Speed is very important at your position and today most of the player's seemed to feel that Craphonso Thorpe, Airese Currie, and you are the fastest players in the ACC. Would you agree with that?
"I'll agree. I think I'm one of the fastest guys in the ACC. My speed helps me out on the field and I get matched with these linebackers so I think I can turn it on a little bit. On the field, I feel like if I can get a couple of inches in front, nobody can run me down."
What did Philip Rivers bring to the table and how do you think NC State can overcome his departure?
"He brought tremendous leadership. Now we have to step up together and be a team without him. We got T.A., me, Sterling Hicks, Richard Washington, those guys… so we have a supporting cast that can help Jay [Davis] and Marcus Stone succeed."
Talk with us about the quarterback situation at NC State.
"They both know who wins the job will be the starting quarterback. What I like is that they both have been helping each other out. It's never a case where things have seemed negative between them so I think they understand the situation."
"I think the players on the team feel the same way. Whoever wins the job will be the starter and that's what counts."
Do you think NC State will use you more as a running back or a system similar to how you played last season?
"I think it will stay pretty much equal. Teams know that we're going to get the ball in my hands so I think the coaches will continue to move me around and get me touches like last year. That allows me to get open and make plays."
How do you think you can make a difference and make NC State even better?
"The special teams… as a punt returner. I need to make more things happen back there so I can put my offense in good field position and so we can score. If I can take care of business on special teams it will help the offense a lot."
The offensive line for NC State should be really strong this year. How important will it be to this year's team and can it be the difference?
"Remember when we went 11-3 two years ago? That offensive line was nasty and that's what we got this year. We've got big Derek Morris… Jed Paulsen who is a senior leader. We've got Colmer coming back who was a part of that 11-3 team and he'll bring that nastiness back. With them competing against guys like Mario Williams and Johnny McCargo it's going to only make everyone better. That line is just going to make things a lot easier for everyone."
Talk With us About Offensive Lineman Chris Colmer.
"Colmer's been out there practicing. He's doing real good and getting healthy. He should be good to go."
How has T.A. McLendon looked so far this summer?
"He's looking great. He's been working out hard… last year he worked out but not as much as he is right now. We were joking the other day that we're Thunder and Lightning. When T.A.'s in there he brings the Thunder, and I'm the Lightning. But when he plays our chances of winning are that much higher."
|NC State Wide Receiver Tramain Hall attracted several writers at the ACC Kickoff.|
But lightning's better than thunder, right?
"Oh no! You guys had to watch the Georgia Tech game when he was a freshman and he ran through those guys… that was the Thunder! [Laughing] Lightning you can't see sometimes but everybody can hear the Thunder."
Do you think T.A. can be a twenty-five to thirty carry back this season?
"Yea I do because we have guys now that can give him the rest to be that workhorse late in the fourth quarter. We have Darrell Blackman and Reggie Davis… those guys can give him a break and produce too. Then when it counts we can come back with T.A. When he's healthy I think he's the best back in the country so I'm hoping he can be even more durable this year."
Do you think the offense can lean on the defense this year? Last year it was probably the other way around, but with breaking in a new quarterback could it be the offense leaning on the defense this time around?
"Yes I think I can. It might be the case where we can now put up 21 points and pick up the win. We have a lot of seniors on defense and all the guys are experienced now so I think they're going to be much better and the strong point of the team."
What do you think of the teams coming in and do you think they will be surprised at how strong the ACC is?
"I think they'll be surprised. We have Maryland… we got Clemson. We have a lot of great players in this league. What Virginia Tech and Miami bring is a bunch of speed. They have some great athletes so that's good for us because it's even more competition."
"I know all you guys will be watching the tube now. One week you can see Virginia Tech and NC State… the next you can see Miami and NC State. Every week there's going to be a good game in the league."
"I like both of those teams and they have strong histories, but we're a team on the rise too. A program with a great coach and you can count on us bringing intensity when we're out there."
Being a south Florida kid, how excited are you about having Miami come to your place this year?
"Like I told a couple of my friends down there… I'm going to welcome all of you to beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina. They better be ready for this right here. It's going to be exciting to get to play against all of those guys."
How would it be to play against Miami in the Orange Bowl?
"Oh, it would be great to play against Miami in the Orange Bowl. We've got thirty plus guys on our team from Florida so all of our guys would love to play in the Orange Bowl. But, like I said earlier now we can just welcome them to beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina and they can hang out with us. I feel we have the home advantage and I like our challenge."
How do you think the fans are taking the new schedule with teams like Ohio State, Miami, and Florida State on the schedule?
"[Laughing] You haven't drove by Carter-Finley and saw that schedule with the big ‘SOLD OUT' sticker across it? You know how they are taking it… they might be more excited than we are."