RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The N.C. State football team began spring drills today riding the wave of a bounce back 2020 campaign that saw the Pack double their win total from the previous season.
The Wolfpack went 8-4 a year ago after winning just four games in 2019.
“The guys are in a really good frame of mind,” N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren said. “Being back on the grass and seeing kind of how things are going with the direction of the pandemic, I’m very positive about this opportunity to improve.”
The Wolfpack returns ten starters on defense and 20 starters total including quarterback Devin Leary. Leary missed a good chunk of last season due to injury but is now healthy and ready to lead the Pack.
“Having Devin back for spring ball is a big deal,” Doeren admitted. “You always love having your starting quarterback leading you on the field and in your practices. It’s good to see him not just being healthy but the mental space he’s in right now is outstanding. We’re excited to see the growth we’ve seen in him as a leader.”
Last year’s success gave the program a shot in the arm. The 2020 Wolfpack squad was a close-knit group and the players say that bond is even stronger heading into spring drills.
“This might be the first time I don’t have a lot of butterflies going into spring ball,” said senior wide receiver Thayer Thomas. “I feel like we’re so close as a team and everyone likes each other. This is the first time where I feel like the offensive guys really like the defensive guys and the defensive guys really like the offensive guys.”
“We’ve all sort of been through the tough season of 2019 and we all came back through the Covid year in which we had a really good season so I think we’re ready to put the pieces together.”
N.C. State will kick off the 2021 campaign on Thursday, Sept. 2 hosting South Florida.