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WATCH: Dave Doren’s Press Conference After Day 1 of Spring Practice (with Transcript)

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Head Coach Dave Doeren met with the media today after NC State’s first day of Spring Practice. You can WATCH the video above, or read the transcript below.

Transcript

18 guys had their first college football practice today. 32 new players. You can tell there’s a lot of guys that haven’t practiced here. We’ve got a lot of little things on how we work that need to get better. Great seeing everyone out there. You can tell a lot of guys worked hard in the offseason. When you’ve got a lot of change on a roster, you’ve got a lot of work to do…the chemistry of the team, the timing of things, communication. It’s great to be back out there. It’s going to be a lot to coach off of. I like the way the guys work. With that being said, I’m excited about what’s out on the grass. There’s a lot of talent out there. Now we just have to get it pointed in the right direction.

The first thing you see in Grayson McCall is confidence. You can tell he’s won a lot of games. He’s comfortable as a leader. He has no problem being vocal. He learns quickly. I like how he handles adversity. If he has a bad play, it’s on to the next play. There’s no body language issues, and I like that about him. He’s a natural leader. He knows who he is. The guys around him can feel that. It oozes out of him.

Grayson has the skillset to be a runner. How much we run him? Obviously we’ve got a lot of work to do before that happens. But even when he drops back, he’s going to have some freelancing that goes on because of his athleticism. The design runs come over time. We will just have to see the evolution of things. But he has the skillset to be a runner, and that is something you are going to have to account for. Over his career he has been very dynamic as a runner.

Aydan White hasn’t given up a touchdown in 2 years. Knock on wood, lets go for three. Not many people have a Corner that has that accolade. He’s a really good football player for us. He’s a playmaker. He’s elevated himself as a leader. You can hear him talking to his teammates. He’s more vocal. It’s great to have him back. Excited for him to have this time to develop a little more, and be more ready for the NFL after one more season. It’s great to have Corners that you trust. It’s a big deal when you know he has his side of the field. With Coley and Cisse, there’s going to be some good competition on the other side of the field. It’s going to be fun to watch.

I’m blessed. It’s nice to have all these guys back (all his assistant coaches). I’m very thankful that we have that kind of continuity. It helps in a lot more ways than X’s and O’s. When you get into the recruiting world, these guys have been in the same areas, talking to the same coaches, for 5-6 years for some of them. That’s really helpful in recruiting. It helps in your player development. It helps with your install. It helps me. I’m not having to coach coaches as much. Boo (Coorigan) deserves credit as well, helping us be competitive in rewarding these guys for the work they’ve done. It’s meaningful to me. These guys have gotten opportunities. It’s not like nobody calls them. They like working here. They like working for me. They like their players. They like Raleigh. They love our opportunity here with what we have on home games. We have a true home field advantage. We can recruit here. As you guys know, there’s tremendous talent in the state and around our state. And, we have an opportunity this season with the college football landscape changing to a 12-team playoff. Teams like us, who have been in the Top-20 over and over and over. We can knock on the door differently than we used to. I think these guys feel all of those things. I’m thankful for those guys. Coach Thunder has been with me the whole time.

We’ve done a lot of things to build chemistry with 32 new guys on the team. With our “Real World Wednesday’s,” which is leadership we teach in the offseason, it’s just been us talking to us. Players and coaches getting up and telling their stories. Talking about some really really deep things personally, trying to break down some walls, and create vulnerability on our football roster. For me, it’s been about how to get this group to bond, because that’s what wins games when it’s tight. That brotherhood is a big part of winning.

Momentum helps. Winning 5 in a row. Beating some storied programs back to back, with Clemson and Miami. All those things matter. You get hot, people are talking about you, and that’s all happening around signing day and the transfer portal. We were a hot team at the right time, and we took advantage of that. We have stability, which is an important aspect to these guys. A lot of these guys that transferred, the coach that recruited them at that school isn’t there anymore. Our staff that recruited them, is still here. That’s attractive. They know our people. They know how we do thins. They have friends on our roster. All those things played into it. It’s kind of a trickle down…you get one, and then they’re friends with another one that’s in there, and they want to play together, and pretty soon it’s like lets get the group back together. A lot of these guys grew up playing together in all these 7 vs. 7 tournaments. It’s amazing how this works now, with social media, and how these kids stay in touch with one another. I’ve turned into more of a fundraiser than ever. Part of it is getting out and helping OnePack and Savage Wolves raise money for our collective.

I feel really good about the specialists we have. They have to get out there and prove it, and obviously gameday is different, but we have some guys that have been here awhile. They’ve earned our trust. Feel really good about Kanoah Vinesett and Collin Smith…we’ve got two young guys coming in that have strong legs. With those two guys that have been here, they are very very very talented, and they’ve earned our trust.

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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NC State Football

WATCH: RB Jordan Waters Impresses in NC State Spring Game

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Former Duke Running Back Jordan Waters (6’0″/215) will be NC State’s RB1 in 2024, and he gave the Wolfpack fans a good taste of what he will bring to the table this past Saturday in the 2024 Spring Game.

Waters rushed the ball 7 times for 69 yards and a touchdown, averaging 9.9 yards per carry.

Check out all 7 of his carries in the video below.

Last year NC State started the season with Jordan Houston as their starting Running Back, but he opted to redshirt after 3 games, in order to enter the Transfer Portal. Michael Allen was the next man up, and he decided to sit out the regular season finale against UNC, and also entered the Transfer Portal. Delbert Mimms III and Kendrick Raphael also both started games for NC State last season, with Mimms III also transferring. That’s 4 starting Running Backs in one season.

The Wolfpack were looking for stability in the Running Back room, and they have found that in Jordan Waters.

Waters rushed for 753 yards and 12 touchdowns this season for the Blue Devils, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. In his career, he has averaged 5.0 yards per carry in 50 games at Duke. Waters earned 3rd Team All-ACC honors last season.

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NC State Football

NC State Defensive Tackle Nick Campbell to Enter the Transfer Portal

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NC State Redshirt Sophomore Nick Campbell (6’4″/300) will enter the Transfer Portal when it opens back up on April 16th.

Campbell was a 3-Star prospect out of the state of Florida in the Wolfpack’s 2022 recruiting class. 247Sports ranked him as the #45 overall player in the state of Florida in the 2022 class.

In 2022, Campbell played 9 snaps against UCONN, redshirting the season. Last year, the only game he saw action is was against VMI.

The Wolfpack already needed to add depth at Nose Tackle. With the exodus of Campbell, it almost seems like a necessity for NC State to go find one in the Portal when it opens back up, with Brandon Cleveland and DJ Jackson being the lone rangers remaining.

Campbell has three years of eligibility remaining.

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NC State Football

WATCH: Pack Insider’s 2024 NC State Spring Game Highlight Reel

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NC State’s 2024 Football Spring Game was this past Saturday. Check out Pack Insider’s Highlight Reel of the game!





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NC State Football

NC State’s Dennis Parker Jr. is Cleared for the Final Four

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NC State Freshman Guard/Forward Dennis Parker Junior has been cleared to play, and will be suiting up for the Wolfpack against Purdue tomorrow night.

Parker Jr. hasn’t played since March 4th, when he played 3 minutes against Duke. As a result of having mono, the True Freshman has missed the past 10 games.

Early in the season, Parker Jr. was a prominent feature in the Wolfpack’s game plan. He even started in 12 games (basically December-January).

As the season progressed, Parker Jr.’s role progressively diminished. After playing 10+ minutes in 19 of the first 20 games, he only played in 10+ minutes in 1 of the last 9 games he played in.

One of the strengths of NC State’s run in the postseason has been a more solidified rotation, which has built consistency. As a result, I’m not so sure that receiving clearance to play will equal playing time for Parker Jr. tomorrow night.

With that being said, having the ability to throw Parker Jr. on the court in the contest gives the Wolfpack another depth piece in a game that could see (hopefully not) NC State flirt with foul trouble.

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