The Wolfpacker

July 2013 Football Preview

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Major Roles Football 2013 The Top 25 Wolfpackers In 2013 E By Matt Carter xpectations for NC State are mixed heading into the 2013 football season. On one hand, personnel losses at quarterback, offensive line and defensive back have left gaping holes to be filled on the depth chart. On the other hand, eight home games give first-year head coach Dave Doeren a favorable schedule, and outside of Clemson and Florida State, the rest of the ACC's Atlantic Division is a toss-up. Some analysts are even predicting NCSU to finish third behind the Tigers and Seminoles. The following is a look at the 25 players The Wolfpacker believes are most crucial to the team's success in 2013, ranked in order of importance. The rankings are based on a player's abilities, last season's performance, recent coaches' comments and the level of the team's needs for a good season from that position. 1. QB Battle Winner It may be a while before NC State's coaches announce who will start under center against Louisiana Tech in Carter-Finley Stadium Aug. 31. Whomever they decide — the leading candidates are redshirt junior Pete Thomas, sophomore Manny Stocker and fifth-year senior and Arkansas transfer Brandon Mitchell — will have the first chance to carry the torch for the newlook offense. If it's Stocker or Mitchell, then it's likely you will see a lot of running from the quarterback position. Both players are athletic, and Mitchell even played wide receiver last season for Arkansas. If it's Thomas, a former two-year starter at Colorado State who transferred to NC State in 2012 and sat out Senior cornerback Dontae Johnson will lead the way for a revamped secondary, after producing 110 stops, 7.5 tackles for loss, four sacks and seven passes broken up in 26 games the past two seasons. photo be ken martin 92  ■  the wolfpacker 92-94,96-98.Top 25 Players.indd 92 7/2/13 11:43 AM

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