Posted by Chip Patterson
Training camp is underway in college football, with teams all over the country getting a better idea of what to expect from the upcoming season. Along with the help of CBSSports.com's Rapid Reporters, here is a collection of recent observations from N.C. State.
- One of the most noteworthy changes from 2010 to 2011 for the Wolfpack is the absence of Russell Wilson and development of his successor, junior quarterback Mike Glennon. Glennon was a highly-touted prospect out of Virginia, and now will have a chance to live up to expectations as the new face of the offense. Head coach Tom O'Brien endorsed Glennon from the beginning of spring practice, and recently spoke about his development as they shape the offense around their new starter.
"The offense goes in in increments, and every day for about 10 days there's something new that goes in," O'Brien said. "Certainly for [Glennon], some of it is repetition from the last three years because there's the base of the offense that's going to be there regardless of who's the quarterback, the right guard."[Rapid Reports]
- Glennon's comfort with the system will be impacted greatly by the development of his wide receivers. Team captain and preseason All-ACC selection George Bryan is the most consistent receiver at tight end, but the Wolfpack will be missing three of their top four ball catchers from 2010. Senior wide receivers TJ Graham and Jay Smith each saw action last year, and will be counted on to lead the new group. According to offensive coordinator Dana Bible, the veterans have entered camp ready to go.
"We're a work in progress, but (the returnees) must have had a really good summer as far as training because they bring a lot of speed with them," Bible observed. "And they're anxious and ready to go. You're going to see it as I'm going to see it, as it develops."[Rapid Reports]
- Last season, the defense was quarterbacked by All-ACC linebacker Nate Irving, now with the Denver Broncos. Alongside Audie Cole and Terrell Manning, pressure from the starting linebackers helped the Wolfpack post 42 sacks in 2010 - good for second in the conference. This year Cole has moved into Irving's middle linebacker slot, and defensive coordinator Mike Archer is looking for some depth behind the two returnees.
"The biggest question there is going to be the (strong side). (Sophomore) D.J. (Green) has not played there. He's learning, but we've got to find a backup too," said Archer. "I don't know who the backup is. Based on three days of practice, I don't know if we have one."
Archer also explained that this year's unit will rely heavily on the defensive line to pressure the quarterback. With the linebackers helping out the secondary with some of the coverage responsibility.
"Don't get me wrong, we want to pressure and attack people. But there are going to be times, on third down in particular, where we want to get pressure with four downs, and be able to play max coverage and play five under, two deep. We've got to get better rushing with four, no matter who those guys are." [Rapid Reports]
For daily updates from N.C. State's training camp, be sure to follow CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Mike Potter. Also, bookmark the ACC Blog for news and analysis from across the conference.