Underachievers R Us

Some Tennessee football fans are upset that a Vol squad supposedly stocked with four- and five-star prospects staggered home 5-6 last fall. Imagine how frustrated North Carolina State fans must be, though.

The Wolfpack's 2005 defensive front consisted of three first-round NFL Draft picks. End Mario Williams was the No. 1 selection in last weekend's draft; end Manny Lawson was the No. 22 pick and tackle John McCargo the No. 26 choice.

Throw in linebacker Dennis Tulloch, a fourth-round pick of the Tennessee Titans, and four members of N.C. State's 2005 front seven were among the top 116 draftees. The obvious question: What did the Wolfpack do with all of this elite defensive talent last fall? The answer: Not all that much, really.

N.C. State ranked No. 3 among Atlantic Coast Conference teams in run defense and No. 4 in total defense. By comparison, a 2005 Tennessee defense that produced just one draft pick in the first four rounds (cornerback Jason Allen) finished No. 1 among SEC teams in run defense and No. 3 in total defense.

Despite the presence of studs such as Williams, Lawson, McCargo and Tulloch, the Wolfpack limped home with a 7-5 overall record, including a 3-5 mark in conference action.

And you thought Tennessee underachieved last fall …

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