O'Brien: Smith On The Move

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media following Thursday's practice to discuss Saturday's game against South Alabama and announced that sophomore Rashard Smith is moving back to cornerback from wide receiver.

Tom O'Brien Audio

"First off, we're not going to do an injury report because it's a non-conference game. They don't do one, we don't do one. I told you I'd do one before the first game, that's why I did it then. With three of the next four non-conference, we'll do it when they do it."

"Gary Grant is no longer part of the program. He didn't live up to the expectations or standards that are set for an NC State football player."

"Rashard [Smith] is going back to defense, but he's played a little offense too."

"Well, as a senior on the defensive line, we lost two kids, he and Sweezy, with the most experience. That certainly takes a toll on the defensive line. There is a reason why they are starters and have all the experience. He was our best pass-rushing defensive end and until he get back we have to find guys to step up and make plays."

"It doesn't matter who we're playing against, we want to create a new line of scrimmage, we have to get across the line and get our hands on them and pull them with speed and power."

"Those two kids stepped up Saturday, certainly. That's the best game that T.J. [Graham] has had since he's been here. He had a catch lying on his back. He got deep and got the ball and did a lot of good things. Tobais [Palmer] was an unknown. Never having been in a game until two weeks ago, he stepped up and made some plays. As a work in progress, those kids worked hard in camp and have gotten better."

"I don't think so, George [Bryan] will be fine. It's a matter of concentration and maybe trying too hard."

"I believe in competition because it pushes each other for playing time. What you want is when you play six [receivers] there isn't going to be a drop off when anybody goes in the football game. It's great that those two guys are pushing themselves and we got 13 catches out of that position Saturday."

"T.J. and Mike [Glennon] hit it off from the day they came to camp. It was one of those things that T.J. finally found somebody that could throw the ball longer than he could run to catch it. They've been looking forward to this opportunity. Certainly Tobais has a lot of speed, he was a running back in high school so he's still learning the wideout position."

"Well it's good if they are bette in the second half but they have to be good coming out of the locker room. That's the goal is to come out and play at the start. The offense was slow the first game and the defense was slow the second. We just can't have those things."

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