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Devin Leary has been prepping a long time for his star turn

North Carolina State v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

There is more attention than usual on NC State football heading into the season, which means we get more excellent national coverage like this profile of Devin Leary by Pete Thamel. The piece does a great job illustrating just how Leary was able to become the great college player he is today, and it has fun anecdotes like this:

Leary comes from a family that takes football — but not themselves — seriously. They delight in telling a story about their son making a serious confession at a family breakfast a few years after arriving at NC State. “I say y’all now,” he declared, before even saying hello one morning.

One of us! One of us!

Among the things that struck me was how much he took from how Ryan Finley approached playing quarterback, and also how much Leary’s dedication to practically living in a film room clearly hastened his development. The huge jump from his play in 2019 to his play in 2020 felt a little out of nowhere, but it’s plain in retrospect how much unseen hard work that required.

It led to a breakout that put him on the national radar last season, and put him in position to not just lead NC State to a huge 2022, but also show NFL scouts why he deserves to be a high draft pick next spring. He’s had a hell of a journey, and I cannot wait to see what’s next.