10 Impact NC State Football Players for 2010
NC State is coming off of an disappointing where they failed to compete in the Atlantic Division of the ACC after being picked by many to win the Atlantic.
NC State will be looking to bounce back from the set back of last year and to make a run the ACC Title.
Tom O'Brien's crew will be depending on many game-breakers from all sides of the ball to be successful.
The departure of many important players such as Toney Baker, Will Young, Alan-Michael Cash, and Clem Johnson will force some young and little experienced players into action.
Russell Wilson, QB
Russell Wilson was an probably the most important player on this Wolfpack team as the offense was what carried them through just about every game.
This past season Wilson was one of the top quarterbacks in all of college football, throwing for over 3,000 yards with 31 touchdowns. That was the best season for a Wolfpack quarterback since Philip Rivers senior season.
It is incredibly important for the Wolfpack that Wilson stays and plays football instead of going pro and entering the MLB draft. Many people believe he will enter the draft as he was given permission to focus on baseball and skip spring practice.
If he puts up similar numbers to his 2009 campaign, you can fully expect the offense to continue to put up huge numbers.
Brandon Barnes, RB/James Washington, RB
NC State has an interesting situation at running back, with Toney Baker leaving early and Jamelle Eugene graduating.
NC State will be without an experienced and proven running back, which isn't a good thing consider they were in the bottom of the league in terms of running yards per game.
This opens a door for both sophomore running backs Brandon Barnes and James Washington, neither running back saw a significant amount of carries.
Brandon Barnes(No. 9) has good size at 6'1" and 200 pounds and he change directions very well, and he also has good speed. Barnes on the year had a combined 25 carries and 79 yards, along with one touchdown.
James Washington(No. 24) unlike Barnes he doesn't have great size but he has very good hands for a running back, he also good field vision along with instincts. Washington doesn't have great elusiveness but will make a few guys miss.
Washington had similar success on the field only carrying the ball 21 times and 76 yards, along with 2 touchdowns.
Both of these running backs have huge potential and could both be superstars but it'd be best for them to carry the load as they grow and become more experienced.
Robert Crisp, OT
Robert Crisp will be a true freshman in the upcoming football season, and I know what you're think that it is suicide to start a true freshman on the offensive line.
NC State's offensive line will lose majority of their starting offensive line come graduation day, and they will be thin experience wise on the offensive line.
Robert Crisp is a five star offensive tackle recruit and not only does he have the size of a dominate offensive line, but he has the skill set to become a dominate offensive line.
Crisp will have to compete with fellow offensive tackle Sam Jones, who was also highly touted coming out of high school.
It'll be interesting to watch this position battle in spring practice and to see the outcome.
No matter the outcome, I strongly believe that Robert Crisp will have a big impact on this upcoming wolfpack football team.
Jarvis Williams, WR
Jarvis Williams was Russell Wilson's favorite target in the end zone and that was every evident because he was tied for ninth in the NCAA in receiving touchdowns.
Williams has good speed and run good routes, and he also has very good hands along with good size. He stands at 6'4" and weighs around 215, he is NC State's possession receiver.
He will have a major impact on the Wolfpack's success, if he gets open more often and it will give Wilson more then one option then he can limit his own turnovers.
George Bryan, TE
George Bryan is a big psychical tight end who can also put some separation between him and the defender.
Bryan stated out last season on fire catching 22 passes for 234 yards and four touchdowns, in the first five games which they went 3-2.
After his fast start he cooled down only 18 passes for 166 yards and only two touchdowns. Not only did he cool down but they would only two games after that 3-2 start.
He was essential to the Wolfpack's early season success, and if they are to an elite ACC offensive attack he need to caught more passes and make more plays.
Nate Irving, LB
Nate Irving missed all of last season with a broken leg and a collapsed lung after a terrible car accident.
In the 2008 season he also missed time with a lower leg injury, but when he played he was an absolute beast.
He totaled 77 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, one sack, and four interceptions in 2008 despite missing a third of the season.
Irving is the leader of the defense and they struggled to stop anybody without, and that is very uncharacteristic of a Tom O'Brien team. I'd look for that defense to improve greatly as Nate Irving returns.
Audi Augustin, DE
Audi Augustin will be replacing star defensive end Willie Young. For those who don't know much about Audi I'll give you some background information.
Audi Augustin is from Oakland Park, Florida and he is 6'2", 253 pounds and his high school 40-yard dash time was 4.7 seconds.
He has saw snaps in just about every game since his sophomore/ red-shirt freshman season, he earned his first and only start in the Papa Johns.com Bowl.
He is a pure pass rusher and he has shown some good moves in practice and in the red-white games.
He will be an instrumental part of the defensive line this upcoming season because the whole starting defensive line were seniors and Tom O'Brien will have to rebuild the defensive line.
He has some big shoes to fill after taking over for Willie Young who was also fantastic pass rusher.
If Audi can step up and provide consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks it'll help a young Wolfpack defensive backfield.
J.R. Sweezy, DT
J.R. Sweezy is a red-shirt junior who will replace defensive tackle Alan-Michael Cash on the defensive line.
Sweezy has bounced between defensive end, linebacker, and defensive tackle while at NC State but he has finally found his home at defensive tackle.
He has little game experience, but Alan-Michael Cash has been his mentor and has taught him well.
In Sweezy's only start this past season against Virginia Tech he total only one sack but he also had three quarterback pressures and three tackles.
He should have had three or four sacks in that game but he didn't follow Tyrod Tyler to the ground and that allowed him to escape.
Sweezy has chased Wilson around in practices and having played extensive time against Tyrod Tyler and that will help prepare for the snaps he will see this year.
Earl Wolff, S
Like many players this list Earl Wolff will be replacing a senior starter, Wolff will replace senior starter Clem Johnson who also returned kicks and punts.
Earl Wolff was an athlete when he first came to NC State and he then was converted into a safety.
Earl played in all twelve games while starting in four games, he collected a total of 51 tackles.
The defensive backfield was a huge issue for the Wolfpack this past year, and now when that they all have a year of experience I look for them to step up and help an inexperienced defensive line.
T.J. Graham, KR/PR
T.J. Graham is a fantastic play maker who returns both kicks and punts. He also can catch some passes from time to time. Graham has terrific speed and can make multiple defenders miss.
T.J. was have a decent season last year before a leg injury occurred and forced him to sit the out the rest of the season.
NC State's return game took a huge blow when Graham went down, and Clem Johnson who had really no experience in kickoffs and punts was forced into the job.
Graham should be able to step back into the job with easy and provide Russell Wilson and the rest of the offense good starting field position,