NC State head coach Chuck Amato has talked about the importance of getting all his playmakers on the field in 2006. One of the most important pieces of the Wolfpack offense this year will likely be wide receiver Darrell Blackman. Pack Pride recently caught up with Blackman and got his thoughts on the move to wide receiver as well as the progression of the NC State offense.How has the team chemistry been so far?
"The team chemistry is great. Guys are out there and they want to practice everyday. They're fun and they communicate with each other well and they communicate well with the coaches. The coaches are making a big emphasis this year on staying together. Like, that's our team logo-‘together, it's all up to us.' That's what we're trying to abide by and so far it's going great. Guys are working together, doing everything together, making sure everybody is on time for everything. The team chemistry is very good right now."
It seemed that last year there was the offense and the defense. Have the coaches stressed bringing those two units together as a whole this year?
"Yeah, in the past the defense has been number one in the nation a couple years back and then the offense, last year we started 2-4 and then later in the season we came on strong to win five of the last six games and went to a bowl game. So if we can just get both sides to come together, it's no telling what this offense and defense can do together if we come together and just play Wolfpack football. And so far, we can see it, like in our scrimmage yesterday, everything is looking great right now."
How did you feel when you were asked to move to wide receiver?
"I felt kind of nervous and shocked because I had never played receiver before in high school. I ran just a few routes at the wide receiver position but I never got to learn the position. I was kind of nervous and shocked at the move because I thought that move would never come. I mean, I've just got to go with it, do what's best for the team and I know what I'm capable of doing. I just took it on as a challenge and just going at it right now."
Did you spend a lot of time this summer working on your pass
"Yeah, this summer I worked with Marcus Stone a lot and some of the other receivers. We just went out there every day during the summer and got pass routes down and mainly for me and some of the younger guys, we came out to learn the routes so we could be ahead when we started camp. Right now, everyone is looking great, the freshman receivers are coming on with great technique and pass catching, and I'm starting to learn the offense more for the receiver position. I'm getting a lot more comfortable so that's a plus for the offense."
How is Marcus progressing as a quarterback?
"Marcus is coming along great. I mean, he's running the offense well. He has the attention of everybody in the huddle and make sure everything is going great. He's getting all his time situations down and listens to the coach real well so he's been looking good in practice so far...spreading the ball around to make sure everybody is happy."
What has it been like working under coach Dixon ?
"My impression is he is a hard worker. Coach Dixon doesn't cut any of the players slack. He's a high intensity guy that likes to get things done the right way. It's been a pleasure working with him. He's taught me a lot of different techniques, things that I had to work on. It's going great. I'm learning from him, he's a good coach, and I just like his intensity in practice. He makes sure everybody stays alive in practice, and he stays on top of us too."