PACK PRIDE Q&A: Niles Clark

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State redshirt junior cornerback Niles Clark discusses the upcoming game with Pack Pride.

On his acrobatic interception at Florida State:
It was great. I just saw the ball, I jumped, and I was just trying to get a hand on it.  It fell in my hands and I caught it.  It was a great feeling.

I was kind of falling into the ground and put it into my body.

When was the last interception for you?
[Laughing] High school.

You've been playing nickel a lot lately. What's that adjustment been like?
It's different.  I'm just trying to figure out the new calls, run-fits... just how to get into the pass coverages from a different position.

Do you enjoy it?
Yeah, I love it.  I'm glad I switched.

With Dave Doeren it seems like there's no set lineup, it's a fluid thing.  How is it as a player knowing that?
It's a great thing. As a player, you know that as long as you keep working hard there's always a chance you'll get to make a play or coach will put you out there.

It happened on Saturday. The ball just came to me.

Do you find that increases the competition?
Oh definitely it does. When you have somebody behind you pushing you, you have to work even harder.

That's definitely a big thing on our team, always trying to compete and get better.

How geeked up are you for IronWolf?
I'm excited. I can't wait to wear those jerseys. I love the helmets too.

When you're a high school player and you see alternates, do kids see that?
You definitely do.

When they did the black jersey here for the Kay Yow game I was still in high school and thought that was cool... it's a big recruiting tool.

When did they first talk to you about playing nickel?
After the bye week. We were eating dinner and they asked me if I wanted to play nickel. I said yes sir.

Did it surprise you?
No, I've gone in and played man-to-man coverage in the slot before, different packages, but this is playing the nickel in our defense so you have to learn the different run-fits and pass coverages.

How do you and Dravious complement each other?
Dravious is great at running and getting to the ball and hitting.  I think nickel with him... when the team wants to run the ball and try to get outside you always see him sprinting out there and getting to them.

I can come in and complement him on passing downs when there's some slot receivers giving us trouble or we need some help, I can complement him that way.

Who are some leaders on the defense that have helped you?
Juston Burris and Hakim Jones, I've been real close to them and they are just a year older than me. I've always talked to them and they've told me to keep my head up and keep working. They've definitely helped out a lot.

Prior to State, what teams and players did you look up to?
I'm a big NBA fan and Dwyane Wade is my favorite player.

Have you noticed anything about Syracuse?
They are a physical team. They play hard and want to run the ball. They'll try to do a lot of quick passes, but for the most part they try to run the ball and be physical.

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