TheWolfpackCentral - QA: Dave Doerens last media session in Raleigh
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QA: Dave Doerens last media session in Raleigh

On Tuesday, NC State held its final practice before the team leaves for Charlotte on Christmas night for the Belk Bowl. After the short break, the Wolfpack will practice Dec. 26, 27 and 28 at Charlotte Country Day High School before taking on Mississippi State.
NCSU head coach Dave Doeren met with the media for the final time in Raleigh to discuss his team's preparations for the postseason contest.
We saw sophomore Kentavius Street listed at defensive end on the bowl game depth chart after playing mostly at tackle this year. Is that a long-term move or is he a guy that can play both positions, depending on what you need?
It just depends on the health of our team, to be honest with you. He can do both, we like him at both. I think it's more comfortable for him on the edge maybe, just because he's been there longer, but he's done a good job in there playing defensive tackle.
A little bit depends on what we're playing against. Against some of the spread teams, having him inside is kind of nice - having that speed in there. With the depth that we have and the injuries you're dealing with, sometimes having a guy that can be a swing guy is very helpful.
Freshman running back Reggie Gallaspy really came on at the end of the year, how have you seen him improve?
He's just gotten more comfortable and confident because of that. He's a very intelligent person and sometimes guys that are really cerebral think about things and it slows them down. Towards the end of the year, he just started playing and you could see it.
Like I told him at the beginning of the year, it's a process, you have to be patient, you're going to get an opportunity and you have to seize the moment. He did that at times this year. I thought at the end of the year, he really ran strong, ran behind his pads.
With the way Reggie and freshman Nyheim Hines finished the year, and I'm guessing you'll have junior Matthew Dayes back next year, do you feel like you can get the running back to the level it was at last season?
Barring injuries, we'll have a lot of talent, we'll have depth and we'll have game experience back there. It's going to come down to the offensive line and replacing the three seniors, that's going to be the biggest thing in the offseason.
I'm excited about some of the guys that have played in these bowl practices - watching Emanuel McGirt, Aaron Wiltz and Garrett Bradbury; these guys have taken a lot of reps. It's been fun to see them out there and this class coming in will be important too, adding depth to our offensive line. That's going to be really what it's all about when it comes down to our run game.
The way Hines came on at the end of the year, was it more than just being comfortable or being at running back, a position he's familiar with?
I think that's his comfort zone, he has played there more. We knew that going into the year - that it would take him a little while at receiver, just because he hasn't been out there as much. He got better and better at that as the year went on.
I also think his confidence grew as he made plays at receiver, as he made plays at returner. Wherever you put him, he played better because he was more confident he could do it. All those things combined, I think, at the end and having him at tailback really helped him.
He really jumps off the page at you, in terms of being a difference maker?
Yeah, I mean when you have the injuries we've had and you have one guy that is really special, it really stands out. When you had all those guys healthy at one time, it was less noticeable. Right now, he's a difference maker for us. Obviously, you want to get touches to those guys as much as you can.
Does Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott remind you of anybody?
He's a good player. He's thick. He's not overly tall, I think they list him at 6-2, but when you look at him, he's got a really big lower body, he's put together. He looks like [Tim] Tebow presence-wise, but he can throw the football a lot better, he's thrown for over 300 yards a game. He's a really good quarterback.
The thing that impresses you the most is when things aren't good and break down, he's just really calm. He makes good decisions, runs when he should run, throws it away when he should throw it away. He's a good quarterback, he's got good weapons around him.
During bowl practices, you get to see guys that have been on the scout team in your system. What young guys have caught your eye?
Starting with the scout team offense, Aaron Wiltz and Emanuel McGirt on our offensive line have done a nice job all year. [Freshmen] Chandler Belk, Brian Sessoms and Freddie Simmons as our scout team receivers have worked really hard.
I'm excited about [freshman running back] Johnny Frasier, I've mentioned that and obviously for him to be the scout team player of the year kind of says that.
On the scout team defense, [rookie defensive end] Tyrone Riley is a guy at defensive end that's really worked hard and had a good year down there, and so had [freshman safety] Jarius Morehead.
Do you think your receivers can make an appreciable improvement going into next year, do you anticipate getting more production from them?
Yeah, we need to. You've got three guys that will be seniors, then you've got a group here of redshirt guys that have been impressive. [Sophomore] Steph Louis played as a freshman but was injured and has put on 15 pounds and looks really good.
I hope this recruiting class comes through because we'll have a couple guys that are longer than what we have if we sign who we think we're going to. They'll add height to the group and that will help us.
But to answer your question, yeah, we need more production [from the receivers].
You made the coaching change at wide receiver last year to get more out of that group, do you feel like you're moving in the right direction?
I do. I think that group, collectively, played better than they did last year. Last year, we had one guy stand out. This year, I think as a unit, they've been very consistent. We don't have the big play production across the board, but they've been consistent, they've played hard every week, they're working hard for each other and they've been very coachable.
Coach [George] McDonald has done a good job getting what he can out of the group, and he's got to continue to develop those guys and hope that junior to senior year you see those guys take the next step that a lot of seniors do.
What is your confidence level in redshirt freshman quarterback Jalan McClendon?
As a passer, I'm really confident; it's just the game management stuff now that you have to get him the reps. As a passer and the way he is around the guys, and how they're around him, he's got an electric personality around the players that they're going to play for him.
And [freshman] Jakobi Meyers is an exceptional talent, too. He's just been injured so it's going to be a good competition when he gets back. I'm excited about that.
What activities do you have lined up to do in Charlotte?
The bowl puts together quite a few things for the guys. I know there's some community service opportunities that we'll have at the childrens' hospital, doing some gifts. Then, I think we're on the Charlotte Speedway one day, those are the two things I know about for sure. The coaches will have some time with their families and being in-state, I'm sure our players will get a lot of family time as well.
Have you ever been in a race car before?
I have, I actually got to drive one when I was in Illinois. I'm pretty excited about it, I hope the weather is OK, you don't want to be on a wet track.
You going to take the wheel in Charlotte?
If they let me, I will, yeah. I don't know what the insurance policies are down there [laughs].