Thursday, March 10, 2011
Spring changes at NC State
By ESPN.com staff
NC State starts spring practices a week from today, and there are some notable changes on the Wolfpack's spring "organizational chart." (Coach Tom O'Brien refuses to call it a depth chart). NC State returns 12 starters (eight on defense), and it's the deepest, healthiest and most experienced team O'Brien has had to work with since arriving in Raleigh. That depth has allowed O'Brien and his staff to finally put players in the positions they're best suited for -- not the ones he needs bodies at. One of the biggest changes, though, will be at quarterback, where Mike Glennon is unofficially officially taking over.
No, there hasn't been any definitive answer from Russell Wilson as to whether he will play his final season of football or turn his attention completely to a professional baseball career, but O'Brien and everyone else within the program is moving on as if Wilson is not coming back. He is not counted among the returning starters. In addition to the quarterback change, here are the other most noticeable differences in the spring, well, let's just agree to call it a chart:
- The biggest move is that of redshirt sophomore Dean Haynes from halfback to safety. Two weeks before the 2010 season opener, Haynes was moved from defense to the offense, where he started eight games at halfback.
- Sophomore safety D.J. Green will move to the field linebacker spot.
- Veteran linebacker Audie Cole will move to the middle, which was vacated by Nate Irving.
- In the secondary, the returning starters at cornerback will flip positions, with C.J. Wilson manning the boundary and David Amerson moving to the field.
- Everett Proctor will move from defensive back to wide receiver.
“All of these changes should make us a stronger defensive football team,” O'Brien said, according to the school's website. “We like to bring versatile people in -- guys who can play multiple positions. Then as we grow as a football team and they grow as individual players, we can decide what each individual’s best position is and how he can best help the team.
"Last season we had to move Haynes to running back because there was no other choice and he did a great job for us. But hopefully those days are over and we can continue to put people in positions that they are best suited for.”