NC State held their annual media day last weekend and Pack Pride was on hand to speak with many of the team's current players in a Q&A session. In this edition we talk with Wolfpack QB Daniel Evans.
Pack Pride: What was coach O'Brien like after you guys beat Boston College last year?
After the game, when we played Boston College, he was real respectful- coming up and seeking me out. He was telling me congratulations on a good job. I'm sure that was a tough one for them to take at Boston College. To be able to be gracious and act like he did after the game, I was real impressed and that stuck with me the rest of the season. And then when I heard he was going to be our coach, that was the first thing that popped in my mind. So, I was already very impressed with him. I didn't know a whole lot about him and his staff other than that. Then obviously, me being a quarterback and seeing Matt Ryan perform last year, being all-ACC, that's definitely an encouragement and makes me excited as a quarterback here at NC State for them to bring that here.
Pack Pride: How tough was it dealing with the long losing streak last year?
It was very hard. Especially for the seniors looking at last year, it was tough for them to go out like that. All the underclassmen knew that, too. It was hard for us to deal with sending them out like that but it'll make us stronger and me personally and the rest of the guys that are coming back, I think being able to experience that, we know how to deal with loss and hopefully we'll be able to overcome it this year because I'm sure there's going to be setbacks. You don't plan on losing games but chances are, there's going to be setbacks during the season and hopefully we'll be better equipped to deal with them.
Pack Pride: If you get the starting QB job, what do you think will have separated you from the others?
All three of us do a great job no matter which one is put in that position. But personally, just having more experience than the other two guys as far as game experience and being here at NC State longer, around the guys longer, I feel like I have a better chemistry maybe. With the rest of the teammates, the offensive line and the receivers, I feel like I'm all on the same page with them and just from being able to manage regular time-in, time-out game management situations. Obviously I don't have the strongest arm but I think just being able to get out there and execute the offense. I'm not going to throw 65-yard bombs like the other guys but just being able to execute the offense play by play by play. I think that'll be my strongest suit.
Pack Pride: What do you think the NC State offense will look like this year?
I think we've got a pretty good mix of running and throwing the ball. It's going to be pretty well balanced. I wouldn't want to play us. With the backs we've got, with Andre and Toney and then the receivers, John Dunlap and Darrell (Blackman), That's tough to deal with. As a quarterback it's encouraging to know you don't have to do a whole lot. You can turn around and hand it off to two of the greatest backs. Take a three step drop and punch it out there to one of the fastest receivers out there. Throw a five yard pass play and they can turn it into a 60-yard gain. So, it takes a lot of pressure off the QB. I think we'll be pretty balanced.
Pack Pride: How is the offensive line coming along?
I saw on ESPN.com the other day that they called our offensive line coach one of the best in the nation too so he knows how to get it done. They're well on their way just like the other positions. They've got a while to go just like the quarterbacks and receivers, they've got a while to go before we get where we want to be. But they're getting there.
Pack Pride: Last year there seemed to be guys acting more like individuals, do you think there is more of a team first attitude this year?
I do. I don't know if it's necessarily the coaching staff is better. I feel like the leadership came from within the team. We've got three new captains in Marcus Stone, John Dunlap and Martrel Brown and through the off season they did a great job of pulling everybody together so it wasn't really anything from the outside, it was the group of seniors we have and the rest of the leaders on the team took it upon themselves to pull us all together and I feel we have a great chemistry right now. It's just a fun group of guys to be around and really, maybe I'm more excited this year because I have the chance to play, more so than the last three years coming in. But it's definitely an exciting time to be an NC State football player and I'm sure the fans are excited too.