A Mature Leader

RALEIGH, N.C. -- M.J. Salahuddin has emerged into a potential impact performer for NC State, and he has been on campus just over a year.

M.J. Salahuddin has emerged into a potential impact performer for NC State, and he has been on campus just over a year.

He enrolled in 2012 and started to impress right away with his work ethic and nose for the football. One of just five true freshmen to see action in 2012, Salahuddin played in 12 games on special teams, totaling three stops, and saw action from scrimmage against Virginia.

Salahuddin made his move up the depth chart with a terrific spring, and he enters fall camp as the starter at middle linebacker. In that role he will be viewed as one of the leaders of the Wolfpack's defense.

"As a leader, as a communicator, and as a worker, [M.J.] fits in really well," said Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren. "He's another guy that has improved himself body-weight wise and bought in to the offseason program. Coach Veltkamp and his staff is really happy with the progress he has made."

Doeren doesn't seemed concerned that Salahuddin may not be ready to lead given he hasn't played any meaningful snaps.

"Sometimes you would be [worried], but not for a guy like him," said Doeren. "He's mature above his years. He was raised the right way. He's a very mature kid."

Salahuddin continues to do what he's done since he has been in Raleigh... work hard and try to improve.

"During fall camp I want to improve my leadership," he stated. "[Just] taking control of the defense as far as being in the middle. I want to improve on my mental [approach], staying in the film room, and I definitely want to gain a few pounds."

After a couple of practices in shorts, Salahuddin says he is ready for today, the first day the Wolfpack will wear pads.

"I love to hit," he said, laughing. "So come [today] when we get on just shoulder pads... we don't have to have the bottoms, when we get on just shoulder pads it's going to be go-time.

"I'll be ready for it."


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