Hope and concern: NC State

The hope and concern series continues today with NC State:

Biggest reason for hope: Momentum

NC State turned the corner last year under coach Tom O’Brien, as the 9-win season tied for the school’s second-highest total for wins and was the most wins the program had seen since 2002. Those within the program are still riding the momentum from that success and some have said they feel an obligation to not only carry it on but improve upon it. Now, NC State is arguably the healthiest and deepest it has been since O’Brien was hired. Players are in positions they belong in -- not spots they’re needed in because of numbers. NC State finished 2010 with a bowl win over a ranked team and as a top 25 team. It’s a good springboard into 2011 – even without Russell Wilson.

Biggest reason for concern: Uncertainty at receiver

Aside from the kicking game, Brien said this spring that the receivers were the one position group that would be settled until fall camp, at the earliest. With a first-year starting quarterback in Mike Glennon, it will be of the utmost importance for the Wolfpack to find some dependable receivers to help Glennon out. NC State has to replace graduated starters Owen Spencer and Jarvis Williams, who combined for 112 receptions, 1,625 yards and nine touchdowns last year. T.J. Graham is the leading returner with 25 catches, but Steven Howard, Jay Smith and Quintin Payton also have experience.

More in this series: