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Pack in the Pros

Dennis Smith Jr. Makes 2022 Opening Night Roster for the Charlotte Hornets

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Former NC State Point Guard Dennis Smith Jr. has made the 2022 Opening Night roster for the Charlotte Hornets. While the NBA Season officially starts tonight, the Hornets’ will kickoff their season tomorrow night at San Antonio.

Back on September 21st, Charlotte signed Smith Jr to a 1-year deal. The contract was non-guaranteed, but could be worth up to $2.1 million

There were questions on whether or not Smith Jr would find a significant enough roll on the Hornets to justify a roster spot, but a few things have happened that have improved his stock.

Star Point Guard Lamelo Ball is out for the beginning of the season with an ankle sprain, and James Bouknight was arrested for a DWI on Sunday.

Also, in 3 preseason games, DSJ was productive, averaging 6.7 points in 16.0 minutes.

Smith Jr. is entering his 6th year in the NBA after earning ACC Freshman of the Year honors at NC State. The Hornets are DSJ’s 5th NBA Squad, having played for Dallas, Detroit, New York, Portland in his first 5 seasons.

Through 216 NBA games (135 starts), Smith Jr has averaged 10.7 points and 4.2 assists per game.

Matthew is Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He writes for all sports, with a focus on football and recruiting, and is in charge of business strategy. He is an NC State alum who majored in business. Matthew is also the lead pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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Pack in the Pros

2 NC State Players Were Invited to the 2024 NFL Combine

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Yesterday, the NFL released the names of the 321 prospects invited to the 2024 NFL Combine, and Linebacker Payton Wilson and Center Dylan McMahon made the cut.

Wilson was a Unanimous All-American, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, 1st Team All-ACC and won the Butkus and Nagurski Awards. McMahon earned All-ACC Honorable Mention this year.

Also, Long Snapper Joe Shimko’s has been invited to a Specialists Showcase at the end of the Combine.

Shimko was named the best Long Snapper in College Football this season.

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Pack in the Pros

Where is NC State’s Payton Wilson Landing in Mock Drafts?

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Former NC State Linebacker Payton Wilson won the Butkus and Nagurski Awards this season, and is primed to be one of the top Linebacker’s taken in the 2024 NFL Draft. With the Draft Order set after the end of the Super Bowl, where is the former Wolfpack Linebacker projecting to land in the 2024 NFL Draft.

ProFootballFocus – 2nd Round – #41 – Green Bay Packers
PlayerProfiler – 2nd Round – #53 – Miami Dolphins
33rd Team – 3rd Round – #67 – Washington Commanders
NFL.com – 3rd Round – #78 – Philadelphia Eagles
Tankathon – 3rd Round – #82 – Indianapolis Colts
DraftWire – 3rd Round – #84 – Pittsburgh Steelers
FanSided – 3rd Round – #87 – Dallas Cowboys
The Athletic – 3rd Round – #97 – Philadelphia Eagles

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Pack in the Pros

2 Former NC State Football Players Take Home Super Bowl Rings

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Two former NC State Football players took home Super Bowl rings last night: Offensive Guard Joe Thuney and Wide Receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Unfortunately, Thuney was unable to play last night due to a pectoral injury, but Valdes-Scantling did catch a touchdown.

Valdes-Scantling finished with 3 receptions for 20 yards and a touchdown.

Thuney has now broken his tie with Center Jim Ritcher, becoming the NC State football player with the most Super Bowl appearances, and Valdes-Scantling is tied for 3rd. Thuney has been to 5 Super Bowls in 8 seasons.

Joe Thuney – 5
Jim Ritcher – 4
Marquez Valdes-Scantling – 2
Mike Cofer – 2
Perry Williams – 2
Mike Jones – 2
Torry Holt – 2
Russell Wilson – 2
J.R. Sweezy – 2
Steven Hauschka – 2
(Bill Cowher – 2 – as a head coach)

Thuney now has 4 Super Bowl rings, which is tied for the 3rd most by a player in NFL history. Valdes-Scantling has 2.

NC State Players with the Most Super Bowl Rings

Offensive Guard Joe Thuney – 4
Wide Receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling – 2
Place Kicker Mike Cofer  – 2
Cornerback Perry Williams – 2

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Pack in the Pros

Joe Thuney’s 5 Super Bowl Appearances is the Most by an NC State Player

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Former All-American Offensive Lineman Joe Thuney is heading to his 5th Super Bowl in 8 NFL Seasons. Unfortunately, Thuney isn’t expected to play tomorrow due to a pectoral injury.

Thuney has now broken his tie with Center Jim Ritcher, becoming the NC State football player with the most Super Bowl appearances.

Joe Thuney – 5
Jim Ritcher – 4
Mike Cofer – 2
Perry Williams – 2
Mike Jones – 2
Torry Holt – 2
Russell Wilson – 2
J.R. Sweezy – 2
Steven Hauschka – 2
(Bill Cowher – 2 – as a head coach)

Thuney also holds the record for the most Super Bowl rings by a former NC State football player with 3, and has a chance to pick up his 4th tomorrow. Place Kicker Mike Cofer and Cornerback Perry Williams are the only other former Wolfpack football players to win 2 Super Bowls.

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