Maddox: 'It's An Honor'

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State linebacker Dwayne Maddox met with the media following Tuesday's practice. The true freshman from Shelby, North Carolina is set to make his first career start for the Wolfpack.

Dwayne Maddox

Dwayne Maddox

Talk about the opportunity this is for you as a true freshman.
It's an honor really, starting as a true freshman. A lot of people don't get the opportunity to start behind, in front of Nate because he's a good player. I think it's an honor to start in his place.

How is Nate Irving doing?
I don't really know. I didn't even really look at him or anything like that.

How prepared are you for Saturday?
We just come out here Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare for the game. Right now I'm still learning, but I'll probably have it down by Saturday.

How is your confidence?
I think after playing two halves against ECU it gave me a look at how it's going to be on the college level. I think it gave me some experience and confidence for this game.

What did you learn from the ECU game?
You've got to play hard every snap. You can't take plays off. Everything is a faster pace... you've got to play fast, concentrate, and do your job.

What are your impressions of Matt Grothe? How tough an assignment is he?
We're just going to stick to the gameplan. He's one player. I know he's a pretty good player, but we're going to stick to the gameplan and see how it turns out.

How did enrolling early help you?
It helped me academically and physically because I could come in, stretch and work on my strength... plus I got an early start on learning the plays and the system. I think it really helped me. I think that's the best decision I could have made.

Do you feel any pressure replacing Nate Irving after the way he's been playing?
I wouldn't say pressure, I take it as a challenge to keep up the pace that he had and not let the team. I feel it's a time for me to step up in his place and prove myself.

What are some of the things you've been able to learn from Irving?
Learning the formations and the checks.. you've got to learn different signs and what the plays are going to be. I'd say watching film and studying what their team is going to do before it happens.

What is the biggest adjustment you've had?
Probably just not taking plays off... going full speed every play because in high school you could take plays off but in college it could be on fourth down where they break a big play and win the game. You've got to play every play like it is your last.

What did last week's win do for this team from a confidence standpoint?
The whole week we were talking about believing we could win and believe that we could accomplish anything. It just proves that if we work together as a team and believe we can beat anybody, do anything.

Do you wear #41 for a specific reason?
No, it's just the number I picked. I wanted #51 but it was retired so I had to drop down to 41.

[51] is the number I wore in high school.

How much different is it preparing for a team in college as opposed to high school?
In high school, teams didn't run as many formations or plays. We probably gameplanned for about 30 minutes. Up here you've got to watch film, learn plays, learn formations... calls. There's a lot more you've got to do than just going out Friday and playing. There's a lot more studying than just going out and playing.

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