No position group was better represented in NC State’s 2016 signing class than offensive line, with the Pack inking a total of seven projected offensive linemen. Newly hired offensive line coach/run game coordinator Dwayne Ledford recently discussed several of the signees and much more.
What was so appealing to you about this job here at NC State?
You know, I was at a very good spot, its a great place and we had a very successful season so it was going to take a place that would be a really great situation.
Growing up in this state, I’ve always admired the NC State football program. The passion that the fans have, the setting and the excitement when football season is here. To me its a great place and a great opportunity, a great conference. Once I got a chance to talk to Coach Doeren and seeing his vision and seeing his passion and feeling his passion for the program, I wanted to be a part of that, I wanted to come and join that.
That’s the big thing about it, I’ve always admired this place from the outside and when this became available and we were able to talk about it, it was just a great opportunity for me and my family.
Talk about the challenge in front of you replacing three starters on the offensive line.
I love that, I really do, I like coming in to a situation like this.
When you look at App St., when I came in, by class, it was really a similar situation, not a lot of seniors. I like that because those guys, they just want to work hard. [Last week] we had our first meeting to talk about our philosophy, the way we’re going to carry ourselves, my expectations and our expectations as an offensive line group and you see them up there and they’re just so eager and so hungry for it.
So, I’m excited about it, I love working with those guys. Its just like when you bring in this class of recruits, its fun to watch them and just see where they are when they come in and then watch them continue to grow and develop. We’ve got some good players here, some great players and obviously I just look forward to coming in and being a part of it and helping these guys continue to grow and develop.
Is anybody standing out to you from the group you’re taking over?
During this hiring process and recruiting process we had to go out on the road and recruit so I haven’t had a lot of interaction with the players yet. These last couple of days we’ve had a little more time to be in the office so I have had the chance to meet the players. They’re so eager, they just want stuff to do.
Tony Adams is a guy that really comes to mind as a guy that just, he’s a student of the game, he just really wants to do well and whatever he can do to improve.
As a whole group those guy’s eagerness and excitement has really been what’s stood out to me... their willingness to go out and work.
Are you excited about recruiting the western part of the state?
Yes, I am. Its just an area that I know a lot about. The good thing about it is that, to me, the relationship you have with the high schools in that area is always important and I already have a great deal of relationships up there in the mountains and the western part.
I look forward to it. Growing up in western North Carolina, its going to be great to go back up there and continue to recruit that area.
What are your thoughts on some of the new signees?
I like his demeanor. Obviously his film speaks for itself but when you get to know the kid you can tell he’s going to be a kid thats going to come and give you everything he’s got. To me that’s important because he’s going to always lay it on the line for us. This place means something to him, it means a lot to him with his family and his father playing here.
So, its going to mean a lot for this kid to come in here and be successful. I think he’s got that extra component thats going to drive him further and so I’m just excited about that. I told him last night that I’m excited for those papers to come through so we can start working.
I’ll tell you one of my best players that I had at my previous school was a state runner-up wrestler. To me those guys play with great leverage, and it's hard to throw them off which is very important up front. I think he’ll be one of those guys and is very very tough kid.
Well for one he comes from a great program that won back to back to back state championships down in Florida. He is used to that high-level of competition with the guys that he plays with everyday, the guys that he goes against. He has a 7’1 wingspan, he’s 6’4 1/2. He’s one of the more athletic guys that I’ve seen at the tackle position. On his film you can see him get an interception and run it back, he’s just very, very, very athletic and long.
So, I think that he has a tremendous upside to him. With what he shows on film and meeting his parents and knowing how hard they all work, I’m just excited to get him up here.
Was it a tough sell to get the rest of the staff on board with him (Brown)?
I think anybody that watches the film and you see the first couple of clips and then you get to come in and see him, see how long he is—then they were very excited. Coach Doeren was really excited from the very first clip we saw of him.
Coach mentioned that you were familiar with Justin Chase.
Yes, that’s the good thing about it. I’ve always been a North Carolina guy, I’ve been at numerous schools in this state, grew up in this state and so a lot of these bordering states I’m kind of used to those guys because I’ve always recruited those areas.
He was a guy I identified early on during the recruiting process, when I was at my former school, as I guy that I wanted, a guy that I would like to coach. He was a guy that I was recruiting hard, and I told him, when I first got to see him during this contact period, "Hey man, I’m glad I’ll get to coach you."
So, it’s good to have that familiarity with the guy, and I’ve already got good knowledge of him coming into a situation like this.
I’m just excited, real excited. From our first couple meetings we’ve had as a staff, being around these guys and getting to know them better and their knowledge and their professionalism. Its just an opportunity that, I go home and I tell my wife that I’m just so excited for this opportunity.
So, I’m just eager and this excitement and this energy is something the players will see and I want them to take that and carry it with them onto the practice field, into the classroom and onto the game field on Saturdays. I’m just very thankful and blessed for this opportunity.null