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Some burning questions and predictions for NC State in 2023

NCAA Football: ACC Media Days Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

1.) Is there an 800+ yard receiver on this team?

Since 2018, when Kelvin Harmon and Jakobi Meyers both had 1,000-yard seasons, NC State has had only one guy finish a year with 800+ yards (Emeka Emezie in 2021). State is replacing its top two receivers from 2022, but can this new offense still create a breakout year for somebody? I’m going with yes. Who that’s going to be, though, is a tough guess.

2.) How disruptive will NC State’s secondary be?

The Wolfpack collected 19 interceptions in 2022, which ranked third in FBS. Good thing, too, since State’s defense recovered only three fumbles all season. You’d think the fumble luck would turn one of these years, but it is seemingly a constant struggle.

NC State has one of the best—if not the best—cornerback tandems in the ACC and no doubt Tony Gibson will put plenty on their shoulders by putting them on an island, but also putting them in position to make more big plays.

There will be an adjustment period at safety given who’s gone but I think that group will ultimately be fine—but I’d say taking the under on 19 INTs is a safe bet. I have a feeling it’s going to be a big fall for Aydan White, though; put me down for six picks from him.

3.) Who will lead the team in tackles, after Payton Wilson?

Wilson should lead the way if he’s healthy all season, but beyond him, I’m looking at Jaylon Scott to step forward in a big way now that he’s finally going to get a full-time opportunity. He’s ready, and if he does turn in a standout year, there is absolutely no reason to think State’s defense won’t be just as good as it was last year.