The Wolfpacker

September 2017

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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42 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY RYAN TICE N C State offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford does not usually call his blockers the offensive line. He has deemed them the "Band of Brothers" — or B.O.B.s for short — and that's also how the players like to refer to the group. Although he originally came up with the idea while coaching at Appalachian State, the nickname has such a deep meaning tied to playing up front that the former NFL blocker brought the term with him to Ra- leigh when he arrived prior to last season. Ledford's brother-in-law was a Green Beret, the special operations force in the U.S. Army. The coach would routinely ask him about the training and brotherhood the unit is known for, trying to find tips he could carry over onto the football field. The military man obliged with information, but he also suggested that Ledford watch the "Band of Brothers" miniseries, a 10-part HBO war drama that ran in 2001. The comparisons between war and foot- ball are often clichéd and some could even argue overused, so Ledford treads care- fully. The coach was hooked on the show immediately, though, and it was hard for him to not see the parallels between the battlefield and what happens in the gridiron trenches. "A lot of those relationships are similar — but we don't give the ultimate sacrifice like those guys do fighting for our country, who I'm very thankful for," he said. "I just saw what those guys went through, forged those relationships and you could easily carry that over to the football field with my guys. "With the offensive line, it has to be five guys really playing as one. They have to know each other inside and out." The offensive line might not be "blood brothers," but they need to come together as if they were and trust that each of them will do what is expected each play. "That's the whole thing about the Band of Brothers, it's putting guys beside you in front of you, and [ones] behind you in front of you," Ledford said. "It's being very unselfish and doing what's for the betterment of the group, not the betterment of yourself." Ledford has showed players clips from the miniseries, but doesn't stop there with trying to get his guys trying to buy in to the mentality. In addition to the coach's preferred nomenclature, each lineman has a Band of Brothers bracelet. Their under- shirts for games have "Band Of Brothers" written on the back. NC State has even WOLFPACK FOOTBALL NC State's Offensive Line Has Become The 'Band Of Brothers' Offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford (far left in white shirt) has created a culture with his unit that focuses on "being very unselfish and doing what's for the betterment of the group, not the betterment of yourself." PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN 2017 NC State Football Schedule Date Opponent (TV) Time (ET) Sept. 2 vs. South Carolina* (ESPN) 3 p.m. Sept. 9 Marshall (ACCN Extra) 6 p.m. Sept. 16 Furman (ACCN) 12:20 p.m. Sept. 23 at Florida State TBA Sept. 30 Syracuse TBA Oct. 5 Louisville (ESPN) 8 p.m. Oct. 14 at Pittsburgh TBA Oct. 28 at Notre Dame (NBC) 3:30 p.m. Nov. 4 Clemson TBA Nov. 11 at Boston College TBA Nov. 18 at Wake Forest TBA Nov. 25 North Carolina TBA * at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte

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