The Wolfpacker

July 2013 Football Preview

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Football 2013 Teal (No. 69) and McGill (No. 75), shown here at the 2013 Kay Yow Spring Game, combined to record 87 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and 20 quarterback pressures for the Pack last season. photo by ken martin The middle of the defense behind the big defensive tackles has new starters. Sophomore middle linebacker M.J. Salahuddin had only four tackles last year, but was praised for his play this spring. Both safety positions have new starters — fifth-year senior Jarvis Byrd, a former cornerback and redshirt sophomore Hakim Jones. Teal and McGill have the ability to create a ripple effect throughout the rest of the defense. "Every single play, if you have a good and tough interior that can squeeze blocks and make plays in the backfield, it's only going to help everybody else out," Nielson said. The juniors have embraced the new coaching regime and want to build off last year's 7-6 mark and trip to the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn. Teal loves the energy of the new coaches. "It's high," Teal said. "They have great expectations coming in. We are excited about where they want to take the program. We just love them. We want to get a good positive relationship going through the season with everybody on the same page. "Everybody is excited about the way the program is going." McGill credits the coaches for making a smooth adjustment during spring practices. "We didn't know what we'd get at first, but being able to transition like we did, we did that well," he said. "We have all bought in, which is what the coaches have been expressing to us. As long as we all buy in, we can win the ACC." Fifth-year senior defensive ends Darryl Cato-Bishop and Forrest West and redshirt junior end Art Norman complete the experienced defensive line. The trio combined for 12 sacks, though West, a Colorado transfer, played in only six games due to injury. "As a D-line, we are all one," McGill said. "We don't try to stand out more than one. We just play as a team, because it takes all four to get that sack." Defensive tackle is also a deep position for the Wolfpack, with redshirt freshman K'Hadree Hooker, fifth-year senior A.J. Ferguson, senior Deylan Buntyn and redshirt sophomore Carlos Gray providing depth. "We have a lot of depth and a lot of young players that are ready to step up and play," Teal said. "We can be great this year." Teal and McGill worked hard during the winter under the tutelage of new strength and conditioning coach Jason Veltkamp. Both players said they lost weight and got stronger. "My weight is a little lower and I got my body mass down," said Teal, who credited the hill climb for being demanding. "I got more muscles and I'm going in the right direction. I'm still a little over 300. "They brought a lot of new ideas and competition. They made it fun and something different every day. You go in and work hard and get something out of it." McGill was listed at 298 pounds last year, and is at least five pounds slimmer. "I am doing a lot better and have lost weight. I have gotten leaner," McGill said. "We have been competing in the weight room. Everybody's bodies have been changing, and we are looking good." The duo also received offseason work to expand their football IQ to go with the strength and conditioning sessions. Nielsen didn't want to say what exactly their homework assignment was during the offseason, but Teal and McGill were definitely glued to the screen. "They will be studying a lot of film," Nielsen said. "That will be good for them. It's just film I've gathered and to study other players. It's a great assignment." ■ July 2013  ■ 55 54-55.McGill & Teal.indd 55 7/1/13 9:30 AM

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