NOTEBOOK: First Scrimmage In The Books

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State held their first scrimmage today in Carter-Finley Stadium, and for several players it was their first time playing on the field.

NC State held their first scrimmage today in Carter-Finley Stadium, and for several players it was their first time playing on the field.

"Some people lose their mind when they get in the stadium the first time," Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren said after the scrimmage. "It's big to get in here for them. I'm anxious to watch [the tape]."

Doeren, who met with the media as soon as the practice was over, hasn't had a chance to evaluate film of the scrimmage, but his early take was positive.

"I thought it was a pretty back and forth day," he said. "The offense moved the ball around pretty good, and the defense came up with some stops. I was impressed with both sides, the way they competed."

What was Doeren looking to see from his team?

"I wanted to see us finish some plays," he stated. "Finish blocks, finish runs. Can we catch the ball with people on us? Can we throw the ball with people in our face? Can we kick the ball with people around us? The live part of the game that you're afraid to do most of the time. I wanted to see how we finished.

"I also wanted to see some response, whether it's a good play, can a guy control his emotions and keep playing? A bad play, can he let it go and move on from it? It's just going to be really valuable tape three weeks out from our first game to watch these guys compete.

"I thought there was a lot of good effort out there today."

Youngsters Making Plays
NC State added a lot of firepower in the 2015 recruiting class, and guys like Nyheim Hines, Reggie Gallaspy, and Johnny Frasier could be asked to be major contributors right away.

"I was able to see some of the young players," said Doeren. "Nyheim had a touchdown on a long pass play today. I was able to see him do some things.

Nyheim Hines

"I'm looking forward to watching the film on those guys."

Senior quarterback Jacoby Brissett was also impressed with what he saw, specifically from that trio, and he believes NC State's in good hands going forward.

"[Nyheim Hines, Reggie Gallaspy, and Johnny Frasier] are doing great," said Brissett. "Making plays... Nyheim scored today. I think all three of them scored today, probably. They are just out here having fun, playing the game, and learning each and everyday... trying to get more comfortable with the offense.

"I know in the years that come, that group that just came in, they are going to win some games. That's a great class that just came through."

Offensive Line Unsettled
NC State hasn't figured out their five starters on the offensive line.

"It's still a work-in-progress," said Doeren. "The film today is going to be big. I know we'll shuffle the deck again. Even if we don't want to change the five we had, we'll shuffle it again next week just because we have to cross-train some guys.

Joe Thuney

"They have to be able to play the left and right sides and be able to play tackle or guard if they are versatile enough to do that. Tony Adams will be our backup center. If he has to play some center, it allows us to move some guys around to do that."

As of now, two starters appear to be locked in with the three other positions unsettled.

"Schooley is our starting center and Adams is our starting [right] guard," said Doeren. "Whether Joe Thuney is starting at left tackle or left guard still remains to be seen.

Will Richardson, Tyler Jones, and Alex Barr are all a part of that equation."

What does Brissett think of the group assigned with protecting him and opening up holes for the running backs?

"They are doing great," he said. "We can't ask for much more from them. They are doing everything they can in their power to control the line of scrimmage. They are doing a really good job at it."

Parting Shots
Doeren said that freshman kicker Kyle Bambard had a good day, as he drilled field goals of 47 and 53 yards.

Shadrach Thornton

"Kyle kicked the ball really well today," said Doeren. "The snapper hurt him on a couple of snaps early in the scrimmage... he made a 53-yarder and a 47-yarder. He kicked the ball really good."

  • Doeren raved about Shadrach Thornton's attitude following the scrimmage.

    "He's been great," Doeren said of Thornton. "Tremendous work ethic, great attitude, focus. He's been really the same guy every day.

    "I'm really proud of him... he's grown up a ton."

  • The wide receiver group is arguably the biggest concern on offense, but they appear to be doing their jobs.

    "I thought all the guys stood out," said Doeren. "Ramos, Alston, and Cherry continue to be consistent."

    "That group is a solid group right now," added Brissett. "They are out [here] making plays. It will be good to see what [the receivers] can do this year."

  • NC State will hold the next scrimmage next Saturday in Carter-Finley Stadium.


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