The Wolfpacker

July-August 2020 Issue

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 31 of 51

32 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY JUSTIN H. WILLIAMS otentially the next name to join the long list of NC State defensive linemen to make it to the NFL, junior defensive tackle Alim McNeill doesn't let the off-the-field buzz distract him. Rather, he em- braces it as motivation. "I'm not going to lie, I think about it all the time," McNeill admit- ted. "I work like I want to be a first-round or top-10 pick. I think about it all the time when I'm working out or doing something school-related. I just think about where I want to be in the future." From a physical standpoint, McNeill checks all of the boxes. A former high school linebacker and running back for Ra- leigh Sanderson, the athletic big man has mutated into a 6-2, 315-pound interior force under strength and conditioning coach Dan- tonio "Thunder Dan" Burnette. After earning the starting job at nose tackle midway through the 2019 season, McNeill finished second on the team in tackles for loss (7.5) and sacks (5.5), behind only former NC State defensive lineman Larrell Murchison, a fifth-round pick by the Tennessee Titans in the 2020 NFL Draft. Now with two years of significant play- ing time against ACC competition under his belt, the local talent noted his on-the-field worldliness will translate into greater pro- duction on game days this season. "Experience slows down the game," Mc- Neill said. "When you first get to college, ev- erything moves really fast. Once you get out there multiple times, the game starts to slow NEXT IN LINE NEXT IN LINE Alim McNeill Could Be Another Great Wolfpack Defensive Lineman P McNeill ranked second on the team in tackles for loss (7.5) and sacks (5.5) in 2019. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN

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