The North Carolina State football team finished 9-3 last season. Which upperclassmen need to step up for the Wolfpack to contend in 2022?
The North Carolina State football program had one of the better seasons under head coach Dave Doeren. Last season was the third nine-win season under Doeren, and the second season the Wolfpack finished in the top 25.
North Carolina State football defeated Clemson in the Textile Bowl for the first time since 2011 and finished second in the ACC Atlantic. That said, last season was close to being magical for the Wolfpack. Four points separated ‘State from being undefeated in the ACC and playing for the conference title.
A one-point loss to Miami and a three-point loss to Wake Forest cost the Wolfpack its first 10-win season since 2002 and argued that the Wolfpack belonged in the College Football Playoff.
This season, North Carolina State could be in the mix for the ACC title if the defense plays as well as it did and Devin Leary continues to play at an all-conference level.
Coach Doeren and his staff have to find replacements for the one-two punch of Zonovan Knight and Ricky Pearson at running back and wide receiver Emeka Emezie, tackling Ikem Ekwonu.
Fortunately, most of the defense returns next season, including linebacker Isaiah Moore who returns from injury. Moore is not the only upperclassman who the Wolfpack needs to play well. Here are three who need to step up this fall.