The Wolfpacker

July 2013 Football Preview

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Starting From Scratch Football 2013 Quarterbacks Are Set To Battle For The Starting Job N By Jacey Zembal C State hasn't had a true quarterback battle since 2008. Russell Wilson eventually beat out Daniel Evans, Harrison Beck, Justin Burke and Mike Glennon that year to win the starting job for the season opener. 30 ■ By The Numbers Rushing touchdowns the last two years from quarterbacks at Northern Illinois. Chandler Harnish rushed for 1,379 yards and 11 scores in 2011, and Jordan Lynch tallied 1,815 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns last year. Passing yards in a game for Brandon Mitchell at Arkansas, his career high. He was 8-of-13 passing for 114 yards with one touchdown his sophomore year versus New Mexico on Sept. 10, 2010. Passing yards in a game, which Pete Thomas reached or surpassed nine times in 21 games at Colorado State. 114 230 This season, head coach Dave Doeren and offensive coordinator Matt Canada will be sorting through at least three candidates during fall camp. Redshirt junior Pete Thomas, fifth-year senior Brandon Mitchell and sophomore Manny Stocker will be competing for the Wolfpack quarterback job for the season opener against Louisiana Tech at Carter-Finley Stadium Aug. 31 in Raleigh. Thomas is a former two-year starter at Colorado State, and Mitchell has past playing experience at Arkansas. "We didn't name a starter coming out of the spring," Canada said. "Competition is a great thing at any spot. We are excited about the guys coming in, and the best players will play. Ultimately, all we are trying to do is win games. That is the bottom line." The 6-5, 234-pound Thomas started 21 games in his two years at Colorado State, Quarterback Roster Starter No.Name Yr. Ht. Wt. Hometown 6 Pete Thomas R-Jr. 6-6 234 El Cajon, Calif. Has made 21 career starts — all in two years at Colorado State — and has piled up 4,269 passing yards, 18 touchdowns (plus three rushing scores) and 22 interceptions in his career. Reserves No.Name Yr. Ht. Wt. Hometown 8 Brandon Mitchell 5th-Sr. 6-4 239 Amite, La. Has played in 21 college games and started three while at Arkansas, accumulating 332 passing yards, 272 receiving yards and 75 rushing yards. Mitchell has two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. 15 Manny Stocker So. 6-1 212 Coatesville, Pa. He played in five games last year for NC State, passing twice and rushing six times for 20 yards. He was in for a seasonhigh 17 snaps against The Citadel. Waiting In The Wings No.Name Yr. Ht. Wt. Hometown 12 Jacoby Brissett Jr. 6-4 231 West Palm Beach, Fla. The former Gator started three games and played in 13 during his two years in Gainesville, Fla. The strong-armed signalcaller passed for 455 yards and three scores at UF. Fr. 6-3 218 Jefferson, Ga. 14 Bryant Shirreffs He accounted for 7,677 yards of total offense and 90 touchdowns as a three-year starter at Jefferson High. Jefferson went 15-1 his senior year behind his 2,369 passing yards, 1,372 rushing yards and 38 total touchdowns en route to winning the Georgia AA state title. 11 Garrett Leatham R-So. 6-4 214 Apex, N.C. Leatham is a walk-on who put up big numbers at Middle Creek High School. He redshirted last year at NCSU. 5 Josh Taylor Fr. 5-11 185 New Bern, N.C. Taylor is a preferred walk-on, who helped lead New Bern High to a 4A state title, while passing for 2,300 yards and 25 touchdowns and rushing for 1,159 yards and 17 scores. missing three contests and the majority of a fourth due to a knee injury. Thomas showed off his big arm in numerous games, but was also sacked 71 times (44 his freshman year). He connected on 414 of 652 throws for 4,269 yards with 18 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, and added three rushing scores for the Rams, who had a 6-18 mark those two seasons. Thomas passed for a career-high 387 yards and three touchdowns (plus rushed for a score) in a 38-31 loss to San Jose State Oct. 1, 2011. He also passed for 386 yards and three scores in a 36-34 win over Idaho Sept. 25, 2010. Canada said he wanted to give Thomas a clean slate and didn't go back and watch video of his games at Colorado State. "Pete is a guy who throws the ball well," Canada said. "He is a competitor. He cares about the game, cares about being a winner and works at it. He does a good job of being a leader. Quick Facts Position Coach: Matt Canada (1st season) Returning Starters: None Starter Lost: Mike Glennon (26 career starts) FYI: Phil Steele's ranked NC State's quarterbacks No. 8 in the ACC, and Athlon ranked the Wolfpack group No. 11 in the league … Athlon listed Colorado State transfer Pete Thomas as one of 29 "top transfers" in Division I football, and Lindy's called him one of 10 "comeback players" in the non-injury division, and the Wolfpack's "top newcomer" … Phil Steele's ranked junior Jacoby Brissett, a Florida transfer who is sitting out this season, as the No. 46 overall quarterback in the country … Thomas picked Arizona State originally before signing with Colorado State and head coach Steve Fairchild … ranked Thomas as the No. 16 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2010, and No. 48 in California, where he attended El Cajon Valhalla High … Arkansas transfer Brandon Mitchell previously worked with new NC State strength and conditioning coach Jason Veltkamp in Fayetteville, Ark. … Mitchell also considered Michigan, UAB and Louisiana Tech … ranked Mitchell as the No. 16 player in Louisiana and No. 53 overall athlete in the class of 2009 out of Amite High … Sophomore Manny Stocker picked NC State over Cincinnati, Temple, Eastern Michigan and VMI … ranked Manny Stocker No. 38 overall in Pennsylvania in the class of 2012 … Bryant Shirreffs selected NC State over Yale and Dartmouth, and was rated a two-star prospect by in the class of 2013 … Brissett will be sitting out a year, but he was a decorated two-sport standout at West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer High; he led the football squad to a state title his junior year, and the basketball program won a state title his senior season behind his 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game … Brissett chose NC State over West Virginia during his second recruitment … ranked Brissett as the No. 18 prospect in Florida, the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the No. 75 overall player in the class of 2011. 56  ■  the wolfpacker 56-58.QBs.indd 56 7/1/13 9:31 AM

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