Irving: "I Love It Here"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Nate Irving knew he would bump into Russell Wilson while in Raleigh for the Wolfpack's spring game, but he just wasn't ready to bring up their last meeting.

"No, not yet," said Irving when asked about talking to Wilson. "I say hey to him, but that's it. I'm a sore loser."

Irving and Wilson squared off this year in the biggest game of them all... the Super Bowl. Wilson's Seahawks came away with the victory, defeating Irving and the Denver Broncos 43-8.

Wilson was terrific in the win, as he completed 18-of-25 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Irving, totaled four tackles and a pass breakup from his outside linebacker position.

Despite the loss, he enjoyed the experience.

"It was a great experience," he said. "I never thought I would be playing football. I was always a basketball guy growing up, so to have that experience and a chance to go play on the biggest stage in my profession was a dream come true, and to be playing it so early in my career.

"I really appreciate it because I was playing with guys who were ten years in... fourteen years in, and have never been. I am three years in and I was able to go and really sit back, talk to them, and appreciate what was happening."

Irving was back in Raleigh for the Wolfpack's annual spring game, an event that the school uses each year to welcome back past standouts.

"I appreciate it," he stated. "I want to come back in my 60s and 70s telling the players who will be here then how much of a family we were and how much of a family we still should be. I'm looking forward to it.

"Coming from here, you know, I love it here... I don't know what else to say about it."

There have been some changes since Irving roamed the field for NC State, most notably at head coach. He led the team under Tom O'Brien, and Dave Doeren is now at the helm.

Irving speaks highly of the Wolfpack's second-year coach.

"I've watched where he's been before," he said. "He's getting his players in to run a system that he wants to run, and I think it's going to be a pretty good system for this school.

"He's a great coach, and off the field he's a great person. I talk to him a lot. I text him and see him at basketball games or whenever I come back."

"He does a good job of making us feel welcome enough to come back here as former players," Irving added. "I appreciate that, and I think he's gonna do a good job here."

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