August 22, 2011
NC STATE FOOTBALL
COUNTDOWN: 12 days
JP Giglio (N&O)
Wolfpack loses 4th starter to injury
Injury issues are piling up for N.C. State’s football team.
Standout defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy will miss at least the first five games after undergoing surgery for a foot fracture on Sunday, according to the school. He will be out six weeks, according to the school release, which spans until Oct. 2, or the first five games of the season.
Sweezy, a senior captain, is the fourth starter the Wolfpack has lost to injury in the run-up to the Sept. 3 opener against Liberty.
Caulton Tudor (N&O)
ACC quarterbacks untested
It’s been years since the ACC has gone through a season of quarterback chaos, but the components are in place for that sort of disorder in 2011.
It starts with an approaching wave of inexperienced starters.
Four of the league’s top five top-rated quarterbacks from 2010 have exited.
Three – Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech to the Baltimore Ravens), T.J. Yates (UNC to Houston Texans) and Christian Ponder (Florida State to Minnesota Vikings) – are in NFL preseason camps.
The fourth, Russell Wilson (N.C. State), left the Wolfpack after a second summer of minor league baseball to play for Wisconsin.
Those departures, alone, qualify as a journey into the unknown.
THE WILSON WATCH
Ken Tysiac (N&O)
New shade of red, same Wilson
At first, a lot of things seemed different about Russell Wilson as he stood Thursday on the artificial turf at Camp Randall Stadium.
The former N.C. State quarterback is at a new school at Wisconsin. Eager Badger fans are hoping he will be the final, key player as a senior on a team expected to contend for the Big Ten title while N.C. State fans sweat out the development of junior Mike Glennon after Wilson’s controversial departure.
At Wisconsin, Wilson is preparing to play in a new conference with new teammates in a climate where a high temperature of 81 degrees Thursday was causing complaints about the heat.
“Some of these guys are like, ‘Man, it’s hot out here.’ ” Wilson said, smiling. “I’m like, ‘Man, it’s 100 back in Virginia and North Carolina, and 100 percent humidity on top of it.’ “
JEFF POTRYKUS – MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL
New Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson keeps the faith
To firmly grasp and fully appreciate the unbreakable bond between Russell Wilson and his father, Harrison Wilson III, and how faith in God fortified the family during trying times, you need to peek inside a Virginia hospital room in 2007.
Harrison Wilson III, whose body had been ravaged by diabetes, was in a coma after suffering one of several strokes that would eventually strike. Doctors said he would not live.
His wife, Tammy Wilson, and Russell Wilson, were visiting and weren’t ready to surrender.
Let Russell Wilson, who appears to be a lock to open the 2011 college football season as Wisconsin’s starting quarterback, tell the story:
“My mom came in and started singing a song to him, ‘All By Grace,’” the Richmond, Va., native explained after a recent practice. “The doctors walked out of the room, and he lifted up his right hand. He hadn’t moved for a week and a half. My mom freaked out and the doctors came back in.”
Jacory Harris came into this season believing Miami coaches would struggle deciding if he or Stephen Morris should be the Hurricanes’ starting quarterback.
Well, he was right.
Filling out the season’s first depth chart is going to be an arduously difficult process for Miami. The accusation that Harris is one of 12 current Hurricanes who allegedly broke NCAA rules by accepting gifts from rogue booster Nevin Shapiro is overshadowing just about everything that happened on the field during training camp.
If Miami uses any player later deemed ineligible by the NCAA – which has been investigating for months – then the Hurricanes run the risk of having to retroactively forfeit games. If the Hurricanes sit those 12 players, most of whom are presumptive starters and in many cases expected to be NFL draft picks next year, then their chances of winning in 2011 plummet quickly.
A sports bar is packed with Hurricanes boosters, most of whom are wearing their team’s orange and green colors. They spontaneously break into chanting their unofficial anthem, “It’s great … to be … a Mi-a-mi Hurr-i-cane!”
As they sing, the sight of Nevin Shapiro running into an Orange Bowl end zone and getting chased off by a security guard pops onto nearby televisions.
Groans rise from the crowd.