NC State will have senior day festivities just as it normally would prior to its last home game of the season, with the difference this year of course that all of these players have a free year of eligibility if they want it. Seniors can come back in 2021 and not count against the program’s scholarship limits.
The participating players in senior day this year: Louis Acceus, Cary Angeline, Dylan Autenrieth, Emeka Emezie, Chris Ingram, Daniel Joseph, Val Martin, Tyrone Riley, Thomas Ruocchio, Joe Sculthorpe, Matthew Wagner, Justin Witt.
There’s some dudes in there that would definitely help the team in 2021 if they chose to play one more year, but if they’re ready to move on with their lives, that’s fine too. During his Monday press conference, Dave Doeren had a good answer about his approach to these questions:
“In any of these situations where a guy has that decision to make, I always kind of start with, ‘Do you think you can get better by coming back or do you think that you’re as good as you’re going to be in college?’
“There are examples of that. Ryan Finley and Bradley Chubb both came back because there were things they felt like they could get better at and improve themselves from the NFL standpoint. And they did.
“Nyheim’s a guy who said, ‘Coach, I can run a 4.3 today, and I’ll run a 4.3 next year. I’m not going to get taller, I’m not going to get heavier, I just had 1,000 yards.’ So in his case, it made sense.
“I think that’s how I got to look at these seniors. Where are they at in the education part? Can they graduate? Can they earn a second degree? Are they a developmental type player that maybe needs another year in the weight room to improve their stock and give themselves the best opportunity to make it in the NFL?
“It’s not about me, it’s not about trying to make next year’s team better. It’s about making sure they’re very at peace with their decision because the last thing I want to do is talk a guy into something that he’s not all in on.
“If they’re coming back, they’re coming back because it’s what they want in their heart.”
The other aspect of it is just the physical toll of football and whether or not they want to put themselves through another year of that. Louis Acceus already has retired and hopefully he’ll have a role as a coach within the program moving forward, but a few of these other guys have to decide if they want to risk another college season or just go ahead and take their NFL shot now, even if it’s as an undrafted free agent.