March 9, 2016
If you’re wondering who’ll be the starting quarterback, alas, you’ll have to keep wondering.
NC State’s depth chart is out, though it doesn’t tease which player will start at quarterback against William & Mary next Thursday. Jalan McClendon and Boise State graduate transfer Ryan Finley are listed as co-starters. Jakobi Meyers, who has been slowed by injury, does not appear to be a significant factor in the QB battle at this point.
— Ryan Finley has been reclassified as a redshirt sophomore and has three years of eligibility remaining. The NCAA granted Finley a medical hardship waiver because he missed the bulk of 2015 with an injury. This is how you end up with the extremely rare case of a grad transfer with three more years of eligibility.
Both Finley and McClendon will play against W&M, unless something changes between now and then.
— Johnny Frasier is listed as fourth-string running back, which is a surprise considering the praise he earned as a scout player last fall. But the three guys ahead of him have real game experience, and he doesn’t. His spot on the depth chart could be an indictment of his conditioning, or he may be slower to grasp the new offense than his peers. (He does have a reputation as a bit of a loafer.)
— Thaddeus Moss is not a fullback, and neither is Jaylen Samuels. It’s better to think of that as the “move” tight end spot, as Dave Doeren would call it, and picture Moss filling a role similar to Samuels’. Doeren has said that Moss can play both TE spots—that includes the Y spot led by Cole Cook.
— The first-string offensive line has pretty much been set for a couple weeks. There is talent but a lot inexperience behind the first five, which is what warrants keeping an eye on. State’s going to need a rotation of some kind, and that’s without addressing any injuries. It’s also interesting (and encouraging or alarming, depending on how you want to frame it) that walk-on Peter Daniel is the second-string right tackle.
— Yep, Kelvin Harmon is going to see the field quite a bit this year. Hope he’s ready because we’re going to need the help.
— No decision has been made between Kyle Bambard and Connor Haskins at placekicker. AJ Cole and Jackson Maples will be handling the punting and kickoff duties, respectively.
— The defensive line is absolutely loaded, and most of these guys should be back in 2017. Big Eurndraus Bryant had a good fall camp and if he’s ready for a breakout campaign, this unit can be really really good.
— No surprises at linebacker or corner, and it will be crucial for State to stay healthy at those positions.