The Wolfpacker

May 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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■ PACK PROS ix former NC State players heard their names called during the 2012 NFL Draft, which was held April 26-28. Wide receiver T.J. Graham was the first S former Wolfpacker to come off the board, when the Buffalo Bills traded up two spots to the sixth pick in the third round (69th overall) in order to tab the Raleigh native. He was the 11th receiver taken in the event. "I'm very excited," Graham said. "It's something I've worked for my whole life. I'm just going to enjoy the opportunity that I have now with the Buffalo Bills." Six picks later, the Seattle Seahawks tabbed former NC State quarterback Rus- sell Wilson with the 75th overall selection. The signal-caller, who wrapped up his ca- reer by leading Wisconsin to a Big Ten title, was the sixth field general selected in the draft. "With Russell, this is such an incredible athlete that has had extraordinary historic success — done some things that people have never thought of doing before," Se- ahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. "The fact that he is also such an extraordinary kid, he can handle all the pressure he's going to be under and all the scrutiny that he's always had. "More than anybody else that was alive in the draft, this guy gives you a chance to have a great player. It's going to be really exciting to see what he can bring." Linebacker Terrell Manning, who turned pro with one year of eligibility remain- ing, was selected with the 28th pick of the fifth round by the Green Bay Packers, who traded three picks to the Patriots in order to move up to the 163rd overall choice and pick the Laurinburg, N.C., native. Manning was rated as the No. 3 available player at the start of the fourth round by ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., and the Packers are excited about what he brings as an inside linebacker to their 3-4 alignment. "I think he's going to be a good addition, and I think he's going to press the guys who are in the room right now," Green Bay inside linebackers coach and assistant head coach Winston Moss said. "Hopefully, he's going to have a mindset that he's going to come in here and challenge. If he's not pre- pared to be a starter-type linebacker for us, then we're getting the wrong guy." Three other State standouts were se- lected in the seventh round. Linebacker Audie Cole came off the board with the third pick of the round, going 210th overall 76 ■ THE WOLFPACKER Wide receiver T.J. Graham was the first NC State player chosen this year, when the Buffalo Bills took him with the sixth pick in the third round (69th overall). PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN to the Minnesota Vikings. Defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy was picked with the round's 18th pick and will join Wilson in Seattle, where the Seahawks expect to convert him to an offensive guard. Markus Kuhn, also a defensive tackle, was selected with the 32nd pick of the sev- enth round, going to the defending world champion New York Giants with the 239th overall selection. Tight end George Bryan and fullback Taylor Gentry have both already inked deals with NFL teams as undrafted free agents. Bryan signed with the Dallas Cow- boys, while Gentry will join the Kansas City Chiefs. Torry Holt Retires As A Ram Former NC State All-American wide receiver Torry Holt hasn't played in the NFL since the 2009 campaign, when he appeared in 15 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars and tallied 51 receptions for 722 yards. The 6-0, 200-pounder signed with the New England Patriots the following year, but unofficially retired after a knee injury landed him on injured reserve. Holt, a seven-time Pro Bowler, made his retirement official April 4, signing a one-day contract with the St. Louis Rams, going out with the franchise that selected him sixth overall in the 1999 NFL Draft. He helped lead the club to a pair of Su- per Bowls, including a win in Super Bowl XXXIV (23-16 over Tennessee) where he played through a separated AC joint to set Wolfpack Ties School Record With Six NFL Draft Selections BY RYAN TICE Super Bowl rookie records with seven re- ceptions for 109 yards, including a touch- down grab. Holt finished his career second in Rams' history in receptions (869), receiving yards (12,660) and touchdown receptions (74), while he ranks 10th in NFL history for receiving yards (13,382) and 13th in recep- tions (920) after 11 years in the league. He was the most productive receiver in the league from 2000-09, and holds the NFL records for most receptions (868) and yards (12,594) in a single decade. He is one of just two receivers in the league's history to boast multiple seasons with 1,600 yards receiving, and he is the only receiver to ever record six straight years with at least 1,300 yards receiving and at least 90 recep- tions. He reached 10,000 receiving yards (116 games) and 11,000 receiving yards (130 games) faster than anyone in league history. "I loved everything about being a Ram, and I feel blessed that I'm able to formally finish my career with the organization that drafted me in 1999," he said. Holt currently works as an NFL Network analyst and runs the Holt Foundation with his brother, Terrence, another former Wolf- pack All-American. Carl Pettersson Claims Title At RBC Heritage Former NC State golfer Carl Pettersson won the 44th RBC Heritage, marking his fifth PGA Tour victory, April 12-15 in Hil- ton Head, S.C. A final-round 69 gave the former All-American a five-stroke victory, which tied him with Jesper Parnevik for the most victories on the PGA Tour by a Swedish-born player. Pettersson entered the final round with a one-stroke lead over the field, but was on fire from the beginning of round four — he opened with birdies on three of his first five holes — en route to a score of 14-under-par 270. The 34-year-old, who became a U.S. cit- izen in January and still resides in Raleigh, had come close to victory twice earlier this year — he placed second at the Sony Open in January and also earned runner-up hon- ors at the Houston Open March 29-April 1. Pettersson checks in at No. 34 in the Official World Golf Ranking. The win also catapulted the 12th-year professional to sixth on the money list, with season earn- ings of $2,145,253. ■

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