Playing college football is a year-round commitment. To be a major contributor you're constantly training and perfecting your craft, and NC State junior linebacker Airius Moore certainly knows that. Throughout his career at Beavercreek (OH) High School he worked on his game and physique, and he when he enrolled at NC State in 2014, he was physically ready to contribute.
However, that doesn't mean he was where he truly needed to be.
"Physically, Airius was cut when he arrived here, but he has worked hard on his explosiveness," said NC State Director of Strength & Conditioning Dantonio Burnette. "That is one of the things he wanted to work on. Airius didn't have a lot of pop or explosiveness.
"His vertical has increased, and he's taken off. Not only does he look good but also the athletic development is there. He and [Jerod] Fernandez, they push each other every single day. They've started to run together and hang out with each other. Those two are definitely two of our biggest leaders."
Moore noted that he is seeing the payoff from his hard work.
"The summer was fun," he stated. "It was hard but it's supposed to be hard because that's what you're going to experience during the season. Everyone got better. Everyone increased their maxs. It made a lot of people more confident in themselves and more athletic.
"I think that's going to be a big help for us... I think it is really important because it helps prepare you for the hard times in a game. I think it's very relatable, from the summer to the season."
Moore, who led the Wolfpack in tackles in 2015, is one of the leaders of a defensive unit littered with juniors who played early in their careers at NC State. What young players have caught his eye during fall camp?
"I think Nick McCloud is going to have a real good impact," he said. "Then obviously watching Freddie Phillips, he is going to do pretty well too. I think everybody that worked hard over the summer. Right now, we've only been through one practice, but we are going to continue to build."
NC State's goal is to win an ACC Championship, but Moore knows it can't be done overnight.
"We've pretty much set our expectations," he said. "That's big picture, but everyday we're coming out here to get our one goal, to get better. Even though we've got a big picture you've got to take it step-by-step to get to the top."