ACC: DeAndre Morgan

NC State spring wrap

May, 7, 2010

2009 overall record: 5-7

2009 conference record: 2-6

Returning starters

Offense: 7; Defense 5; Punter/Kicker 1

Top returners

QB Russell Wilson, WR Owen Spencer, OT Jake Vermiglio, LB Nate Irving, PK Josh Czajkowski, TE George Bryan, WR Jarvis Williams, LB Dwayne Maddox, LB Audie Cole

Key losses

C Ted Larsen, HB Toney Baker, DE Willie Young, DT Alan Michael Cash, CB DeAndre Morgan, LB Ray Michel

2009 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Baker (773 yards)

Passing: Wilson* (3,027 yds)

Receiving: Ja. Williams* (547 yds)

Tackles: Cole* (73)

Sacks: Young (8)

Interceptions: C. Johnson (2)

Spring answers

1. Wilson will be back, but Mike Glennon is a capable starter. Starter Russell Wilson missed all of spring football to play baseball, but his season didn’t quite take the turn he had probably hoped, as Wilson wasn’t a starter. In his absence, Glennon impressed coach Tom O’Brien and completed 21 of 38 passes for 423 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the Pack’s spring game. As long as Wilson picks up where he left off in 2009, it should be his job to lose.

2. Irving is back and can play. After missing last season with injuries he sustained in a serious 2009 summer car accident, it was unclear how much Irving would be able to contribute this spring. He moved to middle linebacker and eased his way back into full participation and played in half of the spring game.

3. Defensive linemen emerging. Even though all four starters from last year’s defensive line graduated, there was enough talent there this spring for optimism. Darryl Cato-Bishop, David Akinniyi, and Brian Slay impressed the staff. Their success is critical, as both J.R. Sweezy and Markus Kuhn are facing disciplinary action.

Fall questions

1. Who will run the ball? For the first time since 2005, NC State doesn’t have a running back with any starting experience. Brandon Barnes broke his ankle, and the competition is now between Curtis Underwood, who redshirted last year, and James Washington, who played in six games as a true freshman last year.

2. Punter, please. Nobody on the team has ever punted in a game situation. Chris Ward was the likely top option , but he was suspended for the spring and possibly the fall.

3. How much can the defense improve? With Irving back and former Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta coaching the linebackers, it would seem as if the defense would get a boost. It’s going to have to if the Pack is going to make it to the postseason. NC State was No. 99 in the country last year in scoring defense, and No. 106 in pass efficiency defense. The secondary is lead by freshmen and sophomores.

NC State announces its class

February, 3, 2010
The Wolfpack received 19 letters of intent, the school announced on Wednesday. Four other newcomers, including two freshmen and two transfers, enrolled at NC State in January and will go through spring drills. The top player in the group is ESPNU 150 offensive tackle Robert Crisp. While it's not a class that's packed with highly-rated recruits, it is one that fills needs for the Pack, and the staff did a good job of staying in state, bringing in some junior college players for help, and balancing both offensive and defensive players.

Coach Tom O'Brien also said today that punter Jeff Ruiz, cornerback DeAndre Morgan and receiver Donald Bowens will graduate and move on and won't be with the program anymore.

ACC injury reports: Week 13

November, 27, 2009
If you don't see it here, I didn't get it ...



LB Mark Herzlich (illness)


RB Rolandan Finch (illness) – DOUBTFUL

LS Jack Geiser (foot) – DOUBTFUL

OG Thomas Claiborne (leg) – QUESTIONABLE

DE Alex Albright (ankle) – QUESTIONABLE

DT Kaleb Ramsey (ankle) – QUESTIONABLE


They're "all in." (Sorry, too easy.)


QB Thaddeus Lewis (leg) -- Probable

RB Re'quan Boyette (leg) -- Questionable

DT Vince Oghobaase (leg) -- Questionable

WR Johnny Williams (knee) -- Questionable

RB Kyle Griswould (leg) -- OUT FOR SEASON

OG Mitchell Lederman (foot) -- OUT FOR SEASON

QB Sean Renfree (knee) -- OUT FOR SEASON

WR Tyree Watkins (leg) -- OUT FOR SEASON

S Anthony Young-Wiseman (knee) -- OUT FOR SEASON



76 OT Garrett Faircloth (hip)

70 OT Antwane Greenlee (knee)

51 LB Aaron Gresham (knee)

44 LB Maurice Harris (neck)*

62 OG Rodney Hudson (knee)

97 DT Demonte McAllister (knee)

81 TE Caz Piurowski (knee)*

7 QB Christian Ponder (shoulder)*

74 OT John Prior (knee)

27 CB Xavier Rhodes (thumb)

11 LB Vince Williams (back)


9 WR Richard Goodman (groin)

30 ROV Jajuan Harley (hamstring)


94 DT Justin Mincey (knee)

* - out for the season



Austin Barrick, r-Jr., OT (heel)

Kevin Cone, r-Jr., WR (ankle)

Malcolm Munroe, r-Fr., LB (knee)


Sean Bedford, r-Jr., C (ankle)

Omoregie Uzzi, r-Fr., OL (back)

Anthony Barnes, r-Jr., LB

Out For Season

Robert Hall, r-Jr., DE (knee)

Kyle Jackson, r-So., LB (foot)

Cooper Taylor, So., S (undisclosed)



RB Lee Chambers – Lower Extremity

WR Thearon Collier – Lower Extremity

DB Sam Shields – Lower Extremity


OL Jason Fox – Illness


FB Patrick Hill – Lower Extremity

Surgery and Out for the Season

DL Dyron Dye – Lower Extremity

DL Marcus Forston – Lower Extremity

LB Jordan Futch – Lower Extremity

TE Richard Gordon – Upper Extremity

LB Shayon Green – Lower Extremity

DE Gavin Hardin – Upper Extremity

DB Ryan Hill – Upper Extremity

DB JoJo Nicolas – Upper Extremity

DE Adewale Ojomo – Jaw



Audi Augustin, DE - elbow

Mike Glennon, QB - clavicle

DeAndre Morgan, CB - concussion


Mario Carter, TE - knee

Ryan Cheek, LB - hip

Denzelle Good, OL – shoulder

T.J. Graham, WR – stress fracture/leg

Steven Howard, WR - knee

Nate Irving, LB - leg

Colby Jackson, FB – knee

R.J. Mattes, OG - knee

Everett Proctor, QB – shoulder

Jeff Rieskamp, DE – sports hernia

Rashard Smith, CB - knee

Javon Walker, S – knee

James Washington, HB - knee



Joshua Adams WR Shoulder

AJ Blue RB/QB Knee

Curtis Campbell DB Wrist

David Collins OL Foot

Shaun Draughn TB Shoulder

Carl Gaskins OT Knee

Matt Merletti S Knee

Trevor Stuart DS Knee

Ryan Taylor TE Knee

Jamal Womble RB Wrist


Anthony Elzy RB Ankle

Devon Ramsay FB Ankle

Gene Robinson CB Back



Isaac Cain (foot)

Raynard Horne (back)

Torrey Mack (ankle)


Darren Childs (ankle)


Jared Green (shoulder)

Mikell Simpson (leg)


Daniel Childress (ankle)

Matt Conrath (ankle)

Connor McCartin (shoulder)

Jameel Sewell (shoulder)

Patrick Slebonick (leg)



Beau Warren (knee)

Ed Wang (knee)

Boston College Eagles, Duke Blue Devils, Virginia Tech Hokies, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, North Carolina Tar Heels, Clemson Tigers, Florida State Seminoles, Virginia Cavaliers, Miami Hurricanes, Justin Mincey, Darren Evans, Thearon Collier, Christian Ponder, Vince Williams, Anthony Barnes, Garrett Faircloth, Vince Oghobaase, Alex Albright, Rodney Hudson, Adewale Ojomo, Thomas Claiborne, Jack Geiser, Patrick Slebonick, Jamal Womble, Torrey Mack, Caz Piurowski, Kyle Jackson, Marcus Forston, Mike Glennon, Jordan Futch, Raynard Horne, Xavier Rhodes, Jeff Rieskamp, Javon Walker, Matt Conrath, Carl Gaskins, Jared Green, Sean Renfree, Malcolm Munroe, Lee Chambers, Robert Hall, Darren CHilds, Ryan Cheek, Richard Gordon, Mikell Simpson, JoJo Nicolas, Mario Carter, Austin Barrick, Johnny Williams, Antwane Greenlee, Devon Ramsay, Requan Boyette, DeAndre Morgan, Beau Warren, Anthony Elzy, Sam Shields, Ryan Taylor, Sean Bedford, Joshua Adams, Jameel Sewell, Nate Irving, T.J. Graham, Mark Herzlich, Maurice Harris, Tyree Watkins, Thaddeus Lewis, Matt Merletti, Cooper Taylor, Aaron Gresham, Colby Jackson, Kaleb Ramsey, Shaun Draughn, Omoregie Uzzi, James Washington, Richard Goodman, Anthony Young-Wiseman, Demonte McAllister, Rashard Smith, Kyle Griswould, Gavin Hardin, Shayon Green, John Prior, Denzelle Good, Everett Proctor, R.J. Mattes, Isaac Cain, Trevor Stuart, Mitchell Lederman, Patrick Hill, Jajuan Harley, Kevin Cone, Rolandan Finch, David Collins, Curtis Campbell, Gene Robinson, Steven Howard, Daniel Childress, Connor McCartin, Audi Augustin

Wolfpack dealt 'bad hand' ... again

November, 6, 2009
Posted by’s Heather Dinich

NC State coach Tom O’Brien has had it with the injuries.

“We thought it was bad last year,” O’Brien said. “It's three times as bad this year as it was last year. It's got to end sometime before I die here. I don't know, one or the other. I hope I'm the next one hurt the way we're going. I'll take a hit for the team if it'll keep somebody else healthy.”

He’s about the only one on the Pack’s roster who hasn’t taken a hit this year.

For the third straight season, NC State (3-5, 0-4 ACC) can point to injuries as a legitimate excuse for a lack of production on the field. No coach will ever call it an “excuse,” but it’s impossible to deny it’s been a factor, just like it was at North Carolina earlier this season.

The latest player to be added to the list of season-ending injuries was wide receiver T.J. Graham, who was added to Thursday's injury report with a stress fracture in his leg. That knews came on the heels of a season-ending injury to freshman offensive guard R.J Mattes, who had started all eight games before he suffered a torn ACL and MCL just five plays into the Florida State game. Andy Barbee will start in his place at guard in Saturday’s game against Maryland.

“Yeah, he was our best first-year guy, a guy we were really excited about,” O’Brien said of Mattes. “He's a natural tackle which is where he'll go back next year, but he helped at guard and he stepped in there, accepted the challenge and kept getting better and better every game. That's another one of those tough losses for us.”

Another one? How about another dozen?

Over O’Brien’s first three seasons, a total of 38 starters have missed a total of 151 games:
  • In 2007, 13 starters missed 44 total games.
  • During the 2008 regular season, 13 starters missed a total of 75 games.
  • This season, 12 (current, projected or past) starters have missed a total of 32 games due to injuries. That number will go up after this weekend without Mattes and Graham.

The defense has been hit the hardest, with six starters missing a total of 23 games and three now out for the season. Most notable is linebacker Nate Irving, who has missed the entire season with injuries he suffered in a horrific automobile accident this summer.

Jeff Rieskamp, who started two games at defensive end a year ago and was expected to battle for a spot this season, has missed every game this year. Ray Michel, who had started 21 straight games at middle linebacker, missed last week’s game with an ankle injury. Cornerback Rashard Smith, a rookie who had moved into the starting lineup, is out of the season with a knee injury. The other starting corner, DeAndre Morgan, missed the first two games of 2009, while safety Clem Johnson also missed a game.

Those numbers don’t even include safety Javon Walker, who sat out last season with a knee injury and has also missed the entire season.

“You can't work around it,” O’Brien said. “You have to understand what's going on. The kids are fine. I think they are excited about the opportunity to come back home and play a football game. That's who you worry about the most. I think they've kind of accepted the fact they've been dealt a bad hand. There's nothing they can do but fight their way out of it, so we are going to continue to fight and play hard and be the best team we can.”

Pack's secondary finally facing an inexperienced quarterback

October, 14, 2009

Posted by’s Heather Dinich

Despite NC State’s 0-2 start in conference play, coach Tom O’Brien still believes his football team is better than it was a year ago when it began the season with the same record against ACC opponents.

“Most of the mistakes we’ve made are self-inflicted,” O’Brien said. “A year ago we had all the injuries, and different situations. Our quarterback wasn’t experienced. … Certainly we’ve made strides. The problem we’ve had from the start is not being able to get people on the ground, poor tackling. It’s repetition we continue to do at practice, but when they’re on the field, they have to get the guy down.”

There’s no question the bulk of the concerns have been on defense, particularly in what has been an injury-riddled secondary where the lineup has been routinely switched. A variety of injuries, abilities and experience have forced the staff to use five different starting secondary lineups in the first six games.

Cornerbacks DeAndre Morgan and Rashard Smith and safety Clem Johnson have all missed time due to injuries this season. Some players have started at different positions, including Koyal George at field and boundary corner, Johnson at field and boundary safety and Justin Byers at field safety and boundary corner. This week could mark the sixth new lineup in the backfield, as Smith is slated to be back.

“This is basically the way we are,” O’Brien said.

Thanks in large part to Johnson being healthy, O’Brien said NC State got what it needed from the safety position in last week’s loss to Duke, but at field corner, neither Morgan nor C.J. Wilson have seized the opportunity. In the past two weeks, Wake Forest and Duke averaged 410 passing yards and 39.5 points against the Pack.

Boston College coach Frank Spaziani said there’s no reason to think this should be a game in which the Eagles will pick apart NC State’s pass defense as easily as the Pack’s past two opponents have, especially considering their inexperience at quarterback.

“First of all, I think NC State has a very good defense,” Spaziani said. “Very good. They lost to South Carolina, 7-3, and South Carolina is 5-1. Then they ran into the Skinner/Lewis buzz saw. Riley Skinner has done that to everybody I believe. … And Thaddeus Lewis had one of the best games that I’ve seen in a long while of any quarterback anywhere. He just had a fantastic game. We are who we are, and we certainly don’t have Thaddeus Lewis and Riley Skinner.”

And that might be the best news on the Pack’s scouting report this week.

Injuries again make consistency tough for NC State

September, 22, 2009

Posted by’s Heather Dinich

In three games, NC State has had three different combinations of starters on its offensive line, and three different starting lineups in the secondary. When the Wolfpack hosts Pittsburgh on Saturday, it will make the fourth different look for both units.

It’s the third season under coach Tom O’Brien, and once again, the Wolfpack has been in the all-too familiar situation of juggling the lineup to adjust to injuries. Not even O’Brien, though, has had to shuffle a lineup like this before.

“I don’t remember any injuries since I’ve been here like this,” he said.

Heading into Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh, the status of left tackle Jake Vermiglio (lower leg), safety Clem Johnson (thigh) and corner Rashard Smith, who was on crutches last Saturday with an ankle injury, are still uncertain and expect to be updated in Thursday’s injury report.

“We really haven’t gotten the continuity at the two most important positions on our team, especially the last two weeks,” said O’Brien. “The only thing we have gained is we’ve gotten some young guys in the football game, which is down the road stuff, but for immediately getting better as a football team, with your fourth different offensive line, and your fourth different secondary, that’s not a good situation to be in.”

The left side of the offensive line is where the problems have been. Vermiglio injured his calf in the season opener against South Carolina, and that forced Julian Williams to slide over from guard. Williams, who had the flu last week, is back and is listed as the starter at left guard on the depth chart for Pitt. When Williams caught the flu last week, Andrew Wallace became the third player this season to start at left tackle.

That doesn’t bode well against a Big East defense that just limited Navy’s option attack to 2.8 yards per carry and 129 total yards in a 27-14 win last weekend.

“They’re at the top of their league in rush defense,” O’Brien said of Pitt. “Especially when you shut out a team like Navy, you ought to be the best there is. We have to work hard to run the football. They lead in sacks, so we’re going to have to work hard to throw the football, too.”

The secondary has been an even bigger carousel.

Starting corner DeAndre Morgan was hurt and missed the first two games. He returned last week against Gardner Webb, is back at 100 percent, and is expected to start against Pitt. Safety Clem Johnson, who was a returning starter, hurt his hip and missed the last game. Justin Byers, who graded out as the best safety in the season opener against South Carolina, was also injured and missed a game. Rashard Smith, who started the second game because he played so well against South Carolina, was hurt last weekend.

"People have gotten on the field," O'Brien said, "but certainly the areas that can cause you the biggest damage the quickest, we're still unsettled in."

ACC injury reports

September, 11, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

There are some notable names that will/could be missing this weekend, including Bobby Rome, Lowell Dyer, Greg Boone, Stephan Virgil, Bruce Campbell, Jameel Sewell, Jamelle Eugene, Vic Hall and Jake Vermiglio. Here are the full reports that came in throughout the league from each school's sports information department:

  • LB Will Thompson (shoulder) -- OUT
  • LB Mike McLaughlin (Achilles) -- OUT
  • FB James McCluskey (Achilles) -- OUT
  • WR Ifeanyi Momah (knee) -- OUT
  • DT Kaleb Ramsey (ankle) -- PROBABLE
  • RB Kyle Griswould (leg) -- OUT
  • CB Randez James (hand) -- OUT
  • S Anthony Young--Wiseman (knee) -- OUT FOR SEASON

  • OT Antwane Greenlee (knee)
  • DT Justin Mincey (knee)
  • OT John Prior (knee)
  • LB Vince Williams (back)


  • Donald Bowens, WR – knee
  • Ryan Cheek, LB -- hip
  • Wayne Crawford, C -- foot
  • Jamelle Eugene, HB -- knee
  • DeAndre Morgan, CB – ankle
  • Jeff Rieskamp, DE -- hip
  • Jake Vermiglio, OT – lower leg
  • Javon Walker, S -- knee
Depth chart changes due to injuries: Julian Williams will move into Vermiglio's spot at tackle and Andy Barbee will start at guard. Henry Lawson will be the backup at center. James Washington will be the second-team halfback.


Out (Season)
  • Carl Gaskins OL -- Knee
  • Matt Merletti S -- Knee
Out (Game)
  • Jonathan Cooper OG -- Ankle
  • Lowell Dyer C -- Shoulder
  • Jordan Nix DT -- Illness
  • Bobby Rome FB -- Illness
  • Terry Shankle DB -- Illness

  • Vic Hall (hip)
  • Dontrelle Inman (hand)
  • Lamar Milstead (ankle)
  • Bill Schautz (knee)
  • Greg Boone (SC joint sprain) -- doubtful
  • Stephan Virgil (knee) -- doubtful

Keys to the conference

September, 2, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Each team has one area, one phase of the game, one position group -- something -- that will help determine how its season unfolds. Here's a look at the keys to the season for each team in the ACC:

-- The Eagles need to find a dependable leader at quarterback, somebody capable of managing the game without losing it for them. The rest of the pieces are in place on offense for the Eagles to have a respectable season, but they need to find their identity.

-- Considering much of the same talent returns from the team that received so much hype a year ago, it's up to the new staff to do what their predecessors couldn't, and contend for the Atlantic Division title. How first-year offensive coordinator Billy Napier and coach Dabo Swinney fare on the sidelines will be key.

-- Pave the way for quarterback Thaddeus Lewis and Re'quan Boyette. The Blue Devils have two standout players on offense, but they need the supporting cast. It should be a receiver-by-committee effort to replace Eron Riley, and if three new starters on the offensive line can give Lewis and Boyette the timing they need, the Blue Devils should surprise some people.

-- The offensive line should be the best in the conference and could be one of the best in the country, even though there's still not a senior in the lineup. With so many questions on defense, this unit will be the anchor and help the offense ease the burden of a defense in transition.

-- If the Jackets make a seamless transition on the defensive line, where they lost three NFL-bound starters, there's no reason Georgia Tech shouldn't be atop the Coastal Division standings again. With 19 starters returning, the only pieces that are missing are up front.

-- The Terps will fare as well as their offensive line, and it's a group that has 27 career starts up front. They lost five of their top seven linemen from a year ago, and the success of veteran quarterback Chris Turner and running back Da'Rel Scott will hinge upon the blocking and protection they get up front.

-- Starting off strong and keeping Jacory Harris unscathed in the process will keep the Canes in the running to win the Coastal Division. Following the transfer of both backup quarterbacks, Miami can't afford to lose Harris, nor can it afford to lose its first four games.

-- Finding receivers and a cohesiveness on the offensive line would make Carolina a complete team. The Heels have a championship-caliber defense to work with, but replacing their top four receivers from a year ago could take some time.

-- Staying healthy has been one of the Pack's biggest obstacles, if not the biggest, and before the season even started they lost their best player in linebacker Nate Irving. Cornerback DeAndre Morgan will miss the opener with an ankle injury. NC State is a better football team, but nobody will know it if key players continue to go down.

-- Find playmakers, starting with the old Mikell Simpson. It's cliche, yes, but the Cavaliers lost their top five pass catchers from a year ago, their leading rusher and their top three linebackers. Gregg Brandon's spread offense will only be as effective as the players who execute it, and if Simpson returns to his 2007 form, he could be an X factor for this team.

-- Keeping Tyrod Taylor healthy is the only way the Hokies will challenge for their fourth ACC title since joining the conference. None of his backups have any collegiate experience, and Taylor's backups were needed a year ago. While some fans might not exactly miss Sean Glennon, he did win them an ACC title.

-- Find stability on defense. The Deacs can survive without the likes of Alphonso Smith and Aaron Curry because they've still got solid veteran players. If everyone knows their role, plays assignment football and doesn't try to do too much, Wake will win with a group effort.

NC State injury report: Morgan out for opener

September, 1, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

NC State just released its injury report for the season opener at South Carolina, and cornerback DeAndre Morgan will miss the game with an ankle injury. Morgan, a redshirt junior who started 11 games last year, was listed as the backup to redshirt freshman C.J. Wilson. Obviously this is a significant loss for a group that was already filled with inexperience. True freshman Rashard Smith, of Dublin, Ga., will move into Morgan's spot.

Backup center Wayne Crawford will also be out with a foot injury. Andy Barbee will move into his spot. Here is the full report:


Mario Carter, TE - knee

Denzelle Good, OL - shoulder

Nate Irving, LB - leg

Colby Jackson, FB - knee

Everett Proctor, QB – shoulder


Donald Bowens, WR – knee

Ryan Cheek, LB - hip

Wayne Crawford, C – foot

DeAndre Morgan, CB – ankle

Jeff Rieskamp, DE - hip

Javon Walker, S - knee

NC State spring wrap-up

May, 7, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

North Carolina State Wolfpack

2008 overall record: 6-7

2008 conference record: 4-4

Returning starters: Offense: 7, defense: 7, kicker/punter 1

Top returners: QB Russell Wilson, WR Owen Spencer, C Ted Larsen DT Alan Michael Cash, DE Willie Young, LB Nate Irving, PK Josh Czajkowski, TB Toney Baker, WR T.J. Graham, LB Ray Michel, TB Jamelle Eugene, CB DeAndre Morgan

Key losses: TE Anthony Hill, HB Andre Brown, S J.C. Neal, CB Jeremy Gray, DT Keith Willis, OG John Bedics, OG Meares Green

2008 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Andre Brown (767 yards)
Passing: Russell Wilson* (1,955 yards)
Owen Spencer* (691 yards)
Ray Michel* (85)
Willie Young* (6.5)
Nate Irving* (4)

2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 South Carolina
Sept. 12 Murray State
Sept. 19 Gardner-Webb
Sept. 26 Pittsburgh
Oct. 3 at Wake Forest
Oct. 10 Duke
Oct. 17 at Boston College
Oct. 31 at Florida State
Nov. 7 Maryland
Nov. 14 Clemson
Nov. 21 at Virginia Tech
Nov. 28 North Carolina

Spring answers

1. Sweet relief. Mike Glennon impressed the coaching staff as the No. 2 quarterback this spring with his poise and arm strength and likely earned himself some playing time this fall. Glennon completed 23 of 38 passes for 272 yards and one touchdown in the Kay Yow Spring Game.

2. Hit me. Baker hadn't played in almost two years, let alone been hit, but he held up physically throughout the spring despite not being entirely 100 percent. He and Jamelle Eugene should help compensate for the loss of Brown.

3. Going the distance. Placekicker Josh Czajkowski could be a difference-maker this fall. He was accurate last year (16 of 19 field goals and 33 of 34 PATs), but improved his distance this spring. Czajkowki made a 52-yarder in one of the scrimmages.

Fall questions

1. Winning in September. NC State has made a push late in the schedule over the past two seasons, and has had a tendency to get off to a slow, injury-laden start. If the Wolfpack is going to be a legitimate contender in Tom O'Brien's third season, they'll have to get off to a faster start.

2. Staying power. Can Russell Wilson stay healthy and handle the spotlight of Year 1 while Glennon is itching to see some playing time? Wilson showed improvement this spring by working through his progressions better, but O'Brien said there could have been more progress had Wilson not spent part of the spring with the baseball team.

3. Walker's return. Can the Pack get safety Javon Walker back in secondary? Walker tore his ACL in the second-to-last game of 2008. As a freshman he was starting, but he missed the spring. He is expected back this fall and could be the best player in secondary.

NC State's secondary gets some help

October, 3, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

NC State cornerbacks Jeremy Gray and DeAndre Morgan each played 81 snaps last weekend against South Florida, more than anyone else on the roster. Safety JC Neal played 77 snaps, the second most of anyone on defense. And safety Justin Byers was in on 74 plays, the third-most on defense.

It's safe to say NC State's starting secondary could use a break.

Enter Clem Johnson.

The junior college transfer broke his jaw in the third scrimmage of the season, just as he was moving into a starting role, and wasn't expected to return. He lost between 15-20 pounds, but within 48 hours after his braces were removed, Johnson gained eight of it back. He has since fully recovered and played sparingly for the first time last weekend against South Florida.

Now the staff is hoping to gradually work him back into the rotation over the next few weeks.

"It's a whole new process for him," NC state coach Tom O'Brien said. "We're starting all over with him. He played a little bit last Saturday and hopefully we'll be able to play him a little bit more this Saturday. So it's part of a process now to get him back. ... If we had an open week we could speed the process up, but it's rather difficult going game to game."

Odds are it would've gotten even more difficult, though, without him.



Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12