Aug. 20, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. - With just 10 days until the Pack opens its 2014 season against Georgia Southern at Cater-Finley Stadium, GoPack.com will be releasing the Pack's depth chart over the next few days - two position groups at a time.
Production from the quarterback position was a problem for NC State in 2013, with more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (14), but anticipation is high for the Wolfpack debut of highly-touted transfer Jacoby Brissett. Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Matt Canada is pleased with Brissett's leadership as the starter, as well as the progress of his backups.
Starter: Jacoby Brissett (6-4, 221, *Jr.)
- When Brissett takes the field against Georgia Southern, 651 days will have passed since the last time he played in a game.
- Transfer from Florida who has been with the Pack since January of 2013.
- Known for his pocket presence and strong arm, Brissett has established himself as a team leader with strong work ethic.
Canada on Brissett: "Jacoby has done a great job in camp. He's a great leader and is very much a student of the game. He has the ability to make all the throws, but his greatest strength is probably his leadership and his desire to win. He's a great competitor. He's certainly established himself as the No. 1 quarterback, but he will have to have 10 guys around him doing their job to be successful. He's done a great job putting himself in a position to have a great year."
Backup: Garrett Leatham (6-4, 220, *Jr.)
- Former walkon who recently earned a scholarship
- Saw action in three contests in 2013, completing 53% of his 17 throws.
Canada on Leatham: "Garrett has had a very good camp. He's a smart player who understands the offense and has competed very well. He's thrown for a high percentage throughout camp. He's competing for the job, but knows that there has to be a starter and there has to be a backup. I'm very pleased with his knowledge of the game and his knowledge of the offense. "
Reserve: Jalan McClendon (6'5, 200, Fr.)
- The tallest in the Pack's quarterback group, McClendon probably has the strongest arm as well.
- Was the starting quarterback for North Carolina in the 2013 Shrine Bowl.
Canada on McClendon: "Jalan is a very highly skilled player who has as big an arm as any quarterback I've ever been around. He's done a great job learning the offense and has gotten better and better every day. He has a tremendous upside and the future is very bright with him."
Corner is one of the youngest positions on the field with two freshmen, three sophomores and a junior making up the three-deep. Only three of the six have ever seen game action, but several young players have made great progress under first-year CB coach George Barlow
Starter: Jack Tocho (6-0, 201, So.)
- Started seven games last season as a true freshman.
- Picked off two passes in his first career start (Syracuse).
Barlow on Tocho: "Jack is very talented and has nice size and nice ability. But the thing that makes him special is that he's a student of the game. He continues to try to do everything exactly how I ask him to do it. He's improved on his technique and his confidence. He has the ability to be one of the better corners in the ACC."
Backup: Niles Clark (5-11, 199, *So.)
- Played in nine games last season, seeing action mainly at nickel.
Barlow on Clark: "Niles is probably one of the more intelligent guys we have back there. He's done well enough to really warrant as many reps as the two starting guys, but hasn't quite passed them. He'll be the first guy to come in behind Jack or Justin. Like Jack, he's a student of the game and is almost like having a coach on the field."
Reserve: Mike Stevens (5-10, 196, Fr.)
- True freshman who played mainly on offense in high school.
Barlow on Stevens: "Mike has really showed a lot of promise. He's picked up the schemes really well and has been a surprise to me because he didn't play a whole lot of defense in high school. He's really talented and plays with a lot of confidence and effort. I can definitely see him having a bright future."
Starter: Juston Burris (6-1, 211, *Jr.)
- Started every game of 2013 and five games in 2012. He has solid experience, having played in 25 career games.
- Led the team in PBUs last season and has been a disruptive force in the secondary during fall camp.
Barlow on Burris: "Justin is a physically gifted kid who is really tall for the position. He has the hips and the feet to play corner and I'm looking for big things from him. He played a lot last year and has really worked on his confidence. He's playing with great confidence, great effort and great technique. He also has a chance to be a really good player in this conference.
Backup: Charlie Twitty (5-9, 189, *So.)
- Athletic former walkon who has earned a scholarship and worked his way up the depth chart.
- Worked with the scout team as a wide receiver last season.
Barlow on Twitty: "Twitty has been a pleasant surprise for us. Because of our depth issues we moved him from receiver to defensive back in the spring and he's done really well. This summer he's come back and been exceptional. He's a solid backup and will probably be our fourth guy in."
Reserve: Malcolm Means (6-1, 189, *Fr.)
- Redshirted the 2013 season at safety, he moved to corner in spring drills.
Barlow on Means: "Malcolm is another guy who moved from safety to corner in the spring. He can definitely be in the same mold eventually as Jack or Justin just because of his size and athletic ability. He just needs to continue to learn the positions because he was a skilled, offensive guy in high school and played more safety last year. He's still learning the position."