The Wolfpacker

July 2016

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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50 ■ THE WOLFPACKER FOOTBALL PREVIEW 2016 BY MATT CARTER L ife, on the surface, would seem pretty good for NC State run- ning backs coach and recruiting coordinator Des Kitchings. Take a look at his options to carry the football this fall. Option A is senior Matthew Dayes. Last season, Dayes ran 134 times for 865 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was leading the Football Bowl Subdivision in scoring runs before getting hurt at the end of the first half against then-No. 1 Clemson in the eighth game of the year. Dayes would have surely broken 1,000 yards had he not been injured. He had nine carries for 72 yards against the Tigers when he suffered a toe injury that required surgery. He went past 100 yards in five of the seven full games he played, including 205 yards on 16 carries at Wake Forest. The last player before Dayes to rush for at least 100 yards in his first four games of the season at NCSU was Joe McIntosh in 1981, and the last to have at least five 100-yard games in a season was T.A. McLendon in 2002. Florida State's Dalvin Cook, Clemson's Wayne Gallman and UNC's Elijah Hood tend to grab the headlines among running backs in the ACC, but Kitchings believes Dayes ranks with those stars. "Personally, I do," the coach said. "Unfortunately he got hurt last year, probably a bit of a blessing for us at NC State that he's back with us, but who knows how he would have finished the season off and then maybe he's in the conversation with those guys. "Knowing Matt, whether he finished last year with them talking about him or not talking about him, he's probably going to work that same; probably has a little chip on his shoulder because he's a competitive dude." Option B is take your pick. There is sophomore Reggie Gallaspy, who ended the regular season by rushing 13 times for 81 yards and a score against Syracuse and carrying 14 times for 77 yards versus UNC. Gallaspy had 316 rushing yards overall and four touchdowns as a true freshman. His success did not surprise Kitchings. "He came here last January so he had spring practices [before the season]," Kitchings noted. "In the recruiting of Reggie I knew he was a low-maintenance, hard-working kind of guy. He just contin- ued to do that throughout his time here." Gallaspy gives you a powerful runner at 5-11, 225 pounds. Sopho- more Nyheim Hines gives you a speedy rusher, proving that on the outdoor track circuit in the spring and summer. He ran the leadoff leg on the 4x100 relay team that won the ACC title and NCAA Re- gional before reaching the finals and finishing seventh at the NCAA Championships. Hines began as a receiver last fall, but his role at running back increased throughout the year. He ran 13 times for 70 yards in the Belk Bowl against Mississippi State. Hines now finds himself in Kitchings' running back room, although his exact role may vary on a week-to-week basis and he will continue to get work at wideout. "Bottom line is what's the best way to utilize him to get him RUNNING BACKS DEEP BACKFIELD NC State Has A Lot Of Options To Run The Football Running Backs Roster STARTERS No. Name Yr. Ht. Wt. Hometown 21 Matthew Dayes Sr. 5-9 203 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Ran 134 times for 865 yards and 12 touchdowns while catching 24 passes for 172 yards in seven games and half of an eighth. Became the fifth running back ever at NCSU to rush for 200 or more yards in a game when he ran for 205 on 16 carries at Wake Forest. RESERVES No. Name Yr. Ht. Wt. Hometown 25 Reggie Gallaspy II So. 5-11 225 High Point, N.C. Playing time steadily increased during the season, and the physical runner ran 66 times for 316 yards and four scores before missing the bowl game with an injury. Had 27 carries for 158 yards and a score in the final two regular-season games (Syracuse and UNC). 7 Nyheim Hines So. 5-9 197 Garner, N.C. Started last season at receiver before finding himself in the backfield more frequently at the end of the year. Speedster ran 48 times for 243 yards. WAITING IN THE WINGS No. Name Yr. Ht. Wt. Hometown 33 Brady Bodine R-So. 5-10 200 Camp Lejeune, N.C. Walk-on from Camp Lejeune High ran three times for three yards last season. 10 Heath Boyd Fr. 5-10 190 Wake Forest, N.C. Walk-on from nearby Wakefield High. 29 Marquise Braxton R-Fr. 6-1 216 New Bern, N.C. Walk-on from New Bern High. 26 Jacob Davis Jr. 6-0 209 Farmville, N.C. Walk-on from Farmville Central High. 22 Johnny Frasier R-Fr. 5-10 224 Princeton, N.C. May be hard to keep off the field if he runs as well as he did in the spring game, when he carried 15 times for 62 yards and two scores with the starters, including an impressive 32-yard touchdown. 27 Dakwa Nichols R-Jr. 5-9 195 Rockingham, N.C. Speaks to NCSU's depth that Nichols is here. Speedy back ran 12 times for 78 yards and a touchdown in the win over Syracuse. Quick Facts Position Coach: Des Kitchings (fifth season) Returning Starter: Matthew Dayes (12 career starts) Starter Lost: None FYI: Athlon Sports' 2016 Preview listed the running backs corps sixth best in the ACC and tabbed Dayes preseason third-team All-ACC … Phil Steele's 2016 Col- lege Football Preview placed Dayes on its preseason all-conference fourth team and ranked him as the No. 26 draft-eligible running back nationally … Phil Steele's also rated the NCSU running backs group seventh in the ACC and No. 37 nationally … Dayes' 1,690 career rushing yards ranks 15th most in school history … As a sophomore, Dayes was one of the just three players in college football to total more than 300 yards rushing, receiving and on returns … Dayes' 85-yard touch- down run last season at Wake Forest ranks as the fifth-longest run in school history … Sophomore Reggie Gallaspy II led the state of North Carolina in rushing as a senior at Southern Guilford High in 2014 with 3,318 yards … Redshirt freshman Johnny Frasier played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in 2014, while sophomore Nyheim Hines played in that year's Semper Fidelis All-American Game … Frasier, Gallaspy and Hines were all rated four stars by in the 2015 class, with Hines ranked the No. 94 player regardless of position in the country. ■ By The Numbers 12 Touchdowns on the ground by senior Matthew Dayes before he was hurt. He was leading the Football Bowl Subdivision in that category, and his total tied for seventh on the single-season list at NC State. 14 Years since NC State has had a 1,000-yard rusher in a season, the longest drought in the ACC. 202.1 Average rushing yards per game last year, the second straight season the Pack eclipsed the 200-yard mark. The last time that happened was 1980-81.

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