Pack Pride Q&A: Des Kitchings

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Pack Pride checks in with running backs coach Des Kitchings for a quick update on his position group.

Entering his third season at NC State in charge of the running backs, Des Kitchings is happy with what he has seen from his pupils in camp. As the Wolfpack prepare for the upcoming season opener at home against Georgia Southern on August 30, Kitchens took time to talk to Pack Pride.

In the first couple of practices what things have been happening with your group?
They're really excited. I think there has been major improvements in conditioning and strength.

Tony Creecy has maintained his conditioning from the spring. Matt Dayes is in great shape and even Shad (Thornton) has improved.

It's fun.

Talk about redshirt freshman Dakwa Nichols.
I'll tell you, Dakwa is a different kid, even from the spring. Obviously he's confident... he's out here competing. It's good to see.

How many of the running backs are working on special teams?
A whole lot; all of them. Matt Dayes is working on kicks. Shad is on the kickoff return team. Tony is on punt return. It gets them as many touches as possible. It also really helps us out because Tony and Shad are blockers on those returns so to have that athleticism is great.

How well has Tony Creecy performed in his role as a team leader in camp?
It has been good. He has been here it seems like forever. He is a good leader, not a selfish leader, so he does a good job of distributing encouragement to others.

Going into camp: what most did you want to see Shadrach Thornton improve on?
Just his mental focus. Just consistently being mentally focused. There is no doubt that he goes all-out and he goes hard. He plays the game physically.

Have you seen improvement in Matt Dayes?
I have. His body has changed. We showed pictures of him before and after [his recent conditioning improvement] and you can see it. He has better stamina. He is better conditioned.

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