It's Pete Thomas Or Brandon Mitchell

USA TODAY Sports

There were no definitive answers about NC State's quarterback situation during the ACC Football Kickoff, which was to be expected. Dave Doeren did imply plenty about the current state of affairs, and by the sound of it, this is going to come down to Pete Thomas and Brandon Mitchell.

"We added Brandon Mitchell because we didn't feel like we were in a position yet to name a starter and thought we needed more competition for Pete," he noted. "I think those two being the oldest - are probably the two frontrunners, but I wouldn't count out the competition of seeing what our freshmen can do, either."

Sure, there's a chance that true freshman Bryant Shirreffs wows everybody in August. Probably not a good idea to bet on that, though. Mitchell has the skill set Doeren prefers, and while Manny Stocker also has the mobility this staff craves, it's worth noting that his experience pales in comparison to Mitchell's even though the former Arkansas quarterback was a career backup in Fayetteville. Mitchell effectively cancels out Stocker.

Doeren says he is going to fit the system to the players on hand--so if Thomas is the obvious choice, then Thomas it is, contrary though that might be to the long-term philosophy of the staff. But it's clear he'd prefer someone in the Mitchell/Stocker mold who would be a threat running the ball.

"I think having 11 guys on the field that they have to defend at all times is important," he said. "If we don't have it, we'll obviously do the best we can. There are other ways to do it - Wildcat and other things you can do if you end up with a quarterback that can't run. In a perfect world, your quarterback is like a Wildcat guy where they have to worry about him throwing and running, hopefully we'll have that opportunity this year."

It was telling enough that the staff brought Mitchell on board, and that Mitchell chose to spend his final year at NC State. He'll be given every opportunity to win the starting job, and if he's able to master the playbook despite a late start, I'm guessing he'll get the benefit of the doubt even if he is less impressive throwing the ball than Thomas during fall camp.

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