NC State DE Bradley Chubb on his return to school, hopes for 2017

NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb announced earlier this week that he would return to school for his senior season, a huge win for the Wolfpack considering the strides he made in 2016. Chubb finished the year with 10.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss, tied with Boston College’s Harold Landry for No. 4 in the nation.

NC State returns to class on Monday, and Chubb is eager to get started. He shared what went into his decision in a recent phone interview with ESPN.com.

Why did you decide to stay?

BC: I just felt like it was best for me. Throughout the whole decision I prayed about it, talked with my family about it a lot, and we just agreed that it was best for me to stay. I feel like I still have some things to work on. I’m still excited about my decision. I can’t wait to get back on campus.

Where can you get better?

BC: I still feel like I can become a better pass-rusher. I know I can get stronger and faster. I can’t wait to work on them throughout this offseason.

What grade did you get from the NFL draft advisory board?

BC: It was a second- or third-round grade. I want to go as high as possible. I still feel like this year I could have come out and had a lot of success, but I just want to go as high as possible and work on the things I need to work on and hopefully those get me to where I need to be.

Defensive end was a strong position across the country. Several underclassmen such as Myles Garrett, Solomon Thomas and Derek Barnett announced they were turning pro, joining an already strong group. Did any of that influence your decision?

BC: I definitely saw who was coming out, but I didn’t really pay attention. I didn’t base my decision off who was coming out.

Were there any moments where you were unsure about what you wanted to do?

BC: I definitely went back and forth with it, but I just prayed about it. There was a week or so that I didn’t think about it at all, trying to get my mind off it as much as possible, and then one day it came to me. I felt like it was best for me to stay and that’s what I chose to do.

Your older brother, Brandon, just finished his first year in the NFL. Did he give you any words of advice?

BC: He was just saying either way he was going to be proud of me. It’s not like he wanted me to lean toward one thing. He said it was my decision and he was going to be happy either way.

So what do you want to do in the weight room to get yourself bigger, stronger and faster?

BC: I’m not trying to gain weight as much as I was last year. Just maintaining my body, making sure everything becomes stronger in spots you wouldn’t really think of like ankle mobility, joint mobility, becoming a lot more flexible because I feel that could help me a lot. Just do the little things that helped prepare me for this past season, like eating right, taking care of my body and watching more film.

Your team returns 16 starters, including everyone on the defensive line. You came so close in several games this year that ended in heartbreak. What is the mindset headed into 2017 knowing you return a veteran team with the ability to win more games?

BC: The mindset is just to finish. I feel like in every game we were in this year, we had the game won, it was just the fact that we didn’t finish, so it’s definitely going to be a thing throughout the whole offseason and hopefully we’ll learn it by the season and have a great season.