High Expectations For The Deep And Talented Receiving Body Of Football Pack | Sports
Last year was a good, not a great year for NC State’s receiving corps. This year, however, with the Wolfpack’s top five receivers from last season, Leary in good health, and Beck’s offense firmly cemented, the wide receiver body will play a central role in the success of this offense.
“I think last year Coach Beck was still trying to figure out his staff,” said junior wide receiver Thayer Thomas. “Even though I was here a few years, bringing his new offense, he just wanted to see who his playmakers were. So I think he has an idea now, so it’s more about sorting out the little things. here and there, instead of trying to find the staff. This makes it much easier to just focus on the little things and get better every day. “
With the squad now having a year of Beck’s offense under their belt, receivers are acclimating to yet another new coach, with the Wolfpack calling on Joker Phillips as wide receivers coach during the offseason. McDonald’s replacement came as a surprise, but after six years with the team, having a new face in the receiver room will have its perks.
“[Coach McDonald] even told me, ‘I can’t do much for you,’ ”said Thomas. “Change is always good because I think it can help someone thrive. … I like the way [Joker’s] come in and just embraced his role. He understands that there is a group of veterans and also a group of young people. He gave the power to the players to really coach the young group. And he trusts older guys.
Led by the trio of Thomas, Carter and senior Emeka Emezie, the Wolfpack squad are supported by a large group of other receivers who can contribute solid numbers. One of those receivers is first-year wide receiver Porter Rooks.
In 2020, Rooks racked up nearly 300 yards on 24 receptions, solid numbers for a freshman trapped behind the impressive trio of Thomas, Carter and Emezie. With good speed and strong hands, Rooks will be a versatile option for the Wolfpack this season.
“My first year has been a good year,” Rooks said. “It’s just something to build from. There is no reason to be complacent at all. But this season, I feel like I just want to stretch the pitch a bit more, gain the upper hand on the defense, show my speed. I feel like it’s a bit underestimated.
With four solid options and a few other veterans and young guys who can contribute when needed, the receiving corps are deeply engaged in the 2021 season.
“Obviously when I got here, my first year in the red shirt, it was a very close and strong group,” said Thomas. “I would say it’s the greatest depth we’ve had. I look back around the room, we have about 21 guys, and 15 guys could go out right now. It’s really deep, a lot of competition.
With a history of potent receptors in recent years, the group has a long way to go and Phillips is ready to help this group continue the established culture of dominant wide receptors at NC State.
“My feeling for the culture is that it’s a competitive culture in my bedroom,” Phillips said. “There are plenty of us and talented at the top, and they’ve recruited talent into the class. … My expectation is that I continue this. To continue the great tradition of wide receivers. I have been very successful in this position, coach in this position, also in the past, but you better have talent. And there is talent here.
Although not here for a long time, Phillips has already had a significant impact on players.
“It’s been great with Joker,” said second-year red shirt wide receiver Devin Carter. “He’s a great coach. He is very involved and he is very sympathetic. He wants to know everyone’s name. Not just in the reception hall. He wants to know everyone’s name. He is a very good person, I love him.
With the players becoming more comfortable with Beck’s offense, plenty of returning talent and a new coaching position bringing new ideas to the program, the Wolfpack’s receiving corps is set to have a big year.