The Wolfpacker

July 2016

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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82 ■ THE WOLFPACKER FOOTBALL PREVIEW 2016 Year-By-Year Interception Totals Year Int. Return Yards 2015 13 77 2014 10 159 2013 12 146 2012 16 192 2011 27 381 2010 9 164 2009 8 65 2008 18 197 2007 10 58 2006 7 121 BY MATT CARTER B oth cornerbacks coach George Barlow and safeties coach/ co-special teams coordinator Clayton White have preached a similar message since last season ended. They want a lot more consistency from their respective units. There are different things Barlow and White are hoping to see done on a regular basis in the fall. For the safeties, White makes it clear that they must improve their tackling. "There were some plays throughout the year that you can go back and look, if this tackle would have been made here it would have been a different game," White said. Thus White spent much of the spring trying to make it as simple as possible, especially since the safety position already comes with enough pressure. They are the security blanket for the defense. Often times they are the difference between a big play happening or not. White noted, though, that's the life they chose, and they need to have the mindset of getting the job done. "I think our guys understand because we talk about it on a weekly basis what you have to do," White said. "At this level it's not going to be the high school blow-up hit; at this level it's going to be an ugly tackle. The key is to get them down and tackled." The depth chart at safety was fairly well set coming out of spring. Redshirt junior Josh Jones and junior Shawn Boone are the expected starters at free and strong safety, respectively. Jones is the safety with experience, logging 19 starts in his first two seasons, but Boone is the one that White is counting on to pro- vide the stabilizing force in the defensive backfield. "[He's a] quarterback on the field, a leader, smart," White noted. Boone also works well with Jones, who is hoping to regain some of his freshman-year form when he broke up seven passes and notched four interceptions. He had just two passes broken up and one pick last fall. "I think the move to the boundary and Boone to the field is going to be pretty solid," White said. "Him and Boone work well together, because Boone is a really good leader and they both kind of click on the field." White was pleased with the progress redshirt sophomore Dex- ter Wright made as Jones' backup at free safety, and redshirt freshman Jarius Morehead is in line to be Boone's reserve. At cornerback, Barlow is counting on his pro- jected starters, senior Jack Tocho and junior Mike Stevens, to improve in dif- ferent areas. For Tocho, a strong technician, it's about making plays on the ball. "There weren't many DEFENSIVE BACKS SEEKING CONSISTENCY The Secondary Hopes To Reach Its Full Potential ■ By The Numbers 3 Combined total of interceptions by NC State corners last year (one apiece from current NFL rookie Juston Burris, senior Jack Tocho and junior Mike Stevens). 9 Total number of interceptions by members of the Pack secondary in 2015, with senior nickel Niles Clark and former safety Hakim Jones leading the way with two. 203.2 Passing yards per game allowed by NCSU last year, the Pack's best finish in the category since 2006 (182.3). Senior cornerback Jack Tocho has started 23 games over three seasons, and has compiled 17 passes broken up and four interceptions during his career. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN

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