Vermiglio & Roberts

I hope that you have had a chance to read our entry from earlier in the week when Coach O’Brien released the Wolfpack’s depth chart for the Central Florida game.

I was traveling when BJD posted the entry and was looking forward to making some comments about what I saw. Then I read what our insightful readers (like noah and Mr. O and others) had shared in the comments sectino and realized that there wasn’t much left for me to say!!! The community really nailed the analysis of what was important on the depth chart – like kicker, punter and some other positions. (Entries like that really make you appreciate the high quality of the readership and interaction at this blog!)

One topic of conversation regarding the depth chart was the lack of depth on the offensive line that is amplified by the absence of Jerrail McCuller and emphasized by the inclusion of two TRUE freshman on the two deep depth chart –

Jake Vermiglio 6-5/315 at left tackle
Desmond Roberts 6-4/295 at right tackle.

A few quick bytes:

(1) Although Jake Vermiglio is a true freshman at NC State, please don’t forget that he attended a year of prep school at Millford Academy after graduating from high school. Therefore, Vermigilio’s age and physical maturity resembles more of that of a redshirtted freshman than that of a true freshman.

(2) Whenever I see Desmond Roberts name I can’t help but think of an entry that I started last year and never finished. I originally titled the entry: ‘Bad State Fans Help Land Recruit’

You see, afterthe three-star offensive lineman commitment to the Wolfpack last year the News & Observer included the following comments in an article about Roberts’ commitment:

Roberts said he has followed State for the past two or three years but drew close to Wolfpack assistant Curt Cignetti, who recruited him. Roberts said he was impressed when he attended N.C. State basketball games.

“The fans have so much love for their teams,” Roberts said. “It is the perfect fit for me. State offers me everything I want and need.”

Wow! I couldn’t love that more! Talk about the divergence of reality from bullshit political posturing.

You have to remember the timeline of this – Roberts committed in the summer of 2006. Therefore he was talking about attending basketball games during the Herb Sendek era. You know, the Herb Sendek era that included NC State’s Athletics Director’s continual attacks on the fanbase for not being supportive enough of the program despite the fact that NC State was consistently among the country’s Top 20 in annual basketball attendance. The same ‘mean’ NC State fanbase that many still incorrectly propose ‘ran away’ Coach Sendek despite Sendek exercising his own choice to accept the Arizona State job for a longer termed contract that guaranteed him significantly more compensation than what he is allowed to make under Nor

It just never ceases to amaze me how much reality can sometimes differ from the ridiculous public posturing of some ‘leaders’. Luckily, there are people like Desmond Roberts who didn’t have dogs in the fight and could view things through unbiased vision. What a beautiful unbiased vision he must have seen to have realized how supportive NC State fans were of all of their programs despite what some people tried to spin to help support their own misguided agendas.

(3) The aforementioned and linked N&O article from August of 2006 also provides some pretty insighful foreshadowing of Roberts’ immediate impact in Raleigh that is worth noting:

Roberts, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound center, already handles deep snaps and is a solid interior blocker.

“I suspect that State will redshirt him next fall,” Hasty said, referring to the practice of allowing players to practice but not play for a year without affecting their eligibility.

“He is a young senior. He won’t be 17 until November. He will get stronger, I think. But if State needs someone to play some next year, Desmond might be going there at the right time.”

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26 Responses to Vermiglio & Roberts

  1. packbackr04 08/30/2007 at 10:50 AM #

    the way i look at seeing the true freshmen on the depth chart is… IF THEY CAN PLAY, then LET THEM PLAY

  2. MatSci94 08/30/2007 at 10:52 AM #

    This is a bit random, but in one of the radio bits with TOB, he was talking about the QB (may have been when Evans was announced, may have been some other question, I don’t remember) and he said that the QB was the only player *besides the center* to touch the ball on every play.

    I have heard the QB is the only player bit a hundred times, but no one ever mentions the OLine this way.

  3. StateFans 08/30/2007 at 10:57 AM #

    ^Not random at all. Thanks for sharing.

    Relatedly, TOB will be a guest on Bill Rozinski’s radio show on WFNZ 610 AM in Charlotte this morning.

  4. noah 08/30/2007 at 11:04 AM #

    Vermiligo and Roberts are both going to be exceptional linemen. Yes, I’m scared when true freshmen can shove upperclassmen out of the way on the depth chart, but both of those guys are going to heavy contributors for their entire careers.

    If we can look at the defense for a minute, you’ll notice the absence of people like Audi Augustine, Willie Young and Jimmy Sutton. That’s a pretty strong indicator of the type of football we’ll see for the duration of the TOB era in Raleigh.

    Amato liked a blitz-heavy, man-for-man coverage, big-play defense. That meant that he liked lighter, faster guys. Defensive backs were basically wide receivers who didn’t have good hands.

    When we had really good linebacker play, we were pretty strong. But when our linebacker play dropped off, we were tremendously vulnerable to the run. Think about the way UNC completely dominated us offensively two years in a row simply by running the ball down our throats. They ran that little counter off-tackle play over…and over…and over…and over and guys like Manny Lawson were just getting shoved out of the way.

    O’Brien likes much bigger, stronger DEs and corners that can come up in run support. He also plays exclusively zone coverage. So it’s not as important that corners be able to run a 4.3-40 because they’ll have safety help. It’s much more important that they be able to shed a receiver whose blocking them and come up and make the tackle. Defensive ends like Young and Augustine, who were light, quick pass rushers are going to be lost in the shuffle. Our DEs need to be able to hold their ground.

    Deion Sanders would be completely useless in this defense (worst tackler I’ve ever seen in my life. He tackled like Garo Yepremiam passed).

    So we’ve essentially taken two safeties, JC Neal and Jeremy Gray, and put them at CB. We’ve taken two lighter DTs and put them at DE.

    Our defense is going to look more like WF than FSU this year. I know a lot of people hate that. Touchdown drives against us won’t be the three play, 85 yard drives. They’ll be 12-plays, 85 yards. While that can be infuriating, it maximizes the chances for the other team to make a fatal mistake….so percentage-wise, it’s a good thing.

  5. noah 08/30/2007 at 11:13 AM #

    BTW, anyone else notice that Jonathan Hannah was academically ineligible at FSU?

    (Nelson Muntz) HA-ha!

  6. StateFans 08/30/2007 at 11:14 AM #

    ^ Loved it!

  7. lush 08/30/2007 at 11:18 AM #

    ^^ok who is that? a recruit that spurned us?

  8. primacyone 08/30/2007 at 11:23 AM #

    ^”Our defense is going to look more like WF than FSU this year.”

    I would project our offense is going to look more like WF than FSU this year as well. I don’t have a problem with that. The less opportunity we have for turnovers and the more opportunity we have to take the ball a way from the other team the better. It may not be quite as exciting, but it won’t be a gut wrenching either.

    I’m would hope we could redshirt both Vermiglio and Roberts and evey other freshman. I probably rather take our loses this year and get caught up on the experience side. But TOB seems to be determined to win this year, so will see what happens. One ray of hope is that the OL and Daniel Evans, at the very least, should be better than last year.

    I’m not expecting a lot in any regard, and will just watch with full support and not a lot of personal opinion. I just hope we get lucky and and have a below average number of injurys.

  9. RickJ 08/30/2007 at 11:27 AM #

    Trinton Sturdivant, a true freshman from Anson County, NC will start at left tackle in Georgia’s opener Saturday. Twenty years ago – it seemed to me that many teams had good offensive lines but there weren’t enough defensive linemen to go around. That seems reversed now with even some of the best programs struggling to field a quality offensive line.

    Noah – that is fantastic analysis of the changing philosophy of our defense. Do you think this more conservative approach will help with our linebacker play. We have three fifth year seniors starting at LB – Jones, Martin & Rumph that haven’t been very productive.

  10. newt 08/30/2007 at 11:58 AM #

    Zone defense has made sort of a comeback nationally. I remember some NCSU game, maybe Ohio State, with the TV commentators marvelling that we stubbornly refused to mix in some zone and calling it essential. A few years earlier, everyone was jumping on the stack-the-line, man-to-man Defensive schemes, like Mack Brown employed at UNC and then Texas. Anybody know if Texas still plays straight man-to-man?

  11. PackMan97 08/30/2007 at 12:24 PM #

    Re: Redshirting

    I think the reason we will see freshman play this year is simple. We have the talent to win games. I think TOB realistically sees a chance this year to go to a bowl game and he’s going to take it. We don’t have to play for three or four years from now, we can play for this year. While I appreciate the good it has done for Wake Forest, we have a lot more talent now than when Grobe got to Winston Salem.

    PS – Herb is no longer here.

  12. StateFans 08/30/2007 at 1:15 PM #

    ^ Great point re: the redshirting.

    PS – Lee Fowler and many of the people who were being referenced in this entry are still here.

  13. PackerInRussia 08/30/2007 at 1:53 PM #

    Re: Zone Defense
    In an interview did with Mike Reed, he said this regarding switching to zone defense:
    “But I have heard a lot of people say that we are only going to play zone coverage, and that’s not entirely accurate. We are going to mix it up. These kids did a good job playing man coverage and by no means are we going to sit back and say forget about the old defense, because that is something they did well. As a coach, you always want to look at what you team does well and deviate too much from it. But we have also given them something else to put them in position to make plays.”
    It will be interesting to see how he mixes it up and how they play to the strengths of the defense/weaknesses of the opposing offense.

  14. Mr O 08/30/2007 at 2:07 PM #

    Any see that the UNC game vs. JMU is supposedly a sellout? How many actual seats will be filled should be rather interesting.

    Anyone remember where the method of UNC counting attendence at football games was discussed in the paper?

  15. noah 08/30/2007 at 2:34 PM #

    I’ve seen SIDs and ADs argue about what to put down as the “official” attendance before. No one should ever get into a urinating contest over attendance numbers. They are complete fiction.

    Regarding defenses, having ONE scheme that you use every game is great…provided you’re the most talented team on the field every week. I remember when we played Miami a couple of years ago, I was struck by how vanilla and predictable their schemes were. They didn’t even go out of their way to hide what they were doing. They just had bigger, faster, stronger guys ALL the time…so what were we going to do about it?

  16. Mr O 08/30/2007 at 3:12 PM #

    Help them out by throwing a bunch of interceptions???

    Noah brought up some interesting points on TOB’s style. Essentially, we are going to a defense and offense that most fans absolutely hate. Ultimately it is about winning and if he wins enough games, then everyone will be thrilled. But if you don’t win enough games, then the fans tend to look for the obvious to complain about(corners give too much of a cushion, don’t blitz enough, run too much on 1st and 2nd down, don’t throw deep enough, offense is predictable, etc…). All you have to do is go check the BC boards.

  17. statered 08/30/2007 at 3:12 PM #

    Noah I agree with what you are saying about our defense changing towards more of a WFU look but I would hope that we would mix it up a bit and be a hybrid between a WFU and FSU type scheme. What I thought we needed to do when amato was here sometimes was to rein it in sometimes and take more calculated gambles. Sometimes it seemed we were all in on every play. Having said that – I still would like for us to gamble some!

  18. partialqualifier 08/30/2007 at 3:22 PM #

    My Two Cents:

    1- Unlike the past few years….I have complete confidence in TOB to do what’s best for our program’s short and long term success. This is esp true at O-Line where I think he will demonstrate the greatest superiority over the previous administration.

    2- The defensive scheme you go with is less important than how well your players play that particular scheme. Meaning: often times fans mistake speed and aggressiveness. Players that totally understand what they are supposed to do on every play will play “fast”, because they will go all out aggressive on every play. Even the fastest players alive…if they are unsure about where to go will look slow. So being “tricky” sometimes can be counter-productive. It is better to do 2 or 3 things really well than to do 25 things so-so.

  19. VaWolf82 08/30/2007 at 3:47 PM #

    Based on the 2003, 2004, and 2005 seasons, it seems to me that Amato’s defenses rose and fell with the DL. With basically the same defensive backfield, State moved from one of the worst passing defenses in the country (2003) to one of the best (2004).

    What changed? A DL that took its lumps in 2003 was a year older and more experienced…..and Reggie Herring instituted alot of blitzes. Even without Herring, that same DL led another top-25 defense in 2005.

  20. choppack1 08/30/2007 at 9:21 PM #

    VaWolf – I think tons of credit for the improvement between 2003 and 2004 should go to Herring and Stroud. Herring had tons of blitzes that most folks weren’t used to seeing early. I’ll never forget that VaTech game – watching their negative offense total get larger and larger.

    The bad thing about Herring was that blitzing was all he knew. If you started beating his blitzes, he blitzed more.

    In 2005 our D was solid, but it should have been better…after all, on that D – 8 players have played or have been drafted to play in the NFL – 2 of the remaining – Pressley and Rumph – are on this year’s team.

    Just looking at our 2005 #s – it’s kind of baffling…on paper our run D looked pretty good – but RBs for UNC, GaTech, Clemson, Wake Forest, BC and USF had pretty impressive games against us.

  21. noah 08/30/2007 at 9:47 PM #

    2004 was the year that teams beat us by running directly at us. When people stopped trying to pass all over us and just ran directly at us, we got shoved around.

  22. packman12 08/30/2007 at 10:37 PM #

    In response to the UNC game being sold out, I haven’t heard. However, they were making a big push to sell $10.00 tickets to high school and youth groups so it is possible no tickets are left.

  23. Primewolf 08/30/2007 at 11:22 PM #

    it is probably high school band day at unc, 10,000+ strong.

    Our defense will be more like Wake in the sense that our guys will keep the ball in front of them.

    That is not something Amato’s teams know how to do. A defensive lineman would be in the back field only to have the ballcarrier run right past him for 20 yard gain.

  24. Lunatic Fringe 08/31/2007 at 10:43 PM #

    2004’s game was one I have tried to erase from my memory for many other reasons, but two f*ing words sum up our performance in that game…Madison Hedgecock.

    We let a freaking fullback rack up 69 yards against us on 10 carries by basically running at us. Let me put that into more perspective for you guys, he carried the ball 30 times for a 126 yards the entire 2004 season ending his career with 34 carries and 140 total yards.

  25. RochesterRedWolf 09/01/2007 at 10:11 AM #

    As far as defenses, in the past State has basically done a twist on the man2man defense. Either show blitz then drop back, show no blitz and blitz, show blitz and blitz, show no blitz and don’t blitz. All of this in man coverage by the CB’s of course. That’s pretty predictable. So all the offense has to do is leave a fullback in to pick up a blitz in case there is one; problem solved on that front. Then add in a horrible State offense that wasn’t on the field very long and our defense tires over the course of a game and season.

    What I am excited about and TOB has mentioned is that we will still continue to play man, the difference is that we will now be doing zone as well. Can u imagine actually that we would show man2man with a blitz and drop back in zone coverage for easy pickin’s?? (mouth open)!! Yes, we may actually start trying to not tell the opposing offensive coordinator what we are doing. We might actually confuse a QB or two this year. I swear some of these lesser QB’s who played us over the last few years looked like freakin heisman trophy candidates sometimes.

    MrO, i think something to remember about BC fans is that they think they either attend/attended a football school. No doubt that TOB singlehandedly put them on the map, but looking back, i am even more impressed with what he did at BC because you think how hard it is to recruit to play at a small catholic school, in the cold northeast, with stringent academic standards (all to their credit). So TOB/Bible had to definitely run an offense to whatever the strength of the program is. If you want to know what TOB is a little more capable of, then look at what they did at UVA under George Welsh. Back then no one wanted to play UVa. I remember them being perennially pretty damn good back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

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