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This is the end for a great NC State senior class

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So long, kids, and thanks.

North Carolina v North Carolina State Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

NC State will conclude its 2017 season against Arizona State in the Sun Bowl on Friday afternoon; the game also represents the finale for a significant senior class. NC State’s football program has progressed to this point in large part thanks to the veterans who’ll be moving on after today. These are the guys who came on board early in Dave Doeren’s tenure and re-built the foundation after the bottom fell out post-TOB.

I’ll miss seeing all of these guys around next fall. Mostly I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that we have only four more quarters of Jaylen Samuels in an NC State uniform. This is not meant to insult or diminish the impacts of anybody else in the graduating class.

His unique qualities don’t come along often and he’s been an important part of NC State’s offense for three years, which is an eternity in college sports, so it’s not going to feel the same without him. At least not initially.

This group will leave and give way to another talented group of upperclassmen, and we have a lot to look forward to in 2018—Kelvin Harmon, Germaine Pratt, Nyheim Hines, Darian Roseboro, Ryan Finley (we hope), Jakobi Meyers, Stephen Louis ...

Those guys are going to be really good. Still this is definitely an end of a great era in NC State football, with a bunch of players I’ve gotten used to just always being there no longer being there. Let’s enjoy one more run.