The Wolfpacker

September 2017

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 91 of 95

92 ■ THE WOLFPACKER ■ PACK PROS ■ NFL Mid-August Player Updates Several former NC State players were going through training camps with professional clubs this summer. A look at each with where they currently stand on their squads: David Amerson (Lettered at NC State from 2010-12) CB Oakland Raiders Since being cut early during the 2015 season by Wash- ington, he's surprised and been among the NFL leaders in passes defended. He tied for ninth with 18 passes defended last year and ranked second in 2015 with 29. He'll start again and is expected to take on a leadership role for the Raiders. Jacoby Brissett (2014-15) QB New England Patriots After a rookie season where he started twice for the world champions, he's looking up at veterans Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady on the depth chart. He might not play, but it seems like he'll make the team. Juston Burris (2012-15) CB New York Jets He appeared in every game during his NFL debut season and could be in line for more playing time in the Jets' youth movement. Audie Cole (2008-11) LB Jacksonville Jaguars After playing five years with the Vikings, Cole is in a new place and fighting for a spot on the final roster. He would provide depth and be a core special teams player if he can make the team. Matt Dayes (2013-16) RB Cleveland Browns The rookie scored in his preseason debut, but only gar - nered 17 yards on six touches. Being the second-to-last pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, he'll need to take advantage of any touches he gets. Mike Glennon (2011-12) QB Chicago Bears The fifth-year signal-caller is expected to at least open the season as the starting quarterback in his first year with the Bears, but he'll need to impress to hold off for- mer UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick in this past year's draft. Trevor Graham (2008-11) WR Carolina Panthers More commonly known to NC State fans as T.J., he is fighting for a roster spot in his home state. His last NFL action came in 2015, when he appeared in four games for the New Orleans Saints and caught four passes for 24 yards. David Grinnage (2013-15) TE Jacksonville Jaguars He was signed by the Jaguars Aug. 14 and will battle for one of the final roster spots. He has never appeared in an NFL game, but spent time with the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent before last season. Stephen Hauschka (2007) K Buffalo Bills The veteran has reached his 10th year in the league, an improbable thought when he started his college ca - reer at Division III Middlebury in Vermont — as a soccer player. He's changed teams, but has reportedly looked good so far in training camp for the Bills. Dontae Johnson (2010-13) CB San Francisco 49ers Entering his fourth year in the league, he is battling for a starting spot at cornerback. He was even considered a front-runner for the job before suffering a concussion Aug. 8, which forced him to miss the preseason opener. Josh Jones (2014-16) S Green Bay Packers The second-round pick has created a lot of buzz in Green Bay, playing at both linebacker and safety while joining a squad that needed help on the back end. If they fix that, the Packers can be one of the NFL's best teams. Ted Larsen (2006-09) OL Miami Dolphins The eighth-year blocker is in his first year in Miami, after starting eight times for the Bears last season. Unfortunately, Joe Schad of the reported Aug. 7 that he was expected to start the year on injured reserve, which will take him out for at least the first eight games of the season. T.Y. McGill (2011-14) DT Indianapolis Colts He enters his third year with the Colts and will be bat - tling for a backup position once again. Philip Rivers (2000-03) QB Los Angeles Chargers The veteran quarterback enters his 14th year with the Chargers, although they have moved from San Diego to Los Angeles. He's entrenched as the starter on a team that was ravaged by injuries last year. If he has all of his weapons healthy, he could regain his rightful spot among the league's passing leaders. J.R. Sweezy (2009-11) OL Tampa Bay Buccaneers He did not play in a game last year due to a back injury, but the Bucs have spoken highly of the guard they signed as a free agent prior to the 2016 season. He's currently listed as the first-team right guard. Joe Thuney (2012-15) OL New England Patriots After starting all 16 games for the Super Bowl champi - ons at left guard as a rookie, he's established on a pow- erhouse team and will try to become known nationally as one of the league's best up front. Jack Tocho (2013-16) DB Minnesota Vikings The seventh-rounder is currently battling to make the roster and is listed as a third-string strong safety after playing cornerback throughout college. Russell Wilson (2008-10) QB Seattle Seahawks In his sixth year in the league, he has established himself as one of the NFL's top quarterbacks. He battled through injuries last year and so did his top running back, Thomas Rawls. Healthy returns from both could change things for the Seahawks offense, whose biggest weakness may be the offensive line. Willie Young (2006-09) LB Chicago Bears The eighth-year veteran has emerged as one of his team's top pass rushers, totaling 24 sacks in his three seasons with the Bears. He's competing for one of the starting outside linebacker jobs in Chicago's 3-4 defense but will always have a role as long as he keeps terrorizing quarterbacks. Rookie Josh Jones is expected to vie for playing time in the Green Bay Packers' defense — and he has lined up at both safety and linebacker during preseason camp. PHOTO BY EVAN SIEGLE/GREEN BAY PACKERS Where Are They Now? A quick look at three of NC State's most suc- cessful athletes and what they're doing now: Wrestler Nick Gwiazdowski The 2014 and 2015 NCAA heavyweight champion will compete at the 2017 World Wrestling Championships Aug. 25 in the 125-kilogram weight class. It marks his first time making the world team and representing the U.S. at the world champi - onships. He earned the spot after winning the World Team Trials June 11, and still trains at NC State regularly as the headlining member of the Raleigh Olympic Regional Training Center. Wrestler Darrion Caldwell After the mixed martial artist had to pull out of his originally scheduled April 14 Bellator bantamweight title fight, it has been rescheduled for Oct. 6 at Bellator 184. Caldwell, who won the 2009 NCAA championship at 149 pounds in one of the most loaded college weight classes of all time, is 10-1 in his professional MMA career, where he cuts down to 135 pounds. His oppo - nent, Eduardo Dantas, is 20-4 overall and 5-1 in Bellator fights for the bantamweight title. Ryan Hill, Track & Field – The former distance star missed a chance to add to his interna - tional portfolio when he had to withdraw from the finals of the 5,000-meter run at the 2017 World Championships in London. The Hickory, N.C., native had qualified for his third straight 5,000-meter final at the World Championships, but had to scratch with an illness. He finished second in the 2016 Indoor World Championships for that event, and was fifth in 2015 in the outdoor 5,000 meter and seventh in 2013. At NCSU, he was a 10-time All-American from 2009-13 and still holds school records in the 1,500, 3,000, 5,000 and mile.

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