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NC State Football

Vi Jones: "We Write Our Own Destiny"

October 29, 2021

NC State redshirt junior linebacker Levi Jones met with the media ahead of the Wolfpack’s homecoming matchup versus Louisville.

Jones is currently tied with freshman Davin Vann for the team lead in sacks with 2.5 for a loss of nine yards. He’s also tied for second in tackles for a loss with four for a net loss of 14 yards. He sits with 14 total tackles on the season with five quarterback hurries.

NOTE: Click the video in the player above to watch Jones’ interview with the press.

What’s the team’s mentality right now?

We’re not out of it. Everything’s still right in front of us. We write our own destiny. We just need to keep getting better everyday and take it one step at a time.

How does Isaiah Moore’s injury change things for you and your role on the defense?

Nothing’s really different. I just need to keep preparing for the game, stay focused and disciplined, and be prepared for what’s to come.

You’ve been more effective in the pass rush in the past two weeks. Has that been a schematic change, or is it a change in approach that’s allowed you to be in the right spot at the right time?

It’s just everything falling into place. The pass rush isn’t just me. It’s the rest of the D-line. It takes everyone. It’s a game. It’s the rush from my other teammates on the inside, helping them press the pocket, and collapsing the quarterback. It’s really a team effort.

Do the prior backups get enough reps in practice to get them ready for a starter’s role when somebody goes down?

Yeah, of course. We all take reps. Everyone takes reps. We’re all in the meeting room together. We’re all meeting extra. We’re all correcting each other. Our coaches are on us. Everyone’s bought in. The backups on our team feel like there’s no fall-off, and that’s how we attack stuff. That’s how we all prepare. That’s how it is.

Do you have to practice like you’re a starter when you’re a backup?

Everyone takes the mindset of practicing like we’re in a game. That’s how we’re able to prepare ourselves the most. Our look team gives us good looks. They go full speed. They go hard, trying to earn a spot as well. That’s where it comes from.

How’s the morale for the defense? How does losing vital pieces to the defense for the rest of the season affect that?

It doesn’t affect us too much. We always have that “next-man-up” mentality. We stay attacking. Like I said earlier, everyone practices like we’re in the game. Everyone’s always meeting, doing their time, and staying prepared and staying ready for when that time comes, because in football, everyone’s one play from getting in. No one knows what’s going to happen.

What are the challenges for the defense going from Miami where they’re pass-heavy to playing Louisville, more of a run-heavy offense?

Not too much. Every week, we know the game plan is always going to be different. Every team does different things. Every team has different players. It’s just going into the game, watching our opponent, knowing what they do, and preparing for what they have to come. We just play our scheme, play our technique, and see what happens.

Is there an expectation that Louisville is going to test you defensively where the team’s had major players go down?

I’m just expecting to see what they’ve been doing all year, honestly. I don’t expect too much different. We’re going to be prepared for whatever they have to bring.

Facing a dual-threat quarterback like Malik Cunningham, how much does that change the mindset of the linebacker corps and the defense as a whole?

We just know that he’s an electric player, so we just have to keep being aware that he likes to make plays with his feet. We watched film on him from games all year. It’s about being able to be prepared for what they have to bring for us.

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