Kickoff: ACC Players Talk NC State Football

<B>GREENSBORO, N.C. --</b> Each Atlantic Coach Conference program had two members meet with the media at the ACC Kickoff on Sunday afternoon. Check out what some of the league's best players had to say about the NC State Wolfpack.

Talk with us about NC State Running Back T.A. McLendon and how he can impact a game?
Clemson Linebacker Leroy Hill: "He's just a great running back. He's so physical that you need to be really prepared to play him."

Georgia Tech Safety James Butler: "I think T.A.'s one of the toughest running backs that I've ever and played will ever play. I look forward to playing him this year because I know we're going to have to be ready to play against them."

Maryland Cornerback Dominique Foxworth: "T.A. didn't do much last year so I don't know how much I think he'll be a factor this year."

Clemson Linebacker Leroy Hill is considered by some media members as the top returning linebacker in the ACC.

How will the loss of Philip Rivers at quarterback impact NC State?
Clemson Linebacker Leroy Hill: "Ooh… that's going to be important for the team. I think State's still going to be a good team but losing Rivers will hurt anybody. He was a great quarterback.

He was accurate… knew the offenses… knew the defenses… he wouldn't go down with the ball. He's the kind of player that makes you mad because he's so good. By far he was the toughest player I played against."

Wake Forest Wide Receiver Jason Anderson: "I hear their new quarterbacks are going to be pretty good, but they already have a good offense. They have Tramain out there and the big tight end… not to mention T.A., Touchdown Anytime. I think they'll be tough on offense even without Rivers."

Georgia Tech Safety James Butler: "I think it's going to hurt them a little bit because he did so much for their team. But, I know the head coach does such a great job in recruiting that I know he has someone in the background that's ready to step up and make plays for them."

What do you think about the rivalry that is developing between NC State and Maryland?
Maryland Cornerback Dominique Foxworth: "It's been a fun game every year and somehow we've been able to pull it out every year. Close games really breed a rivalry and that's what fuels it. Just the competitive nature of it makes that game special."

Maryland Offensive Lineman C.J. Brooks: "The games have just been amazing. Even when I came here as a true freshman when we wasn't as good as we are now the game was great. It's been back and forth from beginning to end and that's made great games and a great rivalry."

What do you think about the rivalry that is developing between NC State and Florida State?
Florida State Wide Receiver Craphonso Thorpe: "They give us extremely tough games every year because NC State has great coaches and great players. It's just becoming a strong program and they have the perfect mix to always give us tough games."

Florida State Linebacker A.J. Nicholson: "They have a great coach in Chuck Amato and they have a great staff. They are doing everything right to build a strong program. I think NC State is going to be one of our toughest games this year so it is a big rivalry."

Wake Forest Wide Receiver Jason Anderson will contend for first-team All-Conference honors as a senior.

NC State's defense was very young last season and struggled at times. They return a lot of key players at several positions. How do you think they will perform in 2004?
Georgia Tech Wide Receiver Nate Curry: "They have great defensive backs. Our game plan was real good for that game and we knew what they were going to do on defense so we came out on top."

"Anytime you can bring back players who have played it's great. They were already a good team so now they'll be that much better because all those young guys will have the experience you need."

Maryland Offensive Lineman C.J. Brooks: "I think it's going to be interesting playing them this year. I'm sure they all have improved because they were so young and I think now they may be even more comfortable on the field. NC State should have a strong defensive line this year."

Wake Forest Wide Receiver Jason Anderson: "NC State should be great on defense. They got some strong players in Mario [Williams], Lamont Reid, and the safety Andre Maddox."

Talk with us about NC State Wide Receiver Tramain Hall and how he can impact a game?
Florida State Wide Receiver Craphonso Thorpe: "Tramain's legit… he's a great player. We actually went to Florida State camp together when we were in high school, and I thought he would go to Florida State. Anyways he's definitely big-time."

Maryland Cornerback Dominique Foxworth: "Tramain's more than just a receiver because he's such a good playmaker and can do a lot of things. I'm sure he'll be a major player in the NC State offense and it could focus around him."

With the ACC adding Miami and Virginia Tech to teams like Florida State and the others, do you think any of the in-state programs have a chance at winning the championship? If so, which do you think has the best chance to win a championship in the future?
Florida State Linebacker A.J. Nicholson: "N.C. State… they have a great program and a great coach. Coach Bunting is a great man also, but if I had to pick one program it would be N.C. State."

Pack Pride Top Stories