The Wolfpacker

January 2013

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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g 3 "I believe whatever your system is, it has to fit your players," Doeren stated. "Our system will be versatile enough to do that. "Eventually, I would like to get a guy like Jordan here that makes it a dual-threat offense. It may not happen in year one, but I do believe in what Wisconsin did on offense, being able to run the football to win the game, and play-action and use the screen game with the tight ends, but I also believe in what we did at Northern, spreading it out." When Doeren does survey his new team he will find some experience coming back, especially in the front seven on defense and at the skill positions on offense. He will also find some glaring question marks, most notably at quarterback. Here is a quick look ahead to the Pack's 2013 roster. Defense One of the first shoes likely to drop after NC State plays Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl Dec. 31 is the future of junior cornerback David Amerson. Although Amerson did not play up to his All-American standard set in 2011, he still picked off five passes this season and was named second-team AllACC. Before the year started, O'Brien had stated that Amerson was likely to go pro after the season, and there was already one published report in December that stated via anonymous sources Amerson would follow through with plans to enter the NFL Draft. Amerson took to Twitter to deny that report, but few would be surprised if he did leave. If Amerson does go pro, the secondary becomes an even bigger question mark. NC State already has to replace starting safeties Earl Wolff, a first-team All-ACC pick by both the league's writers and coaches, and Brandan Bishop, a second-team all-conference selection by the coaches. Junior Dontae Johnson, who has extensive experience playing both safety and corner, will be back. Promising redshirt freshman corner Juston Burris, who had 43 tackles, three interceptions and a team-high seven passes broken up in his rookie season, also returns. While those two are good bets to start, who will join them is not certain. Redshirt junior corner Jarvis Byrd was a starter as a true freshman in 2009, but two ACL tears have sidetracked his career. He played only four games this year. Redshirt freshman safety Hakim Jones showed flashes in his brief action. He had 10 tackles, half of them coming on special teams, plus a pass broken up and an interception while playing sparingly in every contest. The rest of the defense is more stable. Only ends Brian Slay and McKay Frandsen leave on the line, but the Pack also returns starting end Darryl Cato-Bishop, a redshirt junior, and redshirt sophomore pass rusher Starting defensive end Darryl Cato-Bishop will be back for his final campaign in 2013 after leading the Wolfpack in sacks this year with 6.5 in the regular season. photo by ken martin Art Norman. Cato-Bishop led the team in sacks with 6.5, while Norman contributed 5.5 QB takedowns. At linebacker, NC State loses its defensive captain in Sterling Lucas, who was fourth on the team in tackles, but the Pack will regain the services of two linebackers who may have played large roles on this year's team had they not sat out the season for various reasons. Junior D.J. Green was a starter in 2011, and linebackers coach Jon Tenuta is known to be very high on Green's potential. He missed the 2012 campaign because he violated the NCAA's substance abuse policy by taking a banned nutritional supplement in an attempt to gain weight. Green had 28 tackles, a sack and an interception in seven games in 2010. Sophomore Michael Peek, who was contending for a starting job before tearing his ACL during preseason practices, will also be returning after redshirting. Also back at linebacker is redshirt junior Rickey Dowdy, who started every game in 2012, leading his unit and finishing third on the team in tackles behind the safety duo of Bishop and Wolff. Sophomores Rodman Noel and Brandon Pittman also got extensive experience this past season. Offense If it is true that nothing annoys a coach more than answering questions about a quarterback position battle, then Doeren may get tired of the local media quickly because signal-caller is the million-dollar question facing NC State in 2013. For the first time since Russell Wilson edged out Daniel Evans and Mike Glennon for the starting job in 2008, NC State heads into the offseason without a clear starter at the position. The Pack also will have only two scholarship quarterbacks taking reps during spring practices. The two quarterbacks offer contrasting styles. Colorado State transfer Pete Thomas, a junior who redshirted this past season per NCAA transfer rules, is a 6-5, 225-pound drop-back quarterback who threw for 4,269 yards and 18 touchdowns in two seasons as a starter at for the Rams before leaving for NCSU. Thomas is noted for his accuracy, completing 63.5 percent of his passes for CSU, including a school-record 64.7 percent as a freshman in 2010. Freshman Manny Stocker, who served as Glennon's backup in 2012, has that dualthreat capability that Doeren has admitted to preferring, but he misfired on both of his pass attempts this past year. He did rush seven times for 18 yards, including a crowdpleasing 23-yard scamper against Wake Forest Nov. 10. The 6-3, 200-pound Stocker is January 2013  ■  27 26-28.FB Look Ahead.indd 27 12/11/12 2:38 PM

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