The ACC held its spring football media teleconference on Wednesday, no doubt in an effort to help us all fill the void left by the offseason. John Swofford can sense our sadness, and he is here to do what he can. Dave Doeren addressed a bunch of different topics during his turn on the teleconference, touching on what he liked about NC State's spring and what still needs work.
The defense is going to look a lot different up front, but Doeren is optimistic about how that group is going to work out for him this fall:
I'm excited about our defensive line. Mike Rose is back, but so is B.J. Hill, who played in every game as a true freshman last year and started almost all of them. Kentavius Street moved to defensive tackle and had a really good spring. Bradley Chubb was probably one of the best surprises of the spring on the defensive line.
We also have a number of players that played last year and are coming back in the fall from injuries — Monty Nelson, Justin Jones and Garrett Bradbury, so we feel good about the depth. We have recruited well on that side of the ball and we have four defensive linemen coming in here in less than a month. I'm excited to get those four bodies in here too — two defensive ends that are 6-5 and 6-7, and two defensive tackles that are over 320 pounds. We're happy with the d-line.
This is a really interesting position group. The staff has upgraded the talent level there considerably, with a nice mix of pure talent and raw tools. I mean, when was the last time we could say we have a pair of four-star prospects (Darian Roseboro, Kentavius Street) playing up front? Rose, Hill, and Street are sure to be staples, and you throw in Roseboro, plus a more experienced Pharoah McKever, plus Eurndraus The Giant ... this group might be a year away, but even so, they could be pretty good in 2015.
On the flip side, special teams are gonna be an adventure this year, but we knew that already.
Probably the biggest question mark going into the fall would just be the production at the kicker and punter position because we lost such veteran players there, two four-year starters. The kids competed hard this spring and I was impressed with them, but it's going to be about game day for that position.
We should be in much better shape there. Unfortunately, three promising kickers left the team to become an astronaut, the new host of The Daily Show, and an ice road trucker, respectively. There are no excuses, though--this is happening everywhere. This is the modern college football landscape. Can't take anything for granted.
For example: let's say you pull this kid Gary from some small in-state high school, confident you've gotten a steal. Wasn't much buzz about him. Gary delivers early on. Gary looks great in practice day after day; he's knocking in 50-yarders consistently, he's hittin' from both hashes. He has a great attitude. A week later he's the U.S. ambassador to Kenya. It is what it is.