GREENSBORO, N.C. - The ACC Football Kickoff continued on Monday, as coaches addressed the media for the first time. NC State coach Tom O'Brien covered a range of topics, from the future of his starting quarterback to the status of Nate Irving.
O'Brien insinuated several times that Wilson might not be here for the full length of his eligibility. "We don't know what Russell's baseball future is – he may be here a year, might be here two more years. If he's here as a senior its because his plans in baseball have fallen apart."
The Pack head coach elaborated more on the Wilson situation when pressed about his expectations about the quarterback's future.
"He has some family situations – hiss father has had health issues. He may be like somebody that's going out a year early in the draft in football because of a family situation. If baseball is the way he has to go because of his family then we'll support him with that. Once the season is over we'll sit down and discuss where we are and what we are going to do. We have to wait and see – you don't want to make decisions when you might now have to make them."
Nate Irving is in good spirits right now as he rests at home and waits for more clarity on his playing future this year. "Once he finds out officially – once we get the leg doctor appointment and everything through – if he's able to play again this year then [his spirits] are going to be great if he's not able to play again this year then they aren't going to be great." He also said that he'll play Irving even if its only one or two games this season.
O'Brien opened his session with the media by saying he expects the team to be a 'much more competitive football team' even though he can't predict wins and losses. He attributed it both to the system they have in place and to better depth.
"We red-shirted a lot of kids last year to provide depth and they are going to provide it. We'll be young at a lot of spots but at least they'll be redshirt freshman."
He also made it clear that redshirt freshman Mike Glennon 'will play' in the first game of the season against South Carolina. O'Brien wants to get him game experience as quickly as possible in case something happens to Wilson. Glennon will only get one or two series in the first half against Carolina.
Toney Baker will be eased back onto the field even though all indications are he's at 100 percent. O'Brien said he won't participate in two-a-days and he'll have to communicate with the staff if there is any lingering soreness after practices.
"Is he gonna be the back he was in 2007? I would guess probably not but he can certainly be a functional player and help us."
In his third year at the helm of NC State, O'Brien feels like his players finally have a good grasp on their system.
"They understand the language they understand where they are supposed to be and now they can go much faster. And that's the key to winning football games and we are getting more to that point."
O'Brien reasserted his stance in favor of the early signing period, saying that he expected kids to make real commitments and would like to be able to have them sign before Christmas.