The Wolfpacker

March-April 2024

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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42 ■ THE WOLFPACKER LIVING THE LIVING THE DREAM DREAM Transfer Quarterback Grayson McCall Is Eager For His Opportunity To Take Charge Of The NC State Offense BY NOAH FLEISCHMAN fter Grayson McCall spent the final six games sidelined while recovering from a concussion last fall at Coastal Carolina, he had a conver- sation with his father, Jody. They talked about football, and whether he wanted to use his final year of eligibility. "It's your decision on what you want to do," the elder McCall told his son. "Do you want to continue, or go out there in the world and try to find what you really want to do in life?" McCall pondered his father's question, but then quickly made up his mind. "Dad, I've got one more year," he said. "I've come this far, and I'm that close." McCall wasn't done with the sport he had fallen in love with while growing up. He was set on using the extra year of eligibility that had been granted to ath- letes impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. A few months after talking with his father, McCall arrived in Raleigh as one of NC State's key transfer portal additions. A The graduate signal-caller, who was once an under-recruited high school quarterback, now has his chance to com- pete at the Power Four level. His sights are set on the NFL, and a standout season with the Wolfpack may help him achieve that goal. While the younger McCall's final sea- son with the Chanticleers was marred by a scary moment at Arkansas State in Oc- tober — he had to be taken off the field on a stretcher after being hit while sliding at the end of a run — Jody knew his son was not done with football. "You're always worried about your child going out there, playing ball and getting hurt," the elder McCall said. "It's part of the game, regardless of what sport it is. He's good at it, he's determined, he's got a huge heart, he doesn't know how to quit. He's going to give his team 100 percent when he's out there, he hates to lose. He's going to do everything he can. That's just the way he's always been — he doesn't give up. He's not going to give up." The Beginnings To understand Grayson Mc- Call's football journey, it's important to appreciate how much he's grown since his days at Indian Trail (N.C.) Porter Ridge High. McCall was a three-year starter for the Pirates, and he helped take the team from a 1-10 campaign his freshman year to three consecutive NCHSAA 4A state playoff ap- pearances. The young quarterback's as- cent went hand-in-hand with Michael Hertz's appointment as head coach prior to McCall's sophomore season. Hertz handed the keys to the offense to McCall, and the triple option suited the

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