Canada: "I'm Excited About It"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Matt Canada heard the rumors late in January that he could possibly be leaving the Wolfpack for another offensive coordinator position, possibly at Tennessee. He wanted to squash those rumors as quickly as possible.

Matt Canada heard the rumors late in January that he could be leaving the Wolfpack for another offensive coordinator position, possibly at Tennessee. He wanted to squash those rumors as quickly as possible.

"We actually had an agreement in place around the bowl game that I was going to get a new contract," said Canada. "Rumors are rumors, and we wanted to [finalize the deal] to get everybody to settle down a little bit. This is where I want to be. This is a great place for me and my kids.

"I don't like to get into this or that. I'm where I want to be, and it worked out. That's where it is."

Canada confirmed that his three-year contract extension hasn't just been agreed on... he has signed the deal.

"It's signed," he said. "I signed it that day because it was something that was agreed to in January. Those things were worked out, and I'm excited. I'm very fortunate to be here and happy to be here."

NC State should be happy to still have Canada in the fold.

With Canada at the helm, the Wolfpack offense was one of the most balanced in the country last season. His unit averaged 204.5 yards per game rushing and 204 yards per game passing while scoring 30.2 points per game. NC State was 4th in the country in redzone touchdown conversions (73.1%) and 28th in third-down conversions (45.8%).

"We had a bad day with the lightning deal [versus Boston College], and down at Clemson we were horrible," said Canada. "Other than that, we played everybody pretty good... with a bunch of young guys.

"We're bringing in more weapons, which is good, and that's exciting."

The Wolfpack really turned it on rushing the football down the stretch, and that could be the trend moving forward. State totaled over 45 carries in each of the final three games, rushing for an average of 312.3 yards and nine total touchdowns.

State's top two tailbacks, Shadrach Thornton and Matt Dayes, are back, and the Wolfpack added three running backs in the 2015 recruiting class. Johnny Frasier, Nyheim Hines, and Reggie Gallaspy were heavily-recruited prospects who chose to take their talents to Raleigh.

"Those kids had a desire to play here... together," Canada said of the trio. "A lot of guys, their ego wouldn't let them do that. That was cool... a neat thing."

Canada was the area recruiter for Hines, who has the versatility to play all over the field and impact in a variety of ways. The Garner (NC) product ended his high school career with 6,242 rushing yards, 7,299 total yards and 126 touchdowns, all school records.

"Nyheim can do a lot of things," said Canada. "He is anxious to see what all he can do in our offense.

NC State will try to find a way to get the large group of running backs involved, and if there is an offensive coordinator capable of that it's Canada.

At his previous job, Wisconsin, he coordinated an offense that featured three elite tailbacks: Montee Ball, James White, and Melvin Gordon. In 2012, Ball was the leading rusher, totaling 1,830 yards and 22 touchdowns in his senior season. White, a junior, rushed for 806 yards and 12 scores while Gordon, a freshman, totaled 621 yards and three scores on 62 carries (10.02 ypc).

Now Ball is a member of the Denver Broncos, White plays for the New England Patriots, and Gordon just completed a stellar junior season where he rushed for 2,587 yards and 29 touchdowns.

Obviously, Canada isn't concerned with having so many tailbacks in the stable.

"It's awesome," he said. "I get the concern, but at Wisconsin we had Montee, James, and Melvin. All three played a lot, and we won a bunch of games. Last year, we spread it around a lot and were very balanced."

What's next for the Wolfpack offense?

"We want to gain some more yards and score a few more points," said Canada. "We need to get better and play better against a couple of teams.

"We're in really good shape. Mike [Uremovich] has done a great job with the offensive line, and coach Faulk has as well with the tight ends. They are doing well up front blocking, and we can run it. We're running it well so you can't just say we're not going to run it. If you do [stop the run] we have a guy who can throw it. We've got guys that can catch it, and we'll improve out there as well.

"Like I said, we have a lot of weapons right now. I'm excited about it."

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