RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – With a little more than a week remaining until the beginning of the 2023 season, the N.C. State football program unveiled its team captains for the upcoming year.
As the college football season approaches, coaches are getting deeper into their preseason to-do list. For the Wolfpack, this meant having the players vote on captains.
“It’s an honor that my teammates look at me that way,” N.C. State linebacker Payton Wilson said. “To get that many votes, it just feels very special.”
“I just felt really proud that my teammates have the confidence to choose me as team captain,” N.C. State wide receiver Keyon Lesane said. “It’s an honor and I won’t let them down.”
After several departures over the offseason, many fresh faces will take on the responsibility. Wilson and Lesane are joined by defensive lineman Davin Vann, quarterback Brennan Armstrong and center Dylan McMahon in the captain’s seat. The Wolfpack are replacing all five of their team captains from one year ago.
For Wilson, a sixth-year senior, it’s his second time earning the honor, so he has a leg up in understanding what the job truly entails.
“Every decision that you make is about the team, whether you agree with it or not,” Wilson said. “And everything you do just has to be for wins and everybody’s best interest.”
While Lesane hasn’t held the captain title before, as one of the older players in the wide receivers room, the senior is used to having to set an example.
“The younger guys look up to me as a role model,” Lesane said. “So it’s my job to lead them and teach them what I know.”
Now that the captains have been established, it’s time for N.C. State to focus on game prep for its season opener against Connecticut.
“The last official day of camp was on Saturday, so everything we’ve done since Saturday has been UConn-focused,” Wilson said. “We’re well into game-planning.”
UConn might seem like a ‘gimme game’ on paper, but the Huskies went 5-2 after traveling to Raleigh last season, and return a good amount of talent from that squad.
“They return 10 starters, so it’s going to be an experienced defense,” Lesane said. “We’re not taking them lightly.”
The Wolfpack will hit the road for their season-opening showdown with the Huskies on Aug. 31.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EDT.