s transfer punter Shane McDonough, who has had a great camp. Collin Smith is the kickoff guy.
    • Thayer Thomas and Julian Gray are the returners.
  • Didn’t release depth chart today, because ECU isn’t releasing theirs until tomorrow.
  • This isn’t the same team that lost in Greenville in 2016. That was a really young team. All the guys that ended up in the NFL were Sophomores then. Lot of immature mistakes. We’ve talked about all of them.
  • Holton Ahler’s is a mobile QB that is tough and can run. 230 lb guy. Also has the drop-back pass game. 4.0 GPA kid from a football family.
    • He chose to stay home and be a part of their family’s legacy at ECU…nothing but respect for him for that.
    • he sees the field and has a good arm.
  • If NC State can stay healthy, they should have really good competitive depth. This is what he’s been hoping for. A good starting group with a group of guys trying to beat them out and are good enough to do so. They can go in and produce and help them win, not just get reps.
  • As a coach, he tries to get better every year. In most cases, he thinks he has. The down year they had a few years back, he owns as much of that as anybody in the building. He didn’t do a good enough job having a young team ready to play and deal with injuries, and he’s learned from that.
  • Through 12 years, the biggest thing he can say, is that he looks at failure as an opportunity to grow.

 

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NC State Football

NC State’s 2023 Football Schedule has Arrived!

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NC State’s 2023 Football schedule was released yesterday.

Image

Notes

  • NC State will play all three in-state ACC rivals: UNC, Duke and Wake Forest
  • NC State has two Friday night games back to back: UVA & Louisville
  • NC State will play Quarterback Brennan Armstrong’s former team UVA on 9/22.
  • NC State will host Notre Dame for the 2nd time ever, and will face a familiar face in former Wake Forest Quarterback Sam Hartman.
  • In the first year without Divisions in the ACC, 5 of NC State’s 8 conference opponents will be teams that were in the Coastal Division last year: UVA, UNC, Miami, Duke, VT.
    • The three former Atlantic Division opponents are: Clemson, Wake Forest and Louisville

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NC State Football

NC State’s 2023 Football Recruiting Class has the Most 4-Star Players in the Dave Doeren Era

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NC State’s 2023 football recruiting class is currently ranked 30th nationally by ON3, but I think you can make an argument that this could be Dave Doeren’s best class since he’s been in Raleigh.

Currently, 9 of the 18 players that make up the class (not including collegiate transfers) are 4-star prospects. You would think a class that included 9 4-star prospects would be ranked higher than 30th, but the reason it isn’t, is because different recruiting services rank players differently.

This is the most 4-star players that Doeren has ever had in a single class.

2023 – 9
2022 – 7
2021 – 8
2020 – 3
2019 – 7
2018 – 6
2017 – 4
2016 – 2
2015 – 5
2014 – 6
2013 – 2

4-Star Players in the Wolfpack’s 2023 Recruiting Class

Safety Daemon Fagan (247, ON3, Rivals & ESPN)
Tight End Javonte Vereen (ON3 & ESPN)
Safety Zack Myers (247 & Rivals)
Running Back Kendrick Raphael (ESPN & Rivals)
JUCO Defensive Lineman Jykeveous Hibbler (ESPN)
JUCO Safety Bishop Fitzgerald (ON3)
Offensive Lineman Darion Rivers (ON3)
Wide Receiver Kevin Concepcion (Rivals)
Cornerback Brandon Cisse (ON3)

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NC State Football

Former NC State Defensive End Claude Larkins Commits to FIU

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Former NC State Defensive End Claude Larkins has committed to play for Florida International University.

On January 1st, Larkins made it official that he was entering the Transfer Portal.

Larkins only played 11 snaps in 1 game this season (Charleston Southern), and recorded 1 tackle. In 2021, he played 16 snaps in 1 game and recorded 2 tackles.

He was a 3-star recruit out of Hollywood, Florida, in the 2020 recruiting class, so heading to Miami puts him at around an hour from his hometown.

Larkins has three years of eligibility remaining.

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NC State Football

NC State will Host Notre Dame for their 2023 Football Home Opener

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It’s official. NC State’s football home opener will be against Notre Dame next Fall.

The Wolfpack defense will see a familiar face across the line of scrimmage throwing the pigskin. Former Wake Forest Quarterback Sam Hartman transferred to play for the Irish for his final year of eligibility.

This will mark the 4th time Hartman has faced NC State in his career.

Notre Dame finished the 2022 season ranked 18th in the AP Poll, with a 9-4 record.

This will mark the 4th time the Wolfpack have played the Irish, and the second time at home. The other time Notre Dame came to Raleigh, NC State won 10-3 in a hurricane. The Wolfpack have won 2 of their 3 games against the Irish.

The Wolfpack’s other non-conference opponents in 2023 will be at UCONN, and VMI and Marshall at home.

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