Work To Do

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Dave Doeren mentioned on Tuesday that the Wolfpack's first practice after spring break, also the team's first in pads was sloppy, and defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable seemed to agree.

"First day in pads, I think we came out and started pretty good," said Huxtable. "Then we got a little sluggish as the practice went on. It was day three, and we have a lot of work left to do."

NC State started spring practice a couple of weeks ago and after two practices the team, and the rest of NC State, went on spring break. A break like that can lead to players needing to get back acclimated.

"You don't ever want to have that kind of day," said Huxtable. "But, I know our guys will respond and come back on Thursday and have a good day's work."

Like most programs, NC State is hoping they can improve in all areas during spring practice. The Wolfpack also brought in eight mid-year enrollees who are experiencing Wolfpack football for the first time.

For Huxtable, it gives them a huge advantage over the rest of freshmen who arrive later this year.

"Those kids that enroll early and get here in January, that whole month they were in the weight room and conditioning with our team," he said. "At the same time, they've had meetings and learning the offensive schemes, defensive schemes, and special teams.

"Those kids get that advantage of being here in January and February, getting acclimated with classes and learning both sides of the ball. Then the 15 days of spring practice... learning the fundamentals and techniques. [The remaining enrollees] will get here the latter part of June so we'll have them in June and July... trying to catch up. It's a great advantage [to enroll early]."

Huxtable added that you really notice it during fall practice.

"You're in-season," he said. "You're going to classes and game-planning. The early enrollees already know the campus structure and daily schedule... treatment, meals, meetings, practice, going to class, tutors, and study hall. It's not new to them."

Because they enroll early, mid-year additions are really capable of playing right away as true freshmen. One of those for the Wolfpack is defensive end Darian Roseboro, who is receiving plenty of reps with starter Mike Rose sidelined for spring practice and Kentavius Street moving to defensive tackle.

"I think he's going to be a really good player for us," Huxtable said of Roseboro. "Of course the closer you are to the ball the harder it is to play early, but he's getting a lot of reps.

"I'm really glad that he's here. It is a great opportunity for him and for us, to have him here early. We're really excited about him."

Huxtable, who also coaches the linebackers for the Wolfpack, has been impressed with his two mid-year additions at the position.

"Riley Nicholson, I'm really impressed with him," he said. "He's a smart kid, and he moves really well. He's a tough kid.

"James Smith-Williams got a lot of reps today, and really today was the first day he got a lot of reps. The ceiling is really high for him."

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