Rivers: "It Still Feels Like Home"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State legend Philip Rivers is in town for the Kay Yow Spring Game, and this afternoon he met with the local media.

"I've long wanted to come back for this type of alumni reunion and see a lot of the former players... it's so far to go with our big family, make that cross country trip. We were actually down in Florida for the kids' spring break."

"I was so close and I couldn't pass on getting up here."

"I haven't been around much, but I'm always pulling for the Pack.  NC State will always be a special place for me and my family, although a lot of my little ones have never lived here, other than my oldest."

"My wife Tiffany and I, and Hallie my oldest, we pull for NC State. She has a couple of NC State T-shirts that are her favorite shirts to wear."

"It's great to come back and see what has changed and is still the same... it just brings back so many memories."

"Well, gosh just pulling in right here and seeing that big indoor over there. I've seen Vaughan Towers and the new press box... I haven't really got to take it all in... but a lot of it hasn't changed. Our building still looks brand new, it looks awesome."

"I just ran into Dantonio Burnette, the fact that he's the strength coach, and Clayton White... guys who you played with now coaching here, it just shows how time flies.  

"It's really awesome to be back. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of the guys I haven't talked to in a long time."

"It seems like yesterday in a lot of ways, just how vivid the memories are."

"To think it has been that long ago [since I played], that was the beginning for me, football-wise, that has been a very special and blessed career. All 51 games and those four years... gosh, I wouldn't have traded it for anything."

"It's good to come back and I'm looking forward to all the conversations with the guys. You have a lot of stories and memories but when you get with the guys they'll bring up many more that you've forgot about. I'm sure we'll have some good laughs."

"It's crazy now because it's so common. It's a credit to coach Pate. He brought it up and we thought what in the world does that mean. It was brand new, and he was telling me if I came in the spring I'd have a chance to be the starter right away.  He was right, and it was huge. I don't think there was any chance I would have started that first game as a freshman if not for that spring.  Norm Chow here and learning that offense, getting the start on the same level with the new staff coming in."

"I came in barely over 200 pounds that winter and I added about 20 pounds that year... you see it now, more and more common.  It makes sense because that spring... to actually have those practices with the coaches... it's very beneficial."

"Maybe they'll let me throw one more pass to Jericho maybe tomorrow... we'll see."

"I'm just not here very long. I'm going to try and soak in seeing all my old buddies. I may be try to ease by [the campus]."

"It still feels like home... it really does.  Our family really got started... it felt that way coming in just a little while ago."

"Gunner, he's into it, he's 8.  He's into it big-time. He was saying, 'Go Wolfpack' to me today before I was leaving.  He wasn't alive to see a play, but all the Rivers' are Wolfpack fans."

"The first game is obviously always special. I said this way back the day of the game, I was thankful we kicked off... I'd never seen so many people at a game."

"Georgia Tech that same year... that overtime game and Koren Robinson taking that screen for a touchdown."

"The last one, Florida State, beating them that senior year... there were players on the goalposts."

"There were a handful that weren't so good, but most of them were good. There were a lot of great Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons here in Carter-Finley.  It was a special place to play."

"The fans are on top of you... other people think it's a neat place too. The fact that we can call it our home stadium and the atmosphere that it is... it's really awesome."

"I remember being in the car... we were driving to my grandmother's house, and I remember hearing, 'Mike O'Cain fired on the radio.' I remember thinking what in the world am I going to do now. I hadn't committed or anything but that's where I was going. I was coming here."  

"Was I going to have to see if I could talk Auburn out of not making me play tight end? Go to Ole Miss and have a very fair competition with Eli?  My options weren't great, but I really didn't know."

"Coach Pate just kept saying hang with us and see who we hire... I think coach Pate deserves a lot of credit for holding this thing together during that time."

"When coach Amato got hired he came to Athens High School and sat in my dad's office at the school. We were talking and he asked who else was in it... I'm naming all of these things.  I'll never forget it. He kind of looked at me and said, 'Well, so is anyone else really in this or are you coming?' I thought to myself this is it and I said I'm coming. That was it and without knowing who the offensive coordinator was going to be."

"It's been awesome.  Maybe it's surprising or maybe not, but out there in San Diego there's been many, many times I run into NC State people either alums or just people who went there or moved there. Even out there I'll get the 'Go Pack.' We played Carolina my rookie year and I wasn't playing and there were a lot of State fans there."

"It's good.  It's certainly, you feel like there is a tie there when I see [Russell Wilson].  You feel like we have that in common. He's obviously off to an awesome start in his career."

"Mike Glennon has been playing and done some good things early in his career in a tough situation really."

"It's pretty cool when you think about it... three guys from NC State starting in the NFL the last couple of years. Three out of 32... there's only 32 spots so that's pretty cool."

"It's been awesome. I didn't have any pull at this point, not that players have any say in who we draft."

"I said take Jerricho... he'll play for ten years... he just finished up his 12th year."

"He and I keep in touch. We go way back from playing with each other. In high school we played them in a playoff basketball game. The game before I was shooting really good and scored a bunch of points.  He guarded me... I couldn't even get a sniff. He shut me completely down."

"I think he's doing a good job. I'm so far out there and our seasons are the same, I'm meeting him for the first time in person.  His track record and what he's done at places before here has been really good.  He seems to fit the mold of what a NC State guy is all about."

"A lot is talked about the SEC, but the ACC is a heck of a conference... it's a tough league, but I certainly believe he can get us where we want to go."

"That's the goal, like it is here, to win a conference championship and a national championship.  I want to do it for our organization and our city."

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