Attack of the Future

National Signing Day for college football came and went this week and along with it came clear indicators of Dave Doeren’s plans for the Wolfpack’s future offensive attack. Highlighted by a pair of in-state, four star running backs, Doeren planted his flag firmly in staking his claim on in-state recruiting and a run-heavy offensive attack. Garner High School’s Nyheim Hines and Princeton High School’s Johnny Frasier highlight an incoming class that also features several solid offensive lineman. Obviously, the recruiting trail was blazed long before the Wolfpack’s late 2014 success; but that success, propelled by a run-first, throw-when-you-must attack, validates the recruiting strategy and should offer Wolfpack fans a mild dose of cautious optimism.

I’ve never been one to get sucked into recruiting season, favoring the dose of reality that comes in the fall over the pie-in-the-sky hope of less-than-perfect recruiting ratings systems. You can throw all the stars that you want at a player, but the player still has to play and the coach still has to coach. That said, I was drawn into this year’s hoopla by the mild national attention that a running back from my former high school received, even going so far as to watch the press conference announcing his commitment.

Taking the long view, I’m excited about the direction of NC State football. We have a young, enthusiastic coach who has tasted success and seems hungry for more. I just hope the university gives him time to grow and develop, just as many patient coaches work so hard to do with their young players.

Photo Credit: “Carter-Finley Stadium 1” by SMaloneyOwn work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Short Range Vision

Kirk Goldsberry, writing for Grantland, on former Wolfpack star T.J. Warren:

Despite his obvious scoring prowess, it’s how and where he scores that make him so intriguing. Warren is a true throwback, scoring in ways and in places that the league has largely forsaken.

That’s from Goldsberry’s seemingly optimistic introduction. Goldsberry takes a sharp turn toward reality in his conclusion:

As a small forward trying to find a place in today’s NBA, it doesn’t bode well for Warren that he made just 17 of 88 shots (19 percent) beyond 16 feet last season. For him to maximize his value, Warren will not only have to continue his success close to the hoop, he’ll also have to improve both his frequency and his efficiency out on the perimeter.

I don’t disagree with Goldsberry’s assessment; I just hope the “short” commentary surrounding Warren turns out a lot like the commentary surrounding another former Wolfpack athlete.