He was an an Academic All-ACC performer and was a co-recipient of the team's Philip Rivers Award as a freshman when he picked off two passes in his first career start. He's now settled in as a proven starter for the Wolfpack, but if you thought his skillset was limited to being a football player, well you don't know Jack Tocho.
The junior from Charlotte has become just as popular with teammates and fans alike with his segment "You Don't Know Jack" that appears regularly on GoPack.com. Tocho, who is actually majoring in Accounting and not Communications, has shown a remarkable skill at the art of interviewing and a sense of humor that sticks out in each episode.
When he was approached initially with the concept of the recurring skit, Tocho was accepting of it only because he did not think it would come to fruition.
"Last year in the beginning of January we tried to do a '#JT and #JTU' thing with me and Joe Thuney," Tocho recalled. "It didn’t really pan out so [NC State Assistant Athletic Director for Communications] Annabelle [Myers] came up with a concept because of Zach Galifianakis and ‘Between Two Friends.’
"She asked me if I was interested in doing something like that. I didn’t think that she’d actually go through with it so of course I agreed. After the first game she asked if I was willing to start doing it, and I said, 'Okay, sure.'"
The skit features Tocho interviewing a personal associated with the program, normally a player, but he's also had segments with head coach Dave Doeren and equipment manager Terry "Country" Calloway. Tocho adds a heavy dose of sarcasm, and if he lacked the confidence to chide his teammates initially, the first segment's guest certainly helped him and the parody gain traction.
"The first episode was with Matt Dayes and with him being my roommate it was just really easy... to start off with somebody I already knew, and that I could go into detail with," Tocho said. "When it came to other teammates, I have a lot of experience with all of my teammates, so once I figured out to turn those into questions it just became really easy."
Coaches never let a player enter the field unprepared, and Television is the same way. Even the most offbeat moments and reality shows are often heavily scripted.
However, with "You Don't Know Jack," Tocho is more prone to simply winging it. With a large dose of material now out there, the cornerback takes almost a paternal pride in his work.
"They are not scripted at all," he stated. "I don’t come in there with a set number of questions or any type of questions. I just go in there and go... like a monologue."
Does he have a favorite episode?
"I couldn’t put one over the other," Tocho said. "I have enjoyed them all."
While it is easy to mock a contemporary, dealing with an authoritative figure can prove tricky. Tocho faced that when he had Doeren in the opposite chair.
"With coach Doeren it was different to say the least," Tocho said, laughing. "For one, he wanted me to give him some of the questions beforehand so he’d be more prepared. I didn’t give him everything that I was going to use, but I think that was the one where I was probably the most nervous because I wasn’t sure how he’d respond.
"I know coach Doeren is a good coach, and he loves making jokes but at the same time that is your coach. You don’t want to make too much fun of him."
Tocho survived that encounter unscathed and his satirical interviews have become a must-see for NC State fans. As for asking the question instead of being the one grilled by the media, he thinks it helped him succeed in his show.
“It is not that much different," Tocho said of being the one to ask the questions. "I don’t ask the same questions so there is a difference, but I had done enough interviews before I started ‘You Don’t Know Jack’ to be able to get accustomed to interviews myself."
He has done well enough that fans look forward to the next segment, but what about Tocho's teammates? How do they feel about coming on the show and possibly get roasted on camera?
"Every day someone asks me, 'When am I going to be on the show?' so it is very popular," Tocho said. "Every one wants to be on the show."