RALEIGH – N.C. State’s Jacoby Brissett sat at a table in the corner of Carter-Finley Stadium on Sunday with a flock of reporters and microphones in his face.
Brissett – the Wolfpack’s starting quarterback – was the man everyone wanted to see at N.C. State’s media day, and for good reason.
The Florida transfer fielded questions about his maturity and his development, and also talked about what it was like to sit out for a season.
But what the redshirt junior didn’t discuss, was the pressure he’ll face when the Wolfpack opens the season Aug. 30 against Georgia Southern.
Brissett has yet to take a snap in a N.C. State uniform, but he’s already viewed as the Wolfpack’s key to rebounding from a disappointing 3-9 season.
N.C. State coach Dave Doeren disagrees.
“I said it from the start. It’s nice to have a guy like Jacoby back there, but it’s not his job to make all of the plays,” Doeren said.
Doeren explained that if the Wolfpack is to turn things around in a year two, it will be because of the team’s depth on offense, not because of Brissett.
For the first time since Doeren arrived in Raleigh, the Wolfpack has seven healthy receivers and a trio of running backs ready to play.
Doeren called the number of bodies a luxury.
“We did not have that last year,” Doeren said. “We feel a lot better just about what we have at those positions to help Jacoby, because he can’t do it by himself, and we’re not going to ask him too.”
Veteran wide receiver Bryan Underwood has picked up where he left off after missing five games last season with a broken collarbone.
He’s joined in the receiving rotation by true freshmen Stephen Louis and Bo Hines.
Both Louis and Hines are part of a N.C. State recruiting class that could see upwards of 15 players on the field this season.
Brissett, who started three games in two years at Florida, said he already noticed a difference on the practice fields, which will only help.
“We just have a plethora of good players,” Brissett said. “It’s been (guys) just stepping up left and right everyday in camp, making plays.
“It’s pretty much making my job easier, a lot easier.”
Taking the load off Brissett will be critical this season. Brissett feels that if he and the other leaders on the team can keep the Wolfpack focused, then N.C. State has a chance at competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference and not settling for another losing season.
“Everybody saw the outcome last year and just the lack of leadership in general,” Brissett said. “[Now] you can see players growing and maturing and that’s helping not just me, but the team.”