Sands: 'I'm Very Excited To Be Here'

RALEIGH, N.C. -- New running backs coach Everette Sands met with the media today to discuss his move to NC State. Sands heads to NC State after serving as running backs coach at his alma mater, Citadel.

Thoughts on taking the NC State job:
First of all I'm very excited to be here. Really what happened is I knew coach Bridge and that was sort of my key to getting in the door.

I interviewed the Thursday after signing day, and I was getting ready to go to a Super Bowl party when coach O'Brien gave me the call. I was real excited to get that call, and the rest is history.

What intrigued you about the position?
One, it's the ACC, and I know North Carolina State has done a good job over the last couple of years. Coach O'Brien has done a wonderful job, and they are positioning themselves to win an ACC championship.

It's been one of my goals, to win a BCS conference championship and have the opportunity to go on for that BCS title.

What challenges will you face?
A big challenge, as always, is getting to know these guys and developing a relationship with them... getting them to trust me and getting them to believe in my methods on the way to getting better.

Have you had a chance to meet the running backs?
I have. We had a Tuesday morning run, and I got the chance to meet all of them then.

What are your methods?
One of the big things, first and foremost is protecting and securing the football. That's a big deal for me. I know they've done a good job of that over the years, and that will continue to be important.

Another big thing is to make sure they are a complete back. We know they can run the ball, that's why we recruited them. Also they must block in pass protection and be able to catch the ball out of the backfield as well.

How do you get acclimated to a tight-knit staff?
I'll just jump in with both feet and get going. During the interview process I had an opportunity to make some connections with the guys, who they played for, coached with, etc... and of course I knew coach Bridge from my first stint at Citadel.

It's about building relationships.

Any discussions about recruiting areas?
I'm going to have the Durham area, half of South Carolina, a good portion of Georgia, and then Jacksonville area in Florida.

Describe your relationship with the high school coaches in South Carolina.
I think it's very well. Everywhere I've been I recruited South Carolina, from when I was at Elon, Citadel, up in Ohio, and back at Citadel.

I have a great relationship with a lot of the coaches down in South Carolina. I've virtually recruited the whole state, so it's pretty good.

Going from Citadel to NC State, you're not going to be coaching the same kind of kid. How difficult is that?
It goes back to building relationships. I think that's very important.

Regardless of where he is, a lot of coaches know the impact of his coach. That's a reason I want to build a relationship with those guys. I still get calls, congratulations, from guys I coached 10 years ago.

That's the kind of relationship I want to build, and when you have that you will have a great impact on a young man.

Did you still maintain contact with Coach Bridge?
Yes we have.

Did he contact you about the opening?
I heard about it and actually texted him. It was like, "I don't know" and a couple of weeks later things materialized.

How much does playing running back help you coach the position?
I think it does help because it is a different mentality at times. It's fourth-and-one and doesn't look good, you've got to find a way to get it done. Being in that situation, I think the guys who I'm coaching know coach has been there before, been in that situation, and they can have a little more faith in me.

Was the interview the first time you met coach O'Brien?
It was.

What were your thoughts on him?
As you know, coach O'Brien is a marine, and he's very structured. Coming from the Citadel, that's one thing I'm used to. I'm looking forward to working with him because he is a structured man, and he's very successful as well.

I'm very anxious to get this opportunity to work with him.

Have they already told you how important it is to beat North Carolina around here?
I knew. [Laughing] I knew.

You are going to have to get rid of some of your Citadel shirts.
Yes. My last day in Charleston, I wore a Citadel blue shirt. I knew I had to wear that now before I got up to North Carolina.

Did you leave some of those shirts behind or bring some with you?
[Laughing] I didn't bring any with me.

What's the quickest impact that you think you can make on this running back group?
I'm still learning and trying to figure that out. I know that we have a very young group of running backs. We only have one senior, and that's Taylor Gentry. Everybody else is pretty much a freshman or sophomore.

I need to get in, watch some more film on them, and see what we have to work on.

I assume you watched a lot of Mustafa Greene in high school. Just from that is he the guy you probably know the most about?
Just from that. He's got a learning curve that he has to go through with this past year being his freshman year.

The big thing for him is he hasn't really been in the weight room a lot, going through some different things, so strength will be an issue for him. That's just on the outside looking in, I haven't really dug in yet.

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