Camp O'Brien: Pack Set For First 'Exam'

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Tom O'Brien will get his first glance at the current shape of his football team tomorrow evening, as the Red and White will face off in the first of four preseason scrimmages.

According to O'Brien, the scrimmage will allow him to evaluate position battles as well see how his players translate camp workouts to game situations.

"The important thing about [the scrimmage] is it is their first opportunity where they are going to be on the field, by themselves and play," O'Brien said. "We'll see what they've learned and what translates from the classroom and from the practice field into the stadium and if we can make plays and we can't make plays."

Though graduate quarterback Daniel Evans said in a Monday interview that individual performances in scrimmages do not dictate the quarterback race more than daily practices, O'Brien insisted that the scrimmages are a bit more important in evaluating decision making and ability.

"The scrimmages weigh a little more, because as I said before, you're out there, you're by yourself, there's no coaches, you got to make plays, nobody is telling you what to do or helping you get lines up," O'Brien said. "It's exam time when you're in the stadium."

"We're all excited about it."

According to O'Brien, the scrimmage will last approximately one hour, consisting of close to 90 total snaps. It will begin with the first-string offense against the first-team defense, and then the second-string units will compete before O'Brien "switches it up to get as many combinations" as possible.

The scrimmage will also allow O'Brien to see how freshman quarterback Mike Glennon handles the physical nature of college competition, as his lanky frame and strength have come into question.

"Not only Glennon, but there's going to be a lot of freshmen who get an opportunity to play tomorrow," O'Brien said. "We'll see how they react. The guys who pay attention and translate it and carry it over to the football field here and make it work on the field [at practice] are going to be the ones who are going to do best in the scrimmage tomorrow."

And for the players, it's a nice break from daily drills.

"We're excited to get out of the organized drills and play some football," sophomore guard Jake Vermiglio said. "Obviously, playing in a game is a lot more fun than practice, so we're all excited about it."

James Back In Action
Redshirt Geron James has worked his way back on the football team and is looking to contribute immediately. After personal problems plagued James, he was not enrolled at N.C. State in the fall of 2007. According to O'Brien, James has worked hard to earn his spot back on the team and has the physical tools to contribute.

"He's a threat out
there at wide receiver."

"He's worked hard, really, through the summer. Of course he worked hard to get back in school and get his academics straight," O'Brien said. "He's come out and he's fighting everyday. I don't think he has missed one snap. He's a big body that can run, and he's a threat out there at wide receiver."

Though James was reinstated in school in the spring, a hamstring injury forced him to miss four or five days of spring. Thus, he is still learning the new offense and adjusting to O'Brien's style.

"The thing he's struggling with now is learning everything he's supposed to know and being where he's supposed to be," said O'Brien. "He's like a true freshman right now."

Bowens Banged Up
Junior wide receiver Donald Bowens was seen at practice wearing a white jersey with a red cross on it, signaling he was not participating due to an injury. Though O'Brien refused to comment on the injury, it did not seem too serious.

"I'm not going to talk about injuries until the season starts," O'Brien said. "It's not worth talking about."


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