The Wolfpacker

May 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 41 of 79

Sophomore Rodman Noel, who is vying for the starting job at strongside linebacker, made two tackles and broke up two passes in the spring game. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN The quartet has combined for 663 tack- les, 11 forced fumbles, six fumble recov- eries, 29 interceptions and six defensive touchdowns during their NC State careers. "You don't get any better until you play," O'Brien noted. "They weren't coached when they had to play as young guys, they were just thrown into the fire. They've done a great job and certainly the experience is coming through. When you have experience, you have a much more confident player." Returning secondary players have com- bined for 124 collegiate starts, the high- est number of any position group on the roster, and quality depth is provided by junior nickel back/safety Dontae John- son, redshirt freshman cornerbacks Juston Burris and Tyrrell Burriss, and redshirt 42 ■ THE WOLFPACKER junior safeties Dean Haynes and Donald Coleman. Wolff, Amerson and Johnson all re- corded interceptions in the spring game, working hard every day." ■ Senior safety Brandan Bishop "We've got some new guys in front of us, but they're talented, they're learning and they're with Wolff returning his 46 yards for a touchdown while Johnson ran his pick back for 37 yards. Walk-on sophomore cornerback Josh Stanley finished the spring contest with a game-best nine tack- les while Haynes tallied eight stops. "I think we're all real comfortable back there," Bishop said. "We've got some new guys in front of us, but they're talented, they're learning and they're working hard every day. We're going to keep getting bet- ter in the back end, so I think the defense is going to be fine. "I don't think there is pressure on us, but I think we have performed so now we've built ourselves some expectations. We should live up to them. We're the senior group on the defense and it's our time to carry the load. I feel like we're working hard, and we're in a good position to kind of provide leadership for the young guys. We'll definitely be a strong point for our team." ■

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