Ledford Pleased With The Offensive Line's Development

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford talks with Pack Pride.

How do you feed your group has progressed in fall camp?
I think they progressed really well. I was happy to see some of these guys back.  They put a lot of work in in the summertime, and I think that has shown through fall camp.

What has Joseph Scelfo given you since he's arrived?
Joe's given us a lot. He's got over 35 starts as center. I knew him from being in the Sun Belt Conference. He's smart, he's a coach's son... just an intelligent player that's been around a lot of football.  He's seen a lot of things. He's a tough kid also.

I was talking to Garrett Bradbury, and he mentioned how the strides he seen Tyler Jones has made. Have you seen the same kind of improvements he's made as well?
Yes, I have.

He's got all the ability that you need. A lot of it... it's not just your physical tools, but it's your mental approach to the game and everything that takes place to prepare for a game also. He's also done a much better job of doing that. Coming out practicing, giving great effort everyday.

Was there something as a group you wanted them all to improve on collectively from when you first arrived?
Well, one thing I always talk about is ... I want o see the demeanor of an offensive lineman. When I see you I want to see that O-line demeanor... on the football field, in the meeting room.

There's just something about being an offensive lineman. Putting the group first, you're always second, it's all about the betterment of the group, and we're about hard work. I want us to have that mindset we're going out working.  They've got to if they are going to be a good offenseline group, and be protectors of the offense. You've got to protect the offense.

Wherever I've went that's something I always try to do with the guys as soon as I get there. Get them to have those characteristics that I value  as an offensive line coach.

How much did it help improve your group going against the defensive line everyday in practice?
It helps a ton.

They are going against some of the better defensive linemen in the league. Anytime you do that it's really good because the speed of it. The experience they have on that side of the ball with everything they can do defensively, I mean it makes them speed up their game even faster.

One guy I'm going to ask you about is Garrett Bradbury. What have you seen for him?
I've seen him continue to grow. Obviously he hasn't played a lot of offensive line. I remember Garrett when he was coming out at Charlotte Christian as a tight end, and he's come here and he's played multiple positions.

I think he's at the right spot.  He's got a great work ethnic, works really hard, and he's a very smart player. He's going to gain the experience he's going to need. That only takes playing in games.

He's a guy that through his work, guys gravitate towards him just because of his work ethic and how hard he works throughout the summer with coach Thunder and the strength staff. He's a guy that everybody kind of looks to when they're out running, or when they're out lifting, or when we're out practicing. My hat is off to him for just being that guy that's going out there and giving 100% everyday.

What are your impressions of Will Richardson given he wasn't at NC State in the spring?
I think he's a great talent. He's a real good talent. I'm happy that he's here. I'm happy that I'll get to coach him, that's for sure.

He's a big, strong kid that's got great feet. His work ethic has paid off for him throughout fall camp.

Obviously I told the guys, with me right now this is all I know.  I don't know what's the past. This is everybody's slate right now. It's clean.  Everybody's first impression in going through camp.

I wanted to ask you about a few of your freshmen.
I've been very happy with that whole class.

What about Harrison Gee?
I think he is going to be a guy that's going to be a very versatile player.  He will be able to play numerous positions for us.

How about Joe Sculthorpe?
He's going to be a very tough, gritty player for us on the inside at guard.

You seem really high on Kendall Brown
He came up from Jacksonville, and I think he is very, very athletic. He has a 7-foot-1 wingspan, and we're training him to be a left tackle. He's got the athletic ability to do that.

He's been hampered a little bit with some injuries and stuff like that, but I'm real excited about what he can do.

How important is strength and conditioning for offensive linemen and developing that group?
The weight room is such a big thing for a lineman. Those guys the more physically mature, the more it's going to help them, and that comes through that weight room.

I like that we can redshirt most of them so they can get a lot bigger, a lot stronger. They'll be able to play that physical brand of football that we want to play with. I've been impressed by everybody in that freshman class.

How has Emanuel McGirt progressed?  Coach Doeren said he thought having another year to add strength would be big for him.  Is that sort of what you're referring to?
Yeah, absolutely, and you can see a difference in Emanuel from the spring until now. He's a lot stronger, he's gained some weight, and you can just see more strength on the football field from him.

As a lineman, strength is your best friend. He's done a great job of  adding that. He's a great example, and he's proud of that.

As a first game, is it still new, does it feel the same as the first year coaching ... preparing for the first game of the season?
Yeah, it did. It does. There's always that anticipation, that excitement, it's almost sometimes you're looking so far out, it's like you want this game to hurry up an get here. You want to see your guys go and play against an opponent.

There's going to be some things that they're either going to have to learn from, and there's going to be some things you're going to be able to point out that they did a great job with.

I can't wait to take a young group that... as a collective group, not a lot of experience, there's some experience, but not a ton, and just watch that group grow through those reps.

This is the first one for you at NC State. How are you feeling?
It's like any other year that you're going to a game. The consumption of us as coaches is how can I get my guys ready prepared and try to give them everything that you think that they might see in their first game.

Regardless of where your at because you want those guys to be successful like that.

What are your thoughts on William &  Mary?
I think William & Mary is a well-coached football team, they're going to be in there right positions. They're going to play extremely hard. You saw all that through all the film that they got last year. They have some defensive linemen that are really good out there, some linebackers that can make plays as well.

I think its a very good football team.

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