Follow The Leader

NC State created plenty of good will with its late-season surge in 2014.

The Wolfpack, winless in the ACC and trailing on the road at Syracuse in its fifth league game, ultimately finished with eight wins -- including dominant performances against in-state rivals Wake Forest and North Carolina along with a convincing bowl win over South Florida.

Redshirt-senior Quarterback Jacoby Brissett feels that it was the type of play that can potentially propel NC State to great things in the coming seasons but only if the Pack can continue to expand during the 2015 campaign.

Speaking to the assorted members on Monday at the ACC Kickoff at Pinehurst Resort, Brissett mentioned that the turnaround, which began in the Carrier Dome against the Orange, was a product of NC State simply being the team it was supposed to be.

“I felt that we needed to be a more consistent team, know who we are, be who we are and make sure we do what we are supposed to do,” Brissett recalled of the team after the 0-4 start in the conference. “The next step for us is to watch what we did last year, fix those errors and everything will take care of itself.”

Although it may not seem like it, Brissett is entering his third year with NC State after transferring from Florida. With one last hoorah as a college quarterback, the idea is to help the program continue to grow by displaying the type of leadership that will prevent the mistakes that led to the Pack’s rough start in the ACC.

“As any senior would say when it is their last time playing, this could be the last time they ever play football and there is a possibility this may be my last time ever playing football so we have got to make sure it is the best one,” Brissett said of the upcoming season.

“The leadership aspect of it, in those hard times I have really got to step up, calm the storm a lot better than I did last year and everything else will take care of itself,” Brissett added. “When players understand the situation they will make more and I will make more plays. We will work harder.”

“I pride myself on leading by example," he added. "I can just pull somebody to the side and do it in a respect way and ask them why before I try to jump on them and in certain times in practice when I have to get on somebody to let everybody know I am serious, there are certain mechanisms to lead somebody the right way.”

A key ingredient to NC State reaching a bowl game in 2014 after a year sabbatical was the team’s ability to limit its turnovers. Brissett played a huge role by throwing only five interceptions all season compared to 23 touchdown passes.

“One of the main focal points for our offense and for our team is to protect the ball. As a quarterback, it is my job to make sure the more we have the ball, the better possibility we have to win. That is one of the things I take pride in.”

Sitting out during a 3-9 season as a redshirt and overcoming a poor start in the ACC to guide the Wolfpack to strong finish, Brissett obviously seen the NC State program make quite a leap in only a limited amount of time. In 2015, he is confident the Wolfpack can move closer towards competing for an ACC title and his ability to lead his teammates will have a lot to do with it.

“I feel like it has grown a lot,” Brissett said. “We have a lot of new guys coming in... bouncing off a season with how we ended last year, the leadership of our program is vital right now. I feel like it is my job to step up and be that guy for us.”

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