RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — N.C. State head football coach Dave Doeren said Thursday that he was surprised when M.J. Morris told him that he was thinking about preserving his redshirt status.

Doeren addressed the media Thursday and said the news of Morris’ final decision to redshirt was known to him on Monday. He had wanted to keep the announcement under wraps before this weekend’s game against Wake Forest.

“I was hoping we could maintain a competitive advantage in our preparation with Wake Forest having to prepare, as you’ve seen, with two quarterbacks on the field at the same time,” Doeren said.

He said somebody released Morris’ decision on Tuesday.

“It is what it is,” Doeren said in a resigned manner.

Brennan Armstrong will return as the starter for the Wolfpack. He was the season-starting quarterback before Doeren made the switch to Morris before the Oct. 7 game against Marshall.

“Our team has embraced (Armstrong) in this role. And we’re rallying around him and super-excited to see what he does,” Doeren said.

Morris told Doeren of his decision after the fourth game he started.

Doeren said he didn’t expect a player to want to sit back down after becoming a starter but that the team is honoring Morris’ decision.

Doeren added that Armstrong is prepared and “the guys are playing hard for him.”

“It’s his team now and we’re excited to see him finish the season,” Doeren said.