Statefans presents part two of its look at the scout team members from the class of 2003 and how they've progressed in the year since arriving at NC State.
The NC State recruiting class of 2003 was widely considered by most experts as one of the nation's ten best and quite possibly, the best in Wolfpack history. Most members of that impressive haul spent this past season red-shirting and working out with the Pack scout teams. StateFans recently caught up with Wolfpack grad assistant Chad Jamison to find out how the group has progressed over the past year and which players Pack fans can expect to see making contributions in 2004.
"Gerlin (Dervil), he still has a ways to go," Jamison said. "You know, English is a second language for him and he's only been playing football for a couple years so he's still learning what's going on. I mean, we could tell him to cover the A gap and he's still learning exactly what that means so it's more a football terminology thing than anything. But he's a hard worker, he shows up every day- it'll just take him a little more time than it will some of the other guys. He's just got to pick up on the football knowledge."
Although he was hampered his last year of high school by a nagging leg injury, SS Lerue Rumph was able to spend this past year rehabbing his leg and returning to the form that had him rated as one of the top players in the state of Florida. Jamison said Rumph has worked hard and is well on his way to becoming a significant player at the Rover spot for NC State.
"You know, Lerue has progressed good," said Jamison. "He had the leg injury when he first came here but it seems like it's completely healed. He's one of those exciting guys to watch whenever you put him in there. I guess this spring we put him in there with Miguel Scott and there's two great athletes that are very exciting to watch. Lerue might have got a little heavy last fall when he wasn't practicing but he's been through the winter workouts and I can tell you, he's in shape. I think he might be down around 212 (pounds) now.
Another DB standout for the Pack's scout team last year was Scott and he brings the element of speed that State covets in their players.
"The best thing to describe Miguel is- Greg Williams says it the best- he's a ground cruncher," Jamison said. "What he means by that is that whenever you see him running you can hear the ground crunching underneath his feet because he can run. That's the first thing you look for is someone that can run if he's going to play here."
Perhaps no QB has arrived at NC State with the fanfare of Marcus Stone. Stone was rated one of the nation's top signal-callers exiting high school and earned the reputation of possessing a cannon for an arm and tremendous athleticism given his size. It didn't take long to realize the step from high school to college is steep but Jamison said Stone has made huge strides in his progression as a future Pack QB.
"You know, Marcus hurt his finger and he's going to start throwing here in a week or so," said Jamison. "He was sick about hurting the finger but the thing that made him feel better was that Philip's first year here, when he came in the Spring, he broke his finger on a helmet and he did it during the exact same practice number. Hopefully he can turn out the same way Philip did.
"But I think ability-wise, he's got all the tools. The hardest position to play is QB because not only do you have to know what you're doing but you have to know what the receivers are doing, what the linemen are doing. You have to know what the defense is doing so he has to call his protection. It takes some time to learn it all. He's made leaps and bounds though. Marcus has really learned a lot, plus, he was under one of the better teachers that he could have had too- not just as far as X's and O's but also learning leadership and how to be the general."
While the scholarship athletes garner most of the attention from fans and the media, Jamison pointed out that there were several walk-ons that had impressed the coaches through their hard work and dedication to the Pack football team.
"Jevon Moore (5-9, 190 pounds) works his backside off. He may not be the best athlete but he can help us on special teams. Dyron Liverman (6-3, 242 pounds), he's a good walk-on too. He helped us out a great deal. Another guy at DE that has played well is Josh Balogh (6-4, 236 pounds). He's helped us out a lot at DE and he's a pretty good one."
Photo Courtesy of Gene Galin and ACCFootballPhotos.com