PINEHURST — NC State coach Tom O'Brien is encouraged by the direction the Wolfpack football program.
O'Brien talked for a little over an hour Monday at the ACC Football Kickoff at the Pinehurst Golf Resort. Naturally, he broke down his decision concerning former NC State quarterback Russell Wilson, who transferred for his last year of eligibility to Wisconsin, and redshirt junior Mike Glennon. O'Brien feels he made the best decision with the information he had in April, and hopes Wilson does well with the Badgers.
O'Brien also announced that redshirt freshman guard Torian Box is no longer on the team, and redshirt sophomore cornerback Jarvis Byrd blew out his ACL during a 7-on-7 practice last Wednesday. Byrd missed last year with an ACL tear, but that one occurred on his opposite knee.
Sophomore running back Mustafa Greene is expected to return to action in early October, and backups James Washington and Curtis Underwood Jr. will need to fill the void. O'Brien pointed out that Underwood would be a valued contributor in his fifth year if he ensures ball security.
Redshirt junior left guard Andrew Wallace and redshirt freshman fullback Logan Winkles both suffered ACL injuries last December, and could be back by mid-October.
O'Brien is also excited about the potential of fifth-year senior defensive tackle Markus Kuhn and redshirt junior tight end Mario Carter as his "breakout players." O'Brien also pointed out the progress fifth-year senior defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy has made in the last year and joked that individuals wanted Sweezy kicked off the team a year ago.
O'Brien also discussed some of the problems college programs are facing off the field in college football, his thoughts on the ACC eventually fielding a national contender, concept of over-signing and he hopes to avoid playing two Division I-AA programs in the future — the Wolfpack host both Liberty and South Alabama this season.
Click below to listen to O'Brien's full press conference: