The Wolfpacker

September 2017

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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32 ■ THE WOLFPACKER Finley threw for 3,059 yards and 18 touch- downs during his first season as a starter for the Wolfpack. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN Out Of His Shell Quarterback Ryan Finley Has Settled In And Meshed With Teammates BY JACEY ZEMBAL R edshirt junior quarterback Ryan Finley has gained around 20 pounds, has emphasized being more accurate on the deep ball and hopes to be more of a run- ning threat this season. All three of those things will aid him in helping NC State improve upon the 7-6 re- cord it posted a year ago. Where he has po- tentially made the greatest strides, however, involves something that is more mental than physical. Finley graduated from Boise State in three years and announced he would trans- fer on April 12, 2016. The opportunity to be reunited with former Broncos offensive coordinator Eli Drinkwitz — who was hired by NC State on Jan. 11, 2016 — proved too good for Finley to pass up. He made the move to Raleigh May 16 and immediately joined the quarterback competition. Before the move, NC State planned to enter the summer of 2016 with current redshirt junior Jalan McClendon, redshirt sophomore Jakobi Meyers and sophomore Dylan Parham at quarterback. Meyers is now playing wide receiver and Parham is at tight end, both moves likely impacted by Finley's arrival and emergence. Finley earned the starting spot then com- pleted 243 of 402 passes for 3,059 yards with 18 touchdowns and eight intercep- tions. He passed for at least 300 yards in four games — including three straight, which was highlighted by a season-high 340 yards in a 35-20 win over Syracuse Nov. 12. The 6-4, 210-pound Finley also had to maneuver through trying to play the ultimate leadership position with not really having a built-in relationship with his teammates. The Phoenix native obviously had a strong bond with Drinkwitz, which aided in the transi-

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