Pack Pride talked with
him recently and asked him to talk about several of his current
teammates and what might make this year different for the Wolfpack.
Tony, could you give me a scouting report on each of the running backs starting with yourself?
Healthy, which I am now, I'm dangerous. I can run the ball. I've got great vision. I can block. I'm a team leader. I can do it all.
Shadrach Thornon, he can do it all. He can run the ball. He's a real fast guy and he knows the offense like we all do. He's a great blocker.
Matt Dayes. he's coming along. He and Dakwa both, but Matt, he's a fast guy. He's elusive. He's great in pass blocking.
Dakwa, he really stood out in that scrimmage. He showed things that a lot of us didn't know he could do. He ran the ball hard. He's a fast guy and he's getting better at pass blocking so we have a good four-headed monster.
Can you give me just one word to kind of sum up the strengths of each running back?
With me I would just say being a leader. Me leading helps this team so much. It seems like when I'm on it's like the team is on. So many people look at me as being a leader. So many people look at me as the older guy, as the guy that's been through it all. Just like in the scrimmage.I had a really, really good scrimmage and it just seemed like the energy I brought to the field just transferred over to the whole team.
With Shad, we say 'be seen and not heard.' What we mean by that is we just want him to play football. We don't want him to do too much. We don't want him to do less. We just want him to be Shad.
For Matt, he's a quiet guy so we just tell him to play football. He doesn't say much. He just wants to play his role.
Dakwa is very explosive. We just need him to bring that to the football field and he showed a lot of it (last) Saturday.
Tell me one freshman from offense and defense that you think has the potential to be a star at NC State.
Tony Adams who came in during the spring and played a little center and is now playing some right guard. He's doing everything and he's going to be really good.
And also on defense, Germaine Pratt. That
guy is a ball hawk. For some reason he always ends up where the ball
is and he's a great tackler. He has really good speed. He can play
safety and he's about 240 (pounds). He's a real good player so those
two will shock the world.
You face NC State's defense every day. Who's the one guy that you know is going to bring it? He's that one guy that you know when he hits you he's going to give it everything he's got.
I would have to say T.Y. (McGill). He's 300 pounds. So whenever he hits you and lands on you that's always pretty rough.
Last season was tough and no one expected State to go winless in the conference this time last year. What do you think makes this year different?
What's different about this year is the leadership. During the past years, especially since Russell and Mike I don't think we've had great leadership. As a senior this year that's something we've tried to focus more on. We want to be better leaders for the young guys and the team. I think it's worked out because our practices have gone well and I think they're leaning on the seniors, asking us questions and we're leading.
During the time that we've watched the team work out over the summer it seems there's been a lot more coaching going on amongst the players. Is that something the coaches have pushed for or is it more that the players have taken it upon themselves?
It's not even what the coaches did. Of course, they always say stuff like that but as leaders we took that upon ourselves to start doing stuff like that. We knew we had a lot of young guys coming in and knew they were going to have the ability to play so what we did during the 7 on 7's was when they did something wrong we pulled them off the field, coached them up and told them how it was done. When the fall came they were ready for the plays.