The first entry in our eight-part positional breakdown examines NC State’s two divisions of quarterbacks: Russell Wilson, and everyone else. Tomorrow we’ll talk about running the ball in a backfield without Toney Baker or Jamelle Eugene. Receivers and the offensive line will follow in short order; defense and special teams write-ups are due next week.
|QB||Russell Wilson||5-11, 201||RS Jr||23||’09: 378 Att (59.3%), 8.01 YPA, 3027, 31/11|
|QB||Tyler Brosius||6-3, 233||Fr||0||Three-star recruit (Scout.com)|
|QB||Mike Glennon||6-6, 217||RS So||0||’09: 39 Att (61.5%), 6.36 YPA, 248, 1/2|
|QB||Daniel Imhoff||6-0, 202||Sr||0||’09: 1 Att|
In Russell Wilson, NC State enters the 2010 season with a dependable, experienced signal caller for the first time since Philip Rivers’ senior campaign, seven years ago. After winning the 2008 ACC Rookie of the Year award and a nod as the All-ACC first team QB, Wilson’s passing stats were all upped significantly in 2009, with the exception of an impossible-to-top interception rate.
Helped by an experienced receiving duo in Owen Spencer and Jarvis Williams, and a breakout season from tight end George Bryan, Wilson’s yards-per-attempt average of 8.01 yards was an increase of a full yard from his freshman season — Jacory Harris was the only QB in the conference with more attempts and a higher average. Likewise, Wilson’s completion percentage jumped nearly five points to 59.3%, good for 6th in the ACC.
A professional baseball player in his free time, Wilson’s athleticism has led him to be known as much for escaping the pocket as for throwing from within it. His rushing statistics were hindered a bit last season by an unreliable offensive line that allowed 30 sacks and lacked the athleticism to make downfield blocks. Still, he found the end zone four times on the ground, matching his 2008 total.
The biggest question facing Wilson in his third and likely final season in Raleigh is how well he adjusts to full-speed football after spending his spring and summer focusing on baseball. Following a previously agreed-to plan with Tom O’Brien, Wilson concentrated his efforts on the Wolfpack baseball team (and subsequently the Colorado Rockies short-season Tri-City club), missing all of spring practice. Having missed part of the previous spring due to baseball without showing any ill effects, the concerns don’t lie on learning the offense (he has) or establishing a rapport with his teammates (he has), but rather on the consequences of playing two sports at a very high level for nearly three calendar years. Any cummulative fatigue or nagging injuries could be realized at the most inopportune of times.
Should Wilson find himself unfit to play at any point this season, the Wolfpack have the highly-rated but still untested Mike Glennon waiting on the sidelines. Glennon saw limited action last season, almost exclusively in a mop-up role. His steady but unspectacular progression in practice has left us with little news to report. Known for his height, his plus accuracy, and his cannon arm, Glennon represents an entirely different flavor of quarterback than Wilson — and, with limited mobility, one that is much more reliant on a solid offensive line. If things go according to plan, he should get a significant number of snaps in the opener against Western Carolina (along with career third-stringer Daniel Imhoff) before returning to clipboard duty.
There’s no doubt that Glennon has been groomed to take over the role in the future — whenever that may come — but he appears to have the physical attributes and skills to ease into the spot if needed. The time he spent taking snaps with the first team offense during Wilson’s time on the diamond can’t be neglected, either.
The last man on the depth chart is freshman Tyler Brosius. At 6′ 3″, 233 lbs., he’s a big-frame guy out of Waynesville, rated at three stars by Scout.com. Notably, he had offers from Maryland, Pittsburgh, UCF and Virginia. With three experienced QBs ahead of him, a redshirt isn’t out of the question.