NC State Preview 2006 - Offense
NC State Wolfpack
Preview 2006 - NC State Offense
What you need to know ...
There's little question the ground game will be better
after finishing tenth in the ACC thanks to the sophomore
backfield tandem of Andre Brown and Toney Baker pounding the
ball behind a big offensive line, but the passing attack has to
be far crisper. Coordinator Marc Trestman needs an accurate,
good decision-making quarterback to make the offense sing, so
the season will be made or broken on how well Marcus Stone has
improved since last year. The receiving corps has the potential
to be fantastic if someone can consistently deliver the ball.
Passing: Marcus Stone
75-154, 1,015 yds, 8 TD, 6 INT
Rushing: Andre Brown
129 carries, 667 yds, 6 TD
Receiving: Lamart Barrett
21 catches, 248 yds
Star of the offense: Senior C Leroy Harris
Player that has to step up and become a star: Junior QB
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore FB Octavius Darby
Best pro prospect: Harris
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Harris, 2) RB Andre
Brown, 3) TE Anthony Hill
Strength of the offense: Running back
Weakness of the offense:
Proven passing game
Can Marcus Stone shine in the Mark Trestman attack? He had a few
big moments last year,, but he was wildly inconsistent had major
accuracy issues. His emergence as a more polished passer should
be the difference between a good season and a great one for the
Wolfpack. Backups Daniel Evans and Mike Greco are buying time
until true freshman Justin Burke is ready to take over the
number two job.
The key to the unit: More efficient passing from
Stone. The completion percentage has to get to around 55% with
even more big plays than last year.
Quarterback Rating: 6
- Marcus Stone, Jr. - 75-154, 49%, 1,015 yds, 8 TD, 6 INT
A huge recruit for the program a few years ago, the 6-4,
236-pound junior got his shot last year when Jay Davis wasn't
getting the job done and went 5-1 with a bowl win over South
Florida. However, the team went 5-1 with Stone, not because of
him. He has the arm, he has the size, and he has the
athleticism, but he has to be far more accurate and has to show
he has a better command of the offense.
- Daniel Evans, Soph.
With a good mix of athleticism and passing arm, Evans should be
a strong second stringer. He has started to fill out his 6-2
frame a little bit and should be able the handle the offense
after a few years of practice work.
- Mike Greco, RFr.
While not the best passer around, the 6-3, 220-pound Greco can
move with enough athleticism to make the coaching staff flirt
with the idea of moving him to another spot. The left-hander
could end up at wide receiver or defensive back just to get his
combination of size and speed on the field.
- Justin Burke, Fr.
He might not be in the hunt for the starting job this year, but
he's certainly in the mix for the number two position and should
be good enough to push for the number one spot next year.
Considered one of the nation's top quarterback recruits after
throwing for a Kentucky state high school record of 62 touchdown
passes in his senior season and 120 for his career, he's the
type of passer who should grow into the perfect fit for the
NC State has few problems finding
productive young running backs, but can there be some
consistency? The powerful sophomore duo of Andre Brown and Toney
Baker should be a solid 1-2 thunder tandem, and now there needs
to be some more lightning from somewhere. The hope will be for
Jamelle Eugene to provide a little bit of dash as a third down
back as well as a third runner in the mix. Octavius Darby is a
good-looking fullback who could end up seeing time at tight end.
The key to the unit: With Brown and Baker back after
a year of experience, there needs to be a bit more overall
production. 3.4 yards per carry will be a disappointment.
Running Back Rating: 7
- Andre Brown, Soph. - 129 carries, 667 yds, 5.2 ypc, 6
TD, 7 catches, 76 yds, 10.9 ypc
The quick and powerful 232-pound sophomore did almost nothing
over the first five games of the season, and then he exploded
for 248 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Southern Miss
and 179 yards and a score against Florida State on his way to
becoming the team's leading rusher. While he's not necessarily a
home run hitter, he was able to crank out a 65-yard touchdown
dash against the Seminoles on the first play of the game. He's
also great in the classroom earning Academic All-ACC honors.
- Fullback Octavius Darby, Soph.
The second team tight end will take over the fulltime fullback
role, at least for a while, after seeing a little bit of action
in 11 games as a freshman. The 6-2, 256-pound sophomore will be
a key go-to target and should be used as a power runner in short
yardage situations. His emergence as a blocker will determine
his overall role.
- Toney Baker, Soph. - 124 carries, 546 yds, 4.4 ypc, 5 TD
Baker started out the season well as a key cog in the rotation
while also serving as a nice receiver, but he couldn't hang on
to the ball and then couldn't hang on to his playing time with
the emergence of Andre Brown. After an average four-game
stretch, he got back into the mix rushing for 65 yards against
Maryland and 93 against South Florida. At 5-10 and 228 pounds,
he's a tough between-the-tackles back with a little bit of
- Jamelle Eugene, RFr.
Originally considered to be a defensive back despite being a
star high school tailback, the 202-pound Eugene will be the
third-string tailback this year adding a bit more flash than
Andre Brown and Toney Baker. He'll end up seeing a few passes
his way just to get him into space.
- John Kane, Soph.
More of a true fullback than Octavius Darby, the 5-9, 239-pound
Kane could end up seeing plenty of action if Darby ends up
seeing time at tight end.
The receivers have the speed and the talent,
and now they need someone to steadily get them the ball. Even
with the top three pass catchers from last year gone, there's a
lot of reason to be excited with John Dunlap appearing to be
back and healthy after a torn ACL and with speedy Lamart Barrett
way overdue for a breakout year as the top target at the X.
Expect plenty of immediate help from a deep recruiting class.
277-pound tight end Anthony Hill will be playing on Sundays,
while fullback/tight end Octavius Darby might be just as good.
The key to the unit: There's no excuse to hot keep
stretching the field. Projected starting quarterback Marcus
Stone has a big arm, and this receiving corps has tremendous
Receiver Rating: 7
- Lamart Barrett, Sr. - 21 catches, 248 yds, 11.8 ypc
The 6-1, 190-pound Barrett has good size, tremendous speed, and
more experience than anyone in the receiving corps, but he's
still trying to find his way into the end zone. While he's known
for being a steady target, he has to start cranking out some big
plays as the number one man at the X.
- John Dunlap, Jr. - 4 catches, 41 yds, 10.2 ypc
A superior deep threat with excellent size at 6-2 and 210
pounds, he was never quite right last year after suffering a
torn ACL playing basketball in the 2005 off-season. If back to
pre-injury form, he has the potential to be a game-breaker at
the Z position. In 2004 he caught six passes for 116 yards.
- Tight end Anthony Hill, Jr. - 15 catches, 140 yds, 9.3
ypc, 1 TD
At 6-6 and 277 pounds, Hill is a tremendous specimen as both a
blocker and a receiver. He's not going to stretch the field too
much, but he's a steady midrange target who has turned into a
good route runner.
- Darrell Blackman, Jr. - 15 catches, 151 yds, 10.1
ypc, 1 TD, 46 carries, 203 yds, 4.4 ypc, 2 TD
Part running back, part wide receiver, Blackman will push for
the starting job at the Z position along with John Dunlap. He's
a game-breaker wherever he plays with his best use now as a
tough inside receiver with all the talent in the backfield. He
can also be used as a kick and punt returner.
- Geron James, RFr. - 2 catches, 14 yds, 1 TD
The 6-4 James has excellent speed and unreal athleticism with
the ability to jump out of the stadium. He got hurt early on
last year banging up his shoulder, but he's back, healthy, and
ready to create several mismatch problems around the goal line.
Watch for him to be used on several jump balls.
- Tight end Jacob King, Soph.
With Octavius Darby likely to spend most of his time at fullback
instead of backup tight end, the 6-2, 238-pound King could
potentially see plenty of time. While he has hands, he'll be
used mostly as a blocker if he gets some work.
It's a big line with a little bit of experience, but it has
to be better in pass protection after allowing 28 sacks last season.
Center Leroy Harris is one of the best in America with enough NFL talent
to revolve the entire line around. There's good potential among the
reserves to provide a push for the projected starters with Jon Holt and
Jerrail McCuller in a decent battle for the right tackle spot. Kalani
Heppe and Curtis Crouch are big guards who should be strong for the
ground game right off the bat with Harris cleaning everything up in the
The key to the unit: More consistency and for things
to quickly come together around Harris.
Offensive Line Rating: 6.5
- OT James Newby, Sr.
One of the line's most versatile players, the 6-5, 295-pound senior will
start against at left tackle where he has experience and decent skills,
but needs to be more consistent in pass protection. With all his past
time spend at guard, he could easily move if one of the young backup
tackles steps up and demands playing time.
- OG Kalani Heppe, Jr.
The former center turned into a decent guard last year before suffering
an injured shoulder. The 300-pound senior has bulked up a bit, and now
he has to show he can stay healthy after having problems with a broken
foot earlier in his career.
- C Leroy Harris, Sr.
By far the team's best offensive lineman and in the hunt for All-America
honors before he gets a big pay day from the big league next year, the
6-3, 300-pound senior is a perfect anchor for the line with devastating
run blocking skills and good durability despite missing four games a few
years ago with a shoulder problem. If absolutely needed, he can move
back to guard.
- OG Curtis Crouch, Soph.
A top recruit a few years ago, Crouch ended up becoming a key member of
the rotation over the second half of the season getting one start along
the way against Maryland. He has all-star potential with a little more
seasoning; he can move surprisingly well for being 6-5 and 344 pounds.
- OT Jon Holt, Sr.
Appearing to be on the verge of being a top starter after a strong
sophomore year as a reserve, the 6-6, 296-pound senior had a hard time
getting on the field last season. Now he'll get the first look at right
tackle where he'll be pushed hard for time. While he's a strong run
blocker, he has to be consistent in pass protection.
- T Jerraill McCuller, RFr.
An imposing 6-7, 342-pound behemoth, McCuller will play behind James
Newby at left tackle. He'll have to battle with JUCO transfer Garrett
Kline for the number two job, but with his size it'll be hard to keep
him off the field.
T Julian Williams, RFr.
Potentially a key cog on the line if he's finally over persistent
problems with knee injuries, he'll be a top backup at both right guard
and left tackle. At an athletic 6-5 and 295 pounds, he has the
versatility to shine at either spot.