Pack Pride Q&A: OL Luke Lathan

RALEIGH, N.C. -- One of two seniors starting on NC State's offensive line, Luke Lathan is looking to have a big year for the Wolfpack. Here is an exclusive Q&A with the steady center.

Pack Pride: How has the summer gone and what did you spend your time doing?
With our new strength program with coach Rice, it's been awesome. We've been stretching, running, lifting. I mean, we've been doing stuff we've never done before with the lifting and running. It's amazing.

Pack Pride: What are the major differences in coach Rice's strength and conditioning program compared to what you used to do?
We did a lot more stretching. The stretching routines- I never knew you could stretch for half an hour. But it's all stuff that, when you think about it, it's all things you use out on the field like your hip flexors, your groin, I mean everything you need out there to move quicker and faster. So it made sense. Before you would never think you needed to do all that stretching. But then as soon as you start doing it, you could just tell the difference. We used to do a lot of conditioning in the past like running long distances but coach Rice concentrates more on quick movement and change of direction which is all about football.

Pack Pride: How was the participation by the team in voluntary workouts and did most guys stay on campus over the summer?
He let the true freshmen that just got here go home but I think the vast majority of them decided to stay here and workout. And besides the occasional sickness or being banged up, it was pretty much close to everyone being here this summer so that was great.

Pack Pride: How excited are you to be the guy for NC State at center this year?
Last year, besides my concussion, I was slated to start. So I've been ready since then. It's been an awesome journey here at NC State and I'm thrilled to start my last season here. I'm ready to go.

Pack Pride: Talk about coach Horton and his coaching style.
He's a technician. rated him the No. 2 OL coach in the country and I could definitely tell. Especially during spring ball, we did drills we had never done before. He concentrates on footwork and hand placement and hip rolling. We've done so many drills, it's amazing the knowledge he's accumulated over the years of coaching.

Pack Pride: What's his personality like?
As with all offensive line coaches, he's a fire cracker out on the field. He'll yell at you when he needs to yell at you. He'll encourage you. When you get in film it's great because even if you mess up, he tells you exactly what you did wrong, why you did it the way you did and he tells you what you need to work on exactly. I feel like that's very encouraging and helpful.

Pack Pride: You get to go against the defensive line every day. How are they looking?
They're all awesome. Cash (Alan-Michael Cash) and DeMario (Pressley) are by far probably the best defensive tackles I'll go against. And it's an awesome opportunity for me to block them because the more I block them, the easier everyone else will be. It's just amazing. We've got Martrel ( Brown) who was ranked sixth in sacks last year in the ACC. He has power and speed. We've got Littleton ( Wright) and Willie (Young) that are fast and quick. Cash and Demario are just big push guys and quickness. I get all my work in with those guys so it's just an awesome opportunity.

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