BTP recently noted that M.J. Salahuddin had suffered a second ACL tear towards the end of the 2015 season. Salahuddin, who would have been a senior this fall, sat out the entire 2014 season after his first ACL injury. The linebacker is no longer listed on the NC State roster and will finish his academic pursuits on a medical hardship scholarship.
Also missing from the roster is Kenton Gibbs, who sat out the 2013 season with a torn Achilles and ultimately never sustained regular rotation status on the defensive line. Interestingly, there was no mention of his career being over in this recent article about players receiving stipends, but Gibbs, too, is on a medical hardship scholarship and will not return to the field for the Pack. Gibbs had two years of eligibility remaining.
Salahuddin appeared in eight games for the Pack last fall, recording 14 tackles. The former Shrine bowler started five games in 2013, recording a career-best nine tackles against Clemson. He had 25 total tackles, including two for a loss, during his sophomore campaign. Salahuddin played as a true freshman on special teams in 2012.
Gibbs, a consensus top-50 interior lineman from powerful Cass Tech in Detroit, saw spot duty in 2014, recording 13 tackles and his lone career sack in 10 games off the bench. Gibbs recovered a fumble that set up a touchdown in State's season-momentum-swinging win at Syracuse.
The Pack return leading tackler Airius Moore as well as Jerod Fernandez and Riley Nicholson, both of whom appeared in all 13 games last fall, at linebacker. Ford Howell also offers some experience, and State has two commits from linebackers in the class of 2016. One of those commits, Garrett Hooker, is already on campus as an early enrollee.
In B.J. Hill, Kentavius Street, Justin Jones, Monty Nelson, and Eurndraus Bryant, State welcomes back all five from their interior rotation on the defensive linemen. All five played in every game last year and combined for 23.5 tackles for a loss.
Hopefully, in addition to finishing their degrees, Salahuddin and Gibbs will be able to stay around the team in something resembling a "student coach" role if they so desire.