July 31, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. - The sixth season of the Tom O’Brien era at NC State officially got underway on Tuesday afternoon as his Wolfpack took the field for the first practice of preseason camp. The team worked out for over two hours at the Dail Practice facility in non-contact drills.
O’Brien was pleased with the results of the first day.
“The starting point this year is much higher for a lot of these kids,” he said. “This is a more confident football team because they’ve won. But it helps to get off to a good start. We will see where we are when we get to practice nine or 10 - when they’re tired. That’s when we’ll know how good we’re going to be.”
When asked if this was his best team at State, O’Brien replied, “This is the deepest and most experienced team we’ve had. We will find out if we can be the best if they stay healthy and do what they are supposed to do.
“But,” he added. “It helps to get off to a good start and depth breeds competition.”
O’Brien spent a majority of the workout watching his freshman class.
“This is the first time that we’ve been able to work three teams and the third team is all freshmen. In the summer, Corey Edmond told us that he had really been impressed with their work ethic so I wanted to see how they looked when they got into a practice situation.”
The entire workout was open to the media and Penn State transfer Tim Buckley was the focus of much of the media attention. Buckley, like all incoming players, did not speak to the media after practice, but O’Brien said that with the departure of safeties Dean Coleman and Dean Haynes, the redshirt freshman has a chance to work his way into the two-deep.
Newly elected captains Mike Glennon and Sterling Lucas, who sat out the 2011 season with an injury, led the team in its traditional ‘one perfect jumping jack’ at the conclusion of practice.
O’Brien remarked that Lucas’ election by his teammates was a testament to his dedication. “It speaks to his dedication,” he continued. “When he couldn’t play, he gave support and was a de facto coach. He gave a lot of time to helping his teammates get better.“