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August 22, 2012
In the final game of the 2009 season, a year that had proven to be a tumultuous one for the Wolfpack, State suffered yet one more setback during its rivalry game with UNC.
Promising starting corner and then-freshman Jarvis Byrd suffered a torn ACL while being blocked by former Carolina receiver Greg Little. That's when a walk-on freshman named Jordan Monk heard his name called.
"Get in, get ready," defensive backs coach Mike Reed told Monk.
Monk responded, effectively covering Little the rest of the game and helping the Pack upset UNC 28-27 for a satisfying end of the season.
"That's probably my biggest memory [at NC State]," Monk admitted. "That was probably the biggest situation I was in.
"That was a great experience. I got my feet wet a little bit, then the following season I got to play a lot more."
Monk had some more memorable moments for State after that UNC game. He recalls tipping a pass at Central Florida in the second game of the 2010 season that led to safety Earl Wolff's first career interception, and then playing a lot a few days later for a Thursday night game against Cincinnati in Carter-Finley Stadium.
Monk's last memory for the Wolfpack was the Champs Sports Bowl practices in 2010. That was the last time he suited up for State until this preseason.
"I just wanted some time off," Monk explained. "It was good to get back home and see my family."
He spent last fall back home in Providence, R.I., training at home and taking classes there, but with the intention of always coming back to NC State for one final season.
"I knew I was going to come back and play football," Monk stated. "That's the reason I came to school down here, to play football."
Monk, who said he missed "hitting people" the most while he was gone, admitted it took a week to shake off the rustiness.
"I would always hear Coach [Jon] Tenuta say, 'Get the rust off,'" Monk recalled. "After the first week, I was good to go. It's good to be back out on the field."
Monk will be wearing his third different jersey number this fall. He started with No. 12 before switching to No. 37 in 2010. Since redshirt freshman receiver Tyrrell Burriss has that number now, Monk is wearing No. 16, famously worn by Russell Wilson.
"I'm good friends with Russell, so it's no problems," Monk insisted.
After what he feels like has been a good training camp, Monk is hoping that State fans will check their rosters to see who is the new No. 16 by getting on the field this fall.
"I love playing with my teammates," Monk said. "I love being out here."
N.C. State NEWS