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NC State’s Brandon Cisse is Embracing the Competition for the Starting Job

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With Shyheim Battle headed to the NFL Draft, there is a starting Cornerback position open in NC State’s defense.

Sophomore Brandon Cisse believes competition brings out the best in everyone, and he recognizes it’s his time to step up.

“This year I have a lot more confidence. I trust my skillset a lot more. Stepping into a bigger role. Competing for the starting job,” said Cisse. “Everyday knowing my talent. This year, the biggest step is football IQ, knowing everyone’s job, and not just mine. I think that’s the biggest strength of my game.”

Earlier this week, Wolfpack Defensive Coordinator Tony Gibson said there is competition for starting roles all across the NC State defense, and one of those spots is at Cornerback across from Aydan White.

On Tuesday, when the media was allowed to view the first hour of practice, Cisse was running with the 1’s opposite of White. Now, who is running with the 1’s on the opening day of Spring Practice isn’t necessarily an accurate projection of who the staff thinks will start come September. I would expect that Maryland transfer Corey Coley is competing hard with Cisse for the job, but he just recently arrived on campus, and is new to the Wolfpacks defensive scheme.

With that being said, Gibson also mentioned that Cisse had 2 picks in 1-on-1’s one day this week.

“The good thing with Brandon (Cisse), is he’s very very smart. He played in our Dime package a year ago. He transitioned to Nickel sometimes midweek during practice. We felt good if we needed to use him in a game there,” said Gibson. “He’s very smart. He’s football savvy. He can play Corner. He can play Nickel. He can do a lot of things for us. The first two days watching him, he had a couple of picks in 1-on-1’s yesterday. Expecting big things out of him.”

As a prominent feature of the Wolfpack’s Dime package in 2023, Cisse played 148 snaps as a True Freshman, which speaks of how highly the coaches thought of him.

When asked this week if he was ever nervous about possibly being the next man up last season, from his perspective, he wouldn’t have flinched.

“I was never nervous. I was ready to step into that role,” said Cisse. “I was learning from those guys, but it wasn’t going to be a big change if I had to go in. I was confident in my game. I knew what I was capable of.”

Cisse knows he is in a competition for the starting job, but he is embracing the competition.

“Competition brings the best out of everybody. Everyday you don’t want to come in and have a bad day,” said Cisse. “Everyday you want to come and put your best play on tape. If you don’t want to play Coach Gibson’s brand of football, then you don’t want to play here.”

 

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 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’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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