The Wolfpacker

September 2018

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 35 of 95

36 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY JACEY ZEMBAL N C State's starting wide receiv- ers aren't a boastful group, but that doesn't mean they don't think they are among the top units in the country. Fifth-year senior Stephen Louis, junior Kelvin Harmon and redshirt junior Jakobi Meyers don't say it in a braggadocio style, but they mean what they say. Their statis- tics — a combined 169 catches, 2,327 re- ceiving yards and 11 touchdowns last year — and impact on the field back them up. The trio also knows that the Wolfpack, which went 9-4 last year, need them to help fill some of the void left by the departures of H-back Jaylen Samuels and running back Nyheim Hines to the NFL. That versatile duo combined for 2,265 yards from scrim- mage and 29 total touchdowns last year. The receivers' big-play potential com- bined with the ability to move the chains on third down is a big reason why the NC State offense could match last year's scoring average of 32.2 points per game, which ranked 40th nationally. "I definitely think we are the best receiv- ing group, but that is the confidence in me and the confidence in my guys," Louis said. "One thing we will continue to do is work. "We aren't going to say, 'We are the best,' and then stop working. We feel we are the best and then have to prove it." The gradual buildup of the NC State wide receiving corps has taken time and a keen eye in recruiting. Add in a touch of luck with Meyers blossoming in the slot after starting off at quarterback, and it has meshed well. "As good as Steph and Kelvin are, Jakobi is the glue that keeps it all together because he controls the middle of the field," NC State wide receivers coach George McDonald said. "Jakobi is a guy that controls the middle of the field and he keeps the defenses honest because if you want to switch your coverage to double Steph or double Kelvin, well, you are leaving him one-on-one. "He's a tough guy to defend one-on-one." Last year, the 6-3, 214-pound Harmon became the first NC State wide receiver since 2003 to reach 1,000 receiving yards, tallying 69 catches for 1,017 yards and four touchdowns. The 6-2, 203-pound Meyers enjoyed a breakout season with 63 catches for 727 yards and five scores in 12 games played. The 6-2, 215-pound Louis added 37 receptions for 583 yards and two scores in 11 appearances last fall. "I have confidence in the guys around me," Harmon said. "Just the whole offense and coaching staff with the scheme they have put in. "I really feel we can live up to and sur- pass those expectations." To put the renovation project in perspec- tive, only one wide receiver surpassed 354 receiving yards in 2014 — and that was with a future NFL quarterback under center in Jacoby Brissett. McDonald was brought in the next year, and NC State head coach Dave Doeren knew he needed to change the Wolfpack's recruiting style at wide receiver. "When I got here, we did a study on where we were measurement-wise in the ACC," Doeren said. "At that time, we had the short- est receiving corps in the league. It really carried over to other position groups as well. "We want fast guys that are long. At receiver, we want to jump over people and HYPE MACHINE WARRANTED NC State's Receivers Want To Be Among The Best In The Country Last season was a breakout campaign for redshirt junior Jakobi Meyers. His 63 recep- tions were the eighth most in a single season in school history. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN

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