Focus on Defensive End

This morning’s News & Observer chose to focus on NC State’s defensive end position.

“It appears athletically we are as deep as we’ve been in a long time,” Stroud said. “Guys are so close ability-wise, we will be playing a lot of those guys. We’ll have nickel and dime guys who play in passing situations and we’ll have run stoppers. We’ll throw a lot of different combinations on the field.

The N&O’s article focused mostly on the re-instatement of Raymond Brooks.

Last season was agonizing for Brooks, who watched games on television and absorbed a lesson about the importance of academics. He regained his eligibility by passing 18 hours in the spring and two more classes in summer school.

“I learned that you are a student-athlete; without being a student first, there’s no athlete,” said Brooks, who has embraced a different regimen. “It’s from my house to school to the stadium and back home. I don’t go out and party like I used to. I’m trying to get to the next level [the NFL], working hard to get there. I’m trying to keep everything in line.”

Additionally, the N&O highlighted the position at this link. You will see seven names – only one senior and two juniors. Nice.

RAYMOND BROOKS (6-3, 285, SO.): “Very powerful. We’ve just got to keep him focused and keep him on track.”

WILLIE YOUNG (6-5, 230, FR.): “Finished up [spring drills] as clear-cut at No. 1 as we have. Probably a lot like Manny [Lawson], but more instinctive than both Mario [Williams] and Manny — in terms of instinctive as a playmaker. He will have to split time because his body weight is an issue. But he plays with leverage, is tough and has a nose for the ball.”

JOHN AMANCHUKWU (6-4, 283, SR.): “A converted offensive lineman and transfer student [from St. Augustine’s], he gives us the ability to stop the run.”

MARTREL BROWN (6-2, 290, JR.): “Has four years in the program, has taken extensive reps at defensive tackle. We demanded he lose 20 pounds. He’s physical and fundamentally sound.”

QUENTIN BROWN (6-5, 250, FR.): “An offensive lineman in high school … Has shown promise.”

LITTLETON WRIGHT (6-6, 244, JR.): “He will see extensive time in our system as a pass rusher.”

AUDI AUGUSTIN (6-2, 235, FR.): “Audi’s just starting, but has shown some things that might get him in the fray.”

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'06 Football General

5 Responses to Focus on Defensive End

  1. class of 74 08/13/2006 at 11:28 AM #

    We may not have two first round draft picks in this group but I don’t recall our DE’s having this much depth in my time. Chuck has to be given credit for assembling good talent on the defensive side of the ball at least.

  2. tvp 08/13/2006 at 4:19 PM #

    Willie Young is going to turn some heads.

    I may be committing blasphemy, but I think Brooks/Young are in the same talent neighborhood as Mario and Manny.

  3. RickJ 08/14/2006 at 8:33 AM #

    Willie Young represents a unique case in the Amato era. He was a big time recruit with an offer from Florida. Appears to be a Manny Lawson type athlete – very quick & fast but somewhat undersized in terms of weight. Manny came directly to NC State and played linebacker as a true freshman. Willie played at Hargraves and then came to the Pack in January 2004. After the 2004 spring practice, Chuck raved about Willie and didn’t think he could be kept off the field. For whatever reason, Willie did redshirt with Manny & Mario playing mega minutes at DE.

    Young will be a redshirt freshman this year but he will have had two spring practices and two fall camps before ever playing a down in a real game. How good would Manny Lawson have been in this scenario? Is it possible Young can be that good this year?

  4. StateFans 08/14/2006 at 10:37 AM #

    ^ This is a fantastic perspective and thought.

    One of the specific criticisms of Amato’s operations the first few years was his failure to strategically use redshirts.

    To have this kind of talent be so “developed” while only be a freshman is a huge boost to the program. As we have said multiple times this offseason, our defensive line is going to be significantly better than most people think that it is going to be.

  5. PACDADDY 08/14/2006 at 3:45 PM #

    This is a wonderful opportunity to take this program to the highest level, with another successful season on the D side of the ball. Chuck can walk into a recruits home and tell him…look, we’ve lost all these players(3 underclassmen) and we just reload and develop our kids for the NFL each and every year.

    If we can become a national fixture, which is known for strong D’s…like VT, OSU, FSU, Miami…then wins will start piling up, because last season’s poor O performance was a fluke and great D programs are usually more consisitent.

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