Pack Pride caught up with NC State tight ends coach Eddie Faulkner recently. He talked in-depth about his position group, what he looks for in a tight end and recruiting in this Q&A.
Can you give a brief overview of the players you have coming back and how they've done in winter workouts?
I've got good kids that work hard and want to be good. They pay attention and they do everything you ask them as a coach. You couldn't ask anymore than that. It's our job to find out what they do best and then put them in a position to be successful.
How do you plan to use your tight ends in the new offensive system?
It's not going to be much different. When you hear no-huddle you think of four and five wide receivers but for us it's whoever our best players are. If three of our best players are tight ends then they're going to be on the field a lot.
We'll find formations to take advantage of their strengths and they're going to be utilized as much as they allow us to utilize them. But you can say that about every position.
Some teams use their tight ends more as an H-Back. Is that something you guys will use?
Yeah, again it goes back to what their strengths are and what they do well. But yeah, we'll definitely use a guy in that role. Who's that guy going to be? I don't know but we'll see what their strengths are. I have an idea of who may be able to handle it but we'll play it by ear. See who does what and then coming out of spring we'll have a good idea of what we want to do in fall camp.
What do you look for in a potential tight end?
To me a tight end has to do one or two things really well. We all want that guy that's big and strong and can block and run and catch and play a little receiver but I think you look for guys that are good at one and then you have to be a good coach for the other.
For example, a guy may be a really good blocker but he's not the best receiver in the world. Well, if you take him as a tight end he better be able to block the point for you and be able to handle some things that way.
Same thing holds true for a guy that's a really good receiver. He may have been a receiver in high school but never had to put his hand on the ground. You have to do a good job of coaching him up on blocking and he can become a great blocker.
So I think you just have to look at what they did in high school and then kind of build off of that.
What have you thought about the move to Raleigh and how have you liked it so far?
I love it, and I'm not just saying that. I love the area. I love Raleigh. There's things to do. The weather is great compared to Wisconsin. The fan support has been unbelievable.
I've been to some basketball games and I hear football is even crazier than that. I'm really looking forward to the experience here and hopefully that lasts for a long time.
What areas will you be recruiting?
I'm going to be in the Charlotte area and some of the surrounding counties. I'll also be in New Jersey. I have ties previously in Indiana and Michigan so I won't necessarily be in those states like I have in the past but I'll make sure I keep up with the kids that are in that area.
But my main focus is in Charlotte and making sure I have a rapport here in the state and try to get these kids to stay home. And then I'll venture outside the state with some guys.
Can you give your thoughts on the proposed changes to the contact rules with recruiting?
It means more work. None of us have a problem with that but it's going to be non-stop texting and contacting recruits. Even now, with the rule changes you're putting young kids into the mix where that's making it even broader.
We'll see how that all works out. Obviously things keep changing but we'll recruit within the rules and whatever they are, we'll go hard at it.
If coaches have the ability to call and text without limits, how does a coach differentiate his team from all the others?
I think you have to do a good job of organizing yourself and really focusing on the kids. You have to find kids that can help the program and that you have a real chance of getting and then make sure those are the guys you're really flooding and recruiting hard.
You recruit everybody early on and then you identify guys that are maybe reciprocating the interest. You decide if a guy's going to be a good fit and once you've decided you have a chance with him I think you have to dive in and really go hard after those guys within the rules.
That process starts so much earlier now. You're trying to keep up with kids in the 2015 class so that becomes a little bit of a challenge to identify those guys and give them the love so they'll want to come to NC State.