I love you, Emeka – Backing The Pack
It’s 2:00 am here in Raleigh and I’m still not getting off the high tonight. I made a commitment to take my daughter to a birthday party tomorrow to a location where I will have to check with my wife in the morning for the exact location (Dad of the Year here), but all I know is is that it’s something like 45 minutes away and we – ie my daughter and I – have to be there at 9:00 am. By the grace of God and the force of an unhealthy and surely uncomfortable amount of caffeine, I’m going to get there despite waking up so late, as this is an article that must and must be written.
I love you, Emeka.
Emeka Emezie is quite simply a fan favorite of the Wolfpack. There are players who pull the heartstrings of the faithful of the pack for a number of reasons: they display supernatural numbers in one-season Herculean efforts, or maybe they are good stories. be, or maybe they are inherited guys.
Emeka is none of those.
He’s a guy who just puts in the hard work and puts everything in the field for his team. He’s not flashy, which doesn’t mean he doesn’t perform very good plays, but rather … well, let me just say that when the most self-centered thing is what a guy does is bow to the fans after a touchdown, it’s just an amazing display of insight into the type of person a person is.
After a first year that showed potential (and featured a piece that we won’t relate to here because that’s not the point at the moment and we all know he was in the end zone, okay blood!), but eventually saw him used primarily as a depth piece on a deep receiving body, Emezie saw his role shift to third receiver as a second student on another deep receiving team.
He produced. He looked good. The expectations were high.
Emeka entered his junior year, the 2019 season, as the undisputed top receiver of the Wolfpack. He was expected to immediately follow in the footsteps of Kelvin Harmon and Jakobi Meyers to be the next NC state receiver to go over 1,000 yards in one season and move on to the NFL.
We all know that’s not how the 2019 season went. Due to injuries, bad game decisions, bad luck and a number of other things, this season has gone off the rails. Emeka has led the team when it comes to receiving, but it’s not something most hang on to when everything else is going so badly. Especially when people were looking for something and someone to blame for the lack of notches in the win column and poor offensive play on the pitch.
That’s when a less courageous person would have given in. The opportunity was there to let the situation beat him and become an afterthought as he played his career channel Wolfpack. Or he could have packed his bags and left the ship to go somewhere else for a fresh start.
Not Emeka. Dude just went to work.
He returned to Raleigh to lead the resurgent offense receiving corps that led a resurgent 2020 Wolfpack team. The team overturned their record. They have won seven ACC games while Emeka has managed things like this:
With her name firmly on the record books and her diploma in her pocket, Emeka had the opportunity to leave Raleigh and pursue the dreams of the NFL. The NCAA, however, offered a chance for Emeka and other players in her predicament to come back for another year. It was how the NCAA displayed goodwill – a rare move for this organization – for players facing the madness of 2020.
Emeka returned. A man on a mission.
And what a mission it has been.
He helped the Wolfpack break a losing streak against Clemson by doing things like this:
And tonight he helped organize one of the craziest and most unlikely comebacks in Wolfpack history. And it was against UNC, nothing less.
He is a man who has fought hard in the Red & White for the past five years. He fought through the lows, continuing to improve himself and his team, so now he has the opportunity to experience the highs. These monumental and memorable victories that he greatly helped bring to life bear witness to his work during his stay here.
His single-season numbers aren’t going to break records, but his determination, hard work, and clutch-play ability make him the third player in NC State history to exceed 3,000 career yards. .
Oh yeah – and he happens to already hold that career receiving record. It doesn’t happen by accident.
Luckily, we have yet another game (maybe two?) For Emezie to enter the field for State. More chances for him to do “not at all, how the hell did he catch that ?!” snags. More chances for him to leave the defenders face down and wondering the same thing.
Let’s take advantage of it.
So if your kid is having a birthday party in the greater Raleigh area tomorrow morning – or if your kid attends it – and you see a nervous dude walking around dressed in North Carolina State gear and look / act a bit too much like that for a random toddler birthday party on Saturday morning, I apologize in advance.
Just know it’s because I love NC State, and I love Emeka. And me
think know that you should too.