Greene Ready To Go

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State redshirt sophomore Mustafa Greene can't wait to take the field against Tennessee.

NC State redshirt sophomore Mustafa Greene is working his way back into football shape and feels that he is ready to go.

"I feel good," said Greene. "Our new strength & conditioning coach has been staying on me. I've been trying to stay focused and ready because if I get the chance to help the team I'm going to do whatever I can."

Greene's breakout season came as a true freshman in 2010 when he led the Wolfpack with a team-high 597 yards and four scores. He also caught 30 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns, showing reliable hands out of the backfield.

With that being said, he hasn't played in a game in nearly two years as he sit out all of the 2011 season with a foot injury. What has been hardest for him to adjust to on the practice field?

"Probably pass protection has been the hardest adjustment for me since coming back out here," said Greene. "Moving linebackers and reading coverages... I just needed to get back into the flow, and coach Kitchings has done a good job of preparing me.

"It also helps me that the linemen do a great job of point it out as well. Thank God for Cam [Wentz] and those guys."

Speaking of the offensive line, Greene beamed when talking about them. The Wolfpack returns four starters along the offensive line and have a couple of other linemen with starting experience. It is safe to say that the line is in much better shape than when Greene was on the field two years ago.

"I feel like the line is much better than it was in my freshman year," said Greene. "They are working hard everyday. It's my job to just go follow them. Wherever they take me, that's where I'm going to go.

"In the first scrimmage I was able to re-gain my pace with them... it was great being out there and they blocked great so I had a good day."

What once was a question mark for NC State is now a strength as State has three quality tailbacks in Greene, Tony Creecy, and James Washington.

"We're all out here trying to make plays for the team," said Greene. "Slow to it, fast through it is how we do things back there. Tony is a great back who can catch the ball out of the backfield. He also does a great job of picking up the blitzes. He's a football player, an athlete. He's got a knack for making plays.

"James, he is a home run hitter. He has tremendous speed and if he gets out there in the open field you're not going to catch him. He's a great receiver as well."

The youngest guy in the mix is talented true freshman Shadrach Thornton, who has also impressed Greene with his play.

"Shadrach is explosive," said Greene. "I like him. He is a hard worker and just needs to get out there and learn it. He's going to be a great player for us."

A few months ago Greene was battling off-the-field issues. A couple of weeks back he was facing academic concerns. Now he is one week away from the season opener in Atlanta against Tennessee.

"It was tough, but my teammates and everybody gave me a second chance," said Greene. "I'm just happy to have an opportunity to come out there and play.

"I'll be ready to make plays when I get back on the field."


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