NC STATE FOOTBALL
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
O’Brien: No regrets about burning Stocker’s redshirt
Although his decision became a hot topic of conversation among fans on the internet and members of the media in the press box at Carter-Finley Stadium, O’Brien said he never thought twice about sending Stocker out onto the field instead of walkon Garrett Leatham.
“He’s the backup quarterback,” O’Brien said of Stocker, who enrolled early last January and had the headstart of going through spring practice at State. “If Glennon would have gone down (in the season opener against) Tennessee, he would have had to go in the game. We just haven’t had a chance with the way the first two games were played to get him in the game or we would have done that.”
O’Brien figures to get another chance at getting Stocker into a game this week when the Wolfpack plays host to The Citadel. But there’s no guarantee.
With eight straight ACC games to close out the regular-season schedule, it’s entirely possible that the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Pennsylvania native will spend the rest of the season watching from the sideline.
Even if that happens, O’Brien said he’ll have no regrets about burning Stocker’s redshirt for just eight meaningless handoffs and one scramble on an aborted pass attempt.
“It’s going to be better for him in the long run,” O’Brien said, “because in another year he’ll be better prepared to fight for the job come spring practice because he’s been in a game.”
Program Spotlight: Sterling Lucas
After suffering a season-ending knee injury during pre-season camp last season, graduate student Sterling Lucas is back on the field and making his presence known.
The starting middle linebacker for the Wolfpack is currently third on the Pack with 20 tackles through the first three games. He started the season with nine tackles, including two tackles for a loss and a sack, in the season opener against Tennessee, and then finished with eight tackles in the Pack’s win at Connecticut.
“It feels great, obviously, after being out all last year to be back on the field again,” said Lucas.
Last season, Lucas sat in the coaches’ booth during the games, which allowed him to see the entire field and how plays develop. It also helped him to see the best angles to take to the football when in pursuit of the ball carrier.
“Being up in the box allowed me to see the whole formation,” Lucas said. “What guys are going to do out of certain formations, just vision in general. Coach Tenuta always says that vision is the most indispensable tool you can have so just seeing everything and reacting to it has helped me the most this year.”
The Orangeburg, S.C., native made just his third career start against Tennessee and first since 2009, but showed no ill effects due to the time missed with the injury.
Omega Wolf (Backingthepack.com)
How They Do in Week 3? A Season-Long Look at Wolfpack Opponents
Week 3: N. C. State (2-1) 31, South Alabama (1-2) 7
A bit of controversy and a lackluster second half took the joy out of this almost blowout. Mustafa Greene was suspended for the game with no explanation coming from Tom O’Brien, who also burned Manny Stocker’s redshirt year so the true freshman could hone his taking snaps from center skills. If you’re going to play him, at least let him run the offense! The Jaguars won the second half 7-3, so they will always have that.
Week 4: The Citadel (3-0) 52, Appalachian State (1-2) 28
The Bulldogs growled out to a 31-0 advantage en route to their second straight win over a top-10 FCS opponent. With all that’s gone right for the Wolfpack lately-Cat Barber committing, Rodney Purvis freed, lollering through the implosion of the Carolina Way, to name a few-Saturday’s game reeks of the good karma equalizer known as #ncstateshit. I’m going to start drinking now.
Sammy Batten (FayObserver.com)
Handful of state’s top football recruits still uncommitted
Marquez North, Mallard Creek HS, Charlotte - The nation’s No. 2-ranked receiver prospect and our No. 1 is still keeping his options open and close to the vest. But he did recently make an unofficial visit to Tennessee. North has said his father, former West Charlotte High receiver Ramondo North, favors North Carolina. But North denies any favorite. He does include the Tar Heels on what has been a consistent list of seven schools that also includes Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State and Tennessee.
Tyrone Crowder, Richmond Senior HS, Rockingham - Crowder, who is No. 3 in our Top 50, is one of the nation’s top blocking prospects. Like North, he’s remained coy about his favorites. But he did narrow his list to Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina and Stanford in late July.
Greg Gilmore, South View HS, Hope Mills - Gilmore, a defensive end, is our hottest local prospect and No. 7 in our ratings. He’s scheduled official visits to Florida on Sept. 21 and LSU on Nov. 3. A decision, which is expected to come down to those two schools, is expected soon after his trip to Baton Rouge.
Johnathan Alston, Bunn HS, Bunn - Alston, a wide receiver, has seen his stock rise dramatically over the past few months. We had him at No. 12 in our preseason ratings, but many others have him higher at this stage. This is boiling down to a battle between in-state rivals UNC and N.C. State.
Marquez Grayson, Lexington HS, Lexington – Our No. 24 and a top-notch running back, Grayson is favoring N.C. State and Wake Forest. But Tennessee and Virginia Tech are not to be ruled out just yet.
The Sports Exchange
KEEP AN EYE ON: There are some receiver combinations that should be monitored, and with two junior wideouts scoring their first career touchdowns in the game against South Alabama, there are more options emerging in the passing attack.
WR Rashard Smith and WR Quintin Payton both scored on catches for the first time, both coming in the first half against South Alabama.
LOOKING GOOD: The defense had its second big game in as many weeks in the victory against South Alabama. The Wolfpack held its opponent to a combined 0-for-12 on third- and fourth-down conversions attempts. Eleven of those situations came on third downs and it had been 228 games (or since 1992 against Virginia Tech) when the Wolfpack last held a team without a third-down conversion.
STILL NEEDS WORK: There were some improvements as expected in the passing attack after countless breakdowns in the previous game. But despite QB Mike Glennon’s strong completion rate against South Alabama, he was flushed from the pocket and put in a hurry-up mode on a regular basis. So the progress will be noted, but there will be more attention paid to this issue in the coming weeks.
NC STATE BASKETBALL
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Purvis finally ‘free’ to pursue basketball career at N.C. State
Instead of feeding into the #FreeRodney hysteria by lashing out at the NCAA or anyone when he could think of after being left home this summer, he posted inspirational messages of support to his teammates playing overseas. Instead of feeling sorry for himself and giving up, he faithfully attended his summer school classes and showed he was capable of doing college-level work.
“I really appreciate how he handled things,” athletic director Debbie Yow said. “He showed us that he’s just the kind of student-athlete that we want at N.C. State.
“There’s some poetic justice in this because he worked so hard. There were a lot of exclamation points in emails and texts that were sent around here today.”
The maturity Purvis showed under such trying circumstances may or may not have held any sway with the NCAA once it got around to deciding his case.
Because the governing body of college athletics has become the modern-day equivalent of a Roman emperor giving either thumbs up or thumbs down on a whim in deciding the fate of its gladiators, it’s just as likely he simply came up lucky on the flip of a coin.
Either way, Monday’s ruling made a lot of people associated with N.C. State very happy – not the least of which is a talented teenager who is now finally free to pursue his goal of college basketball stardom.
Ben Swain (accsports.com)
ACCross The Web, September 18
Finally, after nearly two full years of scandal and embarrassment, UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp has decided that enough is enough and will step down from his post in June of 2013. It needs to be said that it’s entirely unfair to pin all of the blame on Thorp. His downfall was an inability to juggle the inconsistent agendas of UNC’s Illuminati, and if anything, Thorp should be applauded for understanding that the university was in dire need of a “war-time Chancellor” to find a way to appease both the academic and athletic factions.
Image is everything at UNC, and Thorp’s commitment to answering questions that had not been asked turned what would have likely been an NFL agent scandal confined to a handful of players into one of the largest institutional scandals you’ll ever see in collegiate athletics. To contrast, take a quick look at Duke’s mini-scandal with Lance Thomas. Thomas purchased $100,000 worth of jewelry with a $30,000 down payment, and later defaulted on the remaining line of credit, eventually leading to a lawsuit. It looks awful for Duke, but the parties involved stuck to the script, Thomas settled out of court, and it’s likely the last you’ll ever hear of this story. No full-scale investigation, no task force, no public proclamations of a commitment to ensure nothing bad ever happens again anywhere in the school. At Thorp’s University of North Carolina, it couldn’t have been played that way. The mere existence of ongoing public doubt would have eaten him alive.
Should UNC’s sports-first fans be as excited as they are? The general consensus around Tar Heel message boards is that this is a victory for UNC athletics, and the school must replace Thorp with a chancellor who will “keep his nose out of athletics.” That’s such a strange opinion, considering that Thorp clearly kept his hands off of athletics to a fault, only really stepping in when hell had already broken loose. While his overreaction turned a molehill into a mountain, the scope of scandal at the university is ironically what is keeping the NCAA away from Chapel Hill at the moment. Though athletics is heavily involved in each story that continues to pop up, it’s never confined to only athletics, which is a key factor in protecting UNC athletics. If I’m a fan of UNC sports, I’m concerned about an over-compensation by the university to make this a sports problem and not a school problem. Something to keep an eye on …
In the end, Thorp made tremendous contributions to the university during his tenure, and I’m hopeful that final months of the Holden Thorp era will be filled with reminders of the good times. For instance, do you remember the time Thorp committed an NCAA violation while reprimanding Butch Davis’ decision to offer his son a scholarship? Okay, bad example. But perhaps this closes this sordid chapter in UNC’s history and the school – athletics, academics, and development included – can begin to rebuild their reputations. Before moving on, let’s pause to remember those we’ve lost along the way …
Ryan Tice (TheWolfpacker.com)
The Wolfpacker Podcast: Purvis cleared, Barber commits
The Wolfpacker editor Jacey Zembal joins host Ryan Tice to discuss the latest happenings on the hardwood for the Wolfpack. Star freshman guard Rodney Purvis was cleared by the NCAA on Monday and five-star point guard Anthony Barber pulled the trigger over the weekend and committed to NC State. We also discuss what’s on the horizon for NC State basketball recruiting.
The Audible: Purvis cleared for Wolfpack
Mark and Mike talk Rodney Purvis, Holden Thorp and the state of the triangle football programs in the latest Audible presented by Goodnight’s Comedy Club.
O’Brien: We have to make sure our players know what’s going to happen
NC State head coach Tom O’Brien said he’s pretty sure the coaches know what to expect against Citadel and they just have to make sure the players do too.
Glennon: We’re going to clean up any mistakes
NC State quarterback Mike Glennon said the team is going to work hard to clean up any mistakes.
Dowdy: There is still learning to do
NC State linebacker Rickey Dowdy said there is learning still do for everybody, but they know what needs to be done.