Doeren: "There Is An Opportunity"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Wolfpack Club Caravan is underway and on Thursday the stop was in Raleigh. Given the location, there is no surprise that a large group of NC State fans were in attendance.

The Wolfpack Club Caravan is underway and on Thursday the stop was in Raleigh. Given the location, there is no surprise that a large group of NC State fans were in attendance.

"It is a great turnout," said NC State head coach Dave Doeren. "It is always fun to be around all the people who support our program."

Doeren, is traveling on the caravan for the second time, and he is a huge fan of the Wolfpack Club Caravan.

"I enjoy it," he said. "I like getting around the people. We need them. We need their noise in the stadium. Their support in the communities, the way they talk about our program, word spreads. I think they know we're doing things the right way. I love being around them and thank them for it. I have never had one of these events yet where I walked out and said 'Wow, what was that?'. They've all been really good.

"[The ambiance] is different in every town, whether it is urban or rural, but people are open-armed, they're excited and they're competitive. They want us to play well. They are excited about the recruiting, and the things we're doing academically."

The Wolfpack's football team concluded spring practice a few weeks ago with the Kay Yow Spring Game, and Doeren stated that he's had a chance to really evaluate his group's performance in the game.

"I've gone back and watched it several times," he said. "You certainly like the way we threw the football. I was disappointed in a few of the penalties, but when you go back and watch it a lot of them were freshmen... high school kids who just got here. It was the first time they've ever played in front of people like that in our stadium, so it wasn't as bad as I originally thought on gameday."

Overall, Doeren was pleased with the performance of both starting units.

"We didn't turn the ball over, which is always something you want your first offense to do," he stated. "Defensively, we tackled well in the game. I thought we did pretty good. When your first defense has a shutout, your first offense scores a lot of points, and no one has an injury... it's a pretty good day."

Even with the strides made in the spring, Doeren understands that there will continue to be growing pains. Coming off a 3-9 season, NC State will be one of the youngest teams in the country this fall, as the Wolfpack is expected to have 51 freshmen on the roster.

"It's the youngest team I've been a part of," said Doeren. "Kansas would have been close, but we had a little more of a JUCO blend. This is probably the youngest team I've coached on."

Doeren doesn't view the youth as a negative. In fact, he sees upside with his young squad.

"It's the foundation of your program," said Doeren. "The thing we want to do is get the right person that fits our scheme and temperament, and we will play them while they are young.

"You will have experience and develop them. Two years from now we could have 71% of our team being juniors and seniors. That's the advantage of it. The growing pains... you just don't know how it's going to happen. Sometimes it's a blessing and sometimes it's not."

NC State landed a terrific 2014 recruiting class, and the Wolfpack will continue to use the same approach on the recruiting trail. They are going to promote the positives of the program and mention the opportunity that's available to top recruits.

"I believe this is a diamond in the rough," said Doeren. "A lot of people don't know how great it is. The more we get people here we'll continue to have those kind of classes. It's just a matter of selling what NC State has and presenting it the right way.

"Right now there is an opportunity here... a great opportunity. Our depth isn't good and people know that."

"We told [the 2014 class] we needed them here," he added. "There is an opportunity. We didn't promise them anything other than an opportunity. You have to earn playing time, but the opportunity to play is excellent for those guys."

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