Carlos Gray redshirted in 2011 and has yet to take a division one snap but most feel like he has as much potential as anyone along a deep and talented defensive line for NC State.
Pack Pride caught up with Gray recently for his thoughts on the upcoming season.
You haven't had any live action in a while. How anxious are you to be able to get back out on the field and play?
I'm very anxious. I've been waiting a long time. It's time to see what we can do out there as a team.
You have a lot of experience around you on the defensive line. Have you benefited from having those guys to lean on for advice?
It's been very beneficial to have coach Willis as a coach. He doesn't really play on just starting because he likes fresh legs. If you rotate, rotate and keep fresh legs and everybody's good.
How big was the jump from the talent you faced at Oak Ridge to the talent you play with at NC State?
It's a pretty big jump but it's been easy to adapt.
What's been the biggest adjustment you've had to make during the transition to division one football?
Being away from my son. He's in Birmingham with his mom.
Is that something that motivates you out on the field?
That's what I'm playing for. Now I have other people to think about other than just me.
What kind of goals do you have for your first year playing?
I want to come in and fit in where I can fit in and do what I can for the team.
There's a lot of returning talent on the defensive line. How good can this group be in 2012?
We can be one of the top defensive lines. We've just go to keep working, keep pushing and keep striving for better.
Has anyone stuck out to you in particular?
Darryl Cato-Bishop and Art Norman have been the most impressive to me so far.
What has impressed you about them?
Just their work ethic. They've worked hard over the off season, got in shape and are just striving to get better.