May 9, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. - When the Wolfpack football team takes the field for preseason practice in August, eight players will already hold their NC State degrees. Seven of those eight will officially turn the tassle, along with nine former players, during graduation ceremonies on Saturday at PNC Arena.
"I'm so proud of these young men for accomplishing the ultimate academic goal: earning their college degree before they complete their college football career," said head coach Dave Doeren. "We are proud that we will have eight postgraduates on our team next year and expect that number to be even higher in the future."
The returning players who will earn their degrees on Saturday are TE Benson Browne, S Jarvis Byrd, OT Tyson Chandler, RB Tony Creecy, OT Andy Jomantas, FB Tyler Purvis and OG Joe Thuney. Browne and Thuney, both redshirt juniors in 2014, are graduating after only three years. Starting defensive end Art Norman graduated in December.
Seven other members of last year's squad will also graduate, as well as three more former players. One of those former players is the Pack's career reception leader, Jerricho Cotchery, who was drafted in 2003 and has enjoyed a successful career in the NFL. State fans will have more of an opportunity to see him play in 2014, as he was recently signed by the Carolina Panthers. Another graduate, Brandan Bishop, is on the Minnesota Vikings roster.
Here's a complete list of the football team's Spring 2014 graduates: