Thursday, March 15, 2012
Biggest shoes to fill: NC State
By Matt Fortuna
Today we visit the Wolfpack, who are looking to fill a void at receiver and in the return game.
OUT: T.J. Graham. Graham exits NC State following a senior season that saw him finish second in the ACC in punt return average, third in all-purpose yards and fourth in kick returns. He caught 46 passes for 757 yards and seven touchdowns, up from 25, 316 and four as a junior. In a 31-24 Belk Bowl win over Louisville, Graham caught seven passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns and added 63 yards on three kick returns. He had two catches for 27 yards and returned a kickoff 27 yards in the Senior Bowl.
IN:Tobais Palmer and Bryan Underwood (receivers). Palmer and Rashard Smith (return men). Palmer had 37 catches for 496 yards and five touchdowns last season, while Underwood added 16 catches for 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Palmer also returned three kicks for 48 yards and was fourth on the team in scoring and third in all-purpose yards. Smith caught just one pass for six yards but was the only Wolfpack player other than Graham to return kicks last season, brining back two for 13 yards. But his prep credentials (two punt return touchdowns, one kickoff as a senior) at Dublin (Ga.) High School suggest he is capable of stepping into Graham's role on special teams.