You might remember Joe Sculthorpe as an All-ACC Offensive Guard (2020). That was the past. What is the present?
Learn his new name…Hank Walker…Professional Wrestler with the WWE.
Wrestling isn’t foreign to Sculthorpe. He was a North Carolina High School Heavyweight Champion out of Topsail High School (Hampstead, NC).
In March of this year, the WWE announced that 14 hopefuls had reported to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, and Sculthorpe was 1 of the 14.
On June 8th, WWE trademarked the name “Hank Walker.”
He [Walker] made his in-ring debut with a loss to Von Wagner at the June 11 NXT live event in Largo, then came up short against Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo on the July 1 NXT Level Up episode, took a loss to Giovanni Vinci at the July 9 live event in Orlando, was defeated by Duke Hudson on the July 22 NXT Level Up episode, then failed to defeat Carmelo Hayes at the August 29 live event in Venice. (Link)
Sculthorpe’s (Walker) television debut was against Lorenzo on July 1st.
His next televised match was against Duke Hudson.
Sculthorpe lost his first two televised matches.
For the past couple of weeks, the WWE has had Walker (Sculthorpe) portray a member of the NXT Security Team, building out his story line, in which this security guard develops a beef with Javier Bernal.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) August 26, 2022
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) September 8, 2022
All the beef led to a match between Hank Walker the Security Guard and Big Body Javy last night.
The WWE NXT fans have learned to hate Javy over the past 12 months, so the crowd was chanting “We Want Hank” as Bernal entered the ring. Sculthorpe’s persona Walker, walks out to no entrance music, in everyday clothes, to the crowd chanting “Hank…Hank…Hank!”
The commentators describe Walker as a developmental prospect within NXT, where many end up paying their dues serving as security. Walker was supposedly out of his depth against a NXT superstar like Bernal. But to the shock of the announcers, “security guy” Hank Walker (Joe Sculthorpe) won the match.
What followed after the match was legendary wrestler Shawn Michaels, who is now Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative, found Sculthorpe’s persona Walker, and offered him an NXT contract.
Golly bo! What a night! https://t.co/lbO9sYCbOe
— Hank Walker (@HankWalker_WWE) September 14, 2022
It will be exciting to watch Sculthorpe’s WWE NXT journey progress, and we will be along for the ride over here at Pack Insider, keeping you posted.
Dennis Smith Jr. has signed a one year deal with the Charlotte Hornets
Former NC State All-ACC Point Guard, and ACC Freshman of the Year, Dennis Smith Jr. has signed a 1-year contract with the Charlotte Hornets.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 21, 2022
The 1-year contract is not guaranteed according to Rod Boone of The Observer.
#Hornets have signed Dennis Smith Jr. to a one-year deal, league sources confirm to @theobserver. The contract is non-guaranteed, per sources. Low risk signing bringing the Fayetteville native and N.C. State product on board. Roster is now at 19. Training camp begins on Tuesday.
— Rod Boone (@rodboone) September 21, 2022
Smith is entering his 6th season in the NBA after being drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 9th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. After a year-and-a-half in Dallas, Smith was traded to the Knicks in a deal that brought Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavs. After a year-and-a-half in New York, he was traded to the Pistons in a trade that brought Derrick Rose to the Knicks. Last year, Smith signed a free-agent deal with Portland, playing in 37 games for the Trail Blazers (starting 4), averaging 6 points and 4 assists.
Through 5 seasons, Smith Jr. has averaged 10.7 points and 4.2 assists. His career hasn’t been what you would expect out of a lottery pick, but the young man has made $18.7 million in the process over the past 5 years.
Here’s to hoping a return to his home state will turn things around for the former Wolfpacker.
Below is a docuseries that Smith Jr. has posted on his personal YouTube channel over the summer.
Former NC State QB Mike Glennon Worked Out for 49ers Yesterday
Trey Lance broke his ankle on Sunday, and will miss the remainder of the season. As a result, the 49ers are looking for a 3rd Quarterback to be on their roster or practice squad.
Former NC State Quarterback Mike Glennon was one of five quarterbacks to workout for San Francisco yesterday.
The #49ers plan to add a third QB to the 53-man roster or, perhaps more likely, the practice squad.
Based on today's reported workouts, here are their options:
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) September 20, 2022
Glennon recently called his first game as an ESPN college football analyst, joining the crew for the Duke vs. North Carolina A&T game on September 17th. Prior to getting his feet wet as an analyst, Glennon had expressed his desire to still play football in the NFL after not being signed by a team heading into 2022.
For the past 9 years, Glennon has been a Quarterback in the NFL, playing for 6 different teams. He has played in 40 games, and started in 31, making $31.97 million in the process.
We’re pulling for you Mike!
Pack Pros: NFL Week 2 Report
This past weekend was the 2nd week of the 2022 NFL season. Below is a breakdown of how the 19 former NC State players on NFL rosters did.
The Jets made an improbable comeback, defeating the Browns 31-30 in the final minute, but that doesn’t negate the solid play by Quarterback Jacoby Brissett. The former NC State QB was 22/27 for 229 yards, with a touchdown and an interception, producing a QB Rating of 98.9. He also rushed the ball 43 yards on 6 carries.
Jacoby Brissett vs the Jets:
🟠 83.2 PFF grade – 3rd among QBs in Week 2 pic.twitter.com/OizboeJvP8
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) September 20, 2022
Jacoby Brissett with a dime in the end zone. He’s 10-11 for 90 yards vs. the Jets thus far. pic.twitter.com/AZ8KdWHt7g
— Cory Smith (@RCorySmith) September 18, 2022
— Browns Digest (@BrownsDigestFN) September 18, 2022
Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers had himself a day on Sunday, reeling in 9 catches (team high) for 95 yards in New England’s 17-14 victory over Pittsburgh. He was also targeted a team high 13 times. Meyers did leave the game in the final minutes with an ailing knee, which limited him some in the preseason. His status for Week 3 is unknown at this point.
Nelson Agholor on Jakobi Meyers: “I’ve played with a lot of tough players, and I have so much respect for how tough he is. And how consistent he is. I’m honored to play next to him.” pic.twitter.com/b0lvnY8vxz
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 18, 2022
Target per route run rate leaders through two weeks:
(not including MNF guys)
35% – Tyreek Hill, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Isaiah Likely
34% – Jaylen Waddle
33% – Ashton Dulin, Cooper Kupp, Drake London
31% – Mark Andrews, Garrett Wilson
30% – Jakobi Meyers, Stefon Diggs, Davante Adams
— Jacob Gibbs (@jagibbs_23) September 19, 2022
Defensive Tackle Justin Jones had 8 tackles and 2 tackles for loss in the Bears’ 10-27 loss to the Packers.
— Pro Football Culture (@proftblculture) September 19, 2022
Running Back Nyheim Hines had 4 receptions for 37 yards in the Colts’ 0-24 loss to the Jags.
Nyheim Hines has been one of Matt Ryan’s only reliable targets, and he needs to be on the field more.
If that means playing him at WR more often so it’s easier to increase that role in case of injury, so be it. https://t.co/doJ5BL5eqx
— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) September 19, 2022
Punter A.J. Cole averaged 53.7 yards per punt (3 punts) in the Raiders’ 23-29 loss to the Cardinals.
Punter rankings week 2 edition
Lots of movement this week, but #RaiderNation AJ Cole picks up where he left off last year with two consecutive weeks at the top#Titans Ryan Stonehouse and #SKOL Ryan Wright headline the rookie class pic.twitter.com/bssUoEZoAQ
— Puntalytics (@ThePuntRunts) September 20, 2022
Defensive Tackle B.J. Hill had 5 tackles and a pass breakup in the Bengals 17-20 loss to the Cowboys.
Linebacker Germaine Pratt had 5 tackles in Cincy’s 17-20 loss to Dallas.
Wide Receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling had 2 receptions for 13 yards (7 targets) in Kansas City’s 27-24 win over the Chargers.
Defensive End James Smith-Williams had 1 sack and 2 QB hits in the Commanders 27-36 loss to the lions.
Safety Josh Jones had 4 tackles in Seattle’s 7-27 loss to San Francisco. Jones started the game, after coming off the bench in Week 1.
Punter Trenton Gill averaged 49.5 yards per punt (4 punts) in Chicago’s 10-27 loss to the Packers.
Quarterback Russell Wilson led the Broncos to a 16-9 victory over the Texans, but it wasn’t pretty. Wilson was 14/31 for 219 yards, with a touchdown and an interception, and a QB Rating of 66.4.
Defensive Tackle Alim McNeill had 2 tackles in Detroit’s 36-27 win over Washington.
Defensive Tackle Kentavius Street had one tackle for loss in the Saints’ 10-20 loss to the Bucs.
I thought I read the box score wrong, but Linebacker Bradley Chubb didn’t record a tackle in Denver’s 16-9 win over Houston. He did have 2 QB hits.
Center Garrett Bradbury (Vikings), Guard Joe Thuney (Chiefs) and Tackle Ikem Ekwonu (Panthers) all played 100% of the snaps this week in their games.
Cornerback Nick McCloud (Giants) was OUT with a hamstring injury.
Lorenzo Brown leads Spain to EuroBasket title. Now being called a ‘basketball god’ and ‘Spain’s Michael Jordan’
Woah. Slow down for a second.
We haven’t heard from former NC State basketball star Lorenzo Brown in while. And now he’s being dubbed a ‘basketball god” ? He has people calling him Spain’s version of Michael Jordan? What did we miss?
Here’s a quick recap of how Lorenzo Brown became a citizen of Spain and led them to the Eurobasket Championship.
— #EuroBasket 2022 (@EuroBasket) September 18, 2022
Eurobasket is the European Basketball Championship. It’s the main international basketball competition held by FIBA and it’s huge. Superstars from all over the world compete for their counties and there is a lot of national pride that comes along with this championship.
So where does Lorenzo Brown, a kid just outside Atlanta, Georgia, fit in?
Zo has never lived Spain. He doesn’t have family from Spain, and he’s never even played for a team in Spain. However, Sergio Scariolo, who was filling out Spain’s roster was dealt a blow when Ricky Rubio (NBA star PG) suffered a serious ACL injury earlier this year. He didn’t have anyone that could fill Rubio’s shoes and was stuck. Then he had an idea.
Scariolo was an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors in 2018, the same time Lorenzo Brown was with the Raptors. Scariolo loved Brown’s game so much that it was Brown he thought of for this opportunity.
For Brown to be able to compete, he’d have to become a citizen of Spain, but that wasn’t going to be an easy task seeing as he didn’t live there or have any ties to the country.
Scariolo had an idea. He went to the Spanish Basketball Association and explained how important Brown getting citizenship was. He requested for them to put in a request to the country for expedited citizenship under ‘exceptional circumstances.’ The exceptional circumstances being, it will help the country compete on a national stage.
The government OK’d the request and Zo was the new PG for Spain.
This normally wouldn’t be a huge deal, but Zo was a huge difference maker. In fact, for most of the tournament, he was Spain’s most valuable player. In fact, he was the first player to ever register a double-double (points/assists) in the EuroBasket gold medal game.
Overall, he put up 22.8pts and 8.3 assists and was pivotal in late-game situations, as he led Spain to the championship over France.
— Lorenzo Brown (@Zo_Brown) September 19, 2022
“Yes, that was my first objective right there. And we did it. I faced a lot of criticism for who knows what. But I feel like it’s a language barrier or country… I don’t know what was going on, but at the end of the day, we speak the same language out there on the court. It doesn’t matter what color you’re or where you’re from, we’re all brothers and humans. That speaks for itself right there, winning this gold medal.” Brown told Basketnews.com
Eurobasket was no cakewalk either. The tournament featured some of the NBA’s best talent, including Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Nikola Jokic (Serbia), Luka Doncic (Slovenia), and Rudy Gobert (France).
But Brown didn’t do it on his own. He was teamed up with Juancho Hernangomez (Finals MVP), who was the inspiration for the Netlfix move ‘Hustle’ with Adam Sandler. Hernangomez played Bo Cruz, a foreign player who was trying to make his way to the NBA. Sandler also chimed in after the win.
Bo Cruz! Getting it done. Love you Juancho. And Willie! Congrats to the whole Spanish team. pic.twitter.com/TGIY2OYZJC
— Adam Sandler (@AdamSandler) September 19, 2022
But Brown was right there with him, being named one of the All-Star 5 from the tournament.
— #EuroBasket 2022 (@EuroBasket) September 18, 2022
His play has led some in Spain to call him ‘Spain’s version of Michael Jordan’, one of which was the countries biggest YouTube star.
LORENZO BROWN ES MICHAEL JORDAN.
— Ibai (@IbaiLlanos) September 16, 2022
So what’s next for Zo?
Well, it looks like he’s going to stick around in Spain and cash in on his recent success. What that looks like is still not set in stone, however, we’ll keep you updated with his next move and hopefully bring you an exclusive interview about his huge tournament.