Photo by Jeff Reeves/Inside Pack Sports
NC State Football

Dave Doeren On The First Spring Practice: "It Felt Great"

March 3, 2019

NC State head coach Dave Doeren met with the media after the Wolfpack's first spring practice.

NOTE: Click the video above to watch the interview.

“It felt great. It is always -- after the two or three months that you are not out there -- it is great to be back on the grass and just do what you got into the business to do. Our guys had a really good bounce.”

“They were in good shape. I thought they flew around. It was good to see the spirit of, not just see the team but the staff. I think, obviously, there are some new parts.”

“Guys are excited to be here and you could feel their energy on the field. Now it is just about being consistent and getting the reps they need to grow and compete.”

“When you build a program -- it is my opinion -- you recruit a certain type of player that fits not just your schemes but is also the character and culture of your program, and then you have to develop those guys. You want retention, obviously, to be a part of that. You have to coach them a certain way, so when you lose a good player and you have a guy in the system two or three years and it is his opportunity.”

“A great example is Emeka and he has now taken over in Kelvin's spot. He has made plays. He has made mistakes. He is ready to step into that role. C.J. Riley is another one. Thayer Thomas is another one. It is fun to see that progression with the guys.”

“Obviously, there are some things that play into it. The health of your team is a big deal and you need players to progress. We have 16 young, new players here so it was fun to have their first college practice with them today.”

“I am not going to give you an answer on quarterbacks until probably August 31st.”

“I am very confident about the competition we are about to have and that the right quarterback will come out of it, and whoever is behind him will probably be a really good option. We have great talent in that line and Coach Roper is a really good coach.”

“It is going to take time. I am not going to rush it. I am going to let them fail and see how they respond, and I am going to let them have success and see how they respond and then let the competition play out for a while. That's how we have done it here.”

“There’s a lot of things that go into playing a full football game and you can’t hit all of those in a practice.”

“There’s install and install... you just have to let it play out and the statistics over time will accumulate and then you’ll have a good idea of who will do what.”

“Ricky won’t practice a lot this spring.  We had to do some things postseason to get him healthy and he’s doing good, but he won’t be in that position probably until after spring break... he’ll be fully cleared for the summer.”

“We’re really excited about Zonovan Knight’s athleticism and what he brings to the table.  Once Damontay comes back from his foot injury we’ll have him back in the group and we have two more freshmen coming in.”

“Trent Pennix was out there today and he got a lot of reps. He looks good, he’s almost up to 230. Body-type wise he’s kind of what we had with Reggie but a little bit taller.”

“Everyday is important, whether it’s a practice day, meeting day, or recovery day.”

“It’s funny I was walking out here today with Joseph Boletepeli, a freshman defensive lineman here who is going into year two.  He was here early and I was telling him he looks completely different.  He looks really, really good in his jersey, and that’s one year with that group.”

“It’s on the kid to want it and to put the time in it.”

“[Payton Wilson] is chomping at the bit. He wants to go so bad right now... I’m really happy for him and excited to see the progression.”

“It’s good timing for him. He’s coming in with a group of guys who have to prove themselves and they have a clean slate.”

“Jarius is awesome.  He’s a great person and cares so much about his teammates. How he carries himself, he’s a true role model.”

“[Ty Evans] is very impressive with his intangibles.”

“[Bailey Hockman] is very calm. I like his demeanor.”

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