I’ve got a lot of random items from the bowl game but will probably get around to the items in a fragmented manner.
We’ve already touched upon NC State’s great fans (Click here)
On Monday night in Birmingham after the loss to Rutgers Monday’s the group I was with ran into a lot of players from both Rutgers and NC State. Two pretty interesting items came out of this:
(1) Mike Teel from Rutgers – spoke with Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel at Dave’s in Five Points. He was very gracious and seemed like a good guy. He approached the topic of the game by immediately commenting on how the Wolfpack’s loss of Russell Wilson obviously changed the complexion of the game. (If only some of the idiot Rutgers fans that we encountered could have been so aware of reality &/or gracious).
Teel went on to praise our defensive line as fantastic. We asked directly who stood out to him and he said #97 is great. (Willie Young) He then went on to say that #56 is fantastic (Nate Irving)…and that #44 (Ray Michel) is a great linebacker. The Michel comment was welcome considering that his performance this season was somewhat inconsistent. Note that Michel got a huge pop on Teel during the game so the impact of that hit surely helped form his view.
Teel added what appeared obvious on the field – he hasn’t been hit like this all year. Said his bell was still ringing from some of those hits. My only surprise was that he didn’t refer to Clem Johnson by name as Johnson had an excellent bowl game.
(2) Harrison Beck – One of the Wolfpack players with whom we spoke on Monday night indicated that “the team wanted to kick Harrison Beck’s ass” because Beck literally smiled and was laughing after throwing his interception. He said that everyone was pissed.
I can’t say that this is necessarily surprising as it was obvious that the entire team lost a lot of energy when Beck came in. Of course ‘losing Russell Wilson’ was a large part of the feelings; but ‘(lack of faith/motivation/interest in rallying around Beck’ may have been an even larger impact as the team seemed to unite with renewed vigor when Daniel Evans took the helm.
Back in September when Russell was hurt and Beck had to play we discussed the obvious rift between Beck and Coach Tom O’Brien. In light of the past problems that exist in this relationship then – if this news is true – I don’t think many Wolfpackers would argue with thanking Mr. Beck for his time and revoking his scholarship for the future. There is no need to have this kind of ‘example of commitment’ creating problems within the program.
Next season’s quarterback position projects to have Russell Wilson’s return, Mike Glennon become eligible and Everett Proctor to redshirt. Starting safety Clem Johnson could always play quarterback in an emergency. Perhaps there could be some value in recruiting a multipurpose JUCO quarterback into the program for ‘insurance’ in 2009/2010? Where is Olin Hannum when you need him?