By Gray Gardner.
N.C. State is in the hunt for an ACC championship after finishing 9-4 and third in the Atlantic Division a year ago. But with the departure of star quarterback Russell Wilson, the question remains: Is first-year starter Mike Glennon capable of leading his team to victories like Wilson did so well in 2010?
George Bryan certainly thinks so.
“I think Mike’s definitely capable,” Bryan said. “Russell made things happen, and Mike’s going to make things happen too.”
Bryan, the team’s offensive captain and starting tight end, has made a name for himself as a two-time All-ACC performer and 2011 preseason All-ACC team member. The senior is also a candidate for other preseason awards as an outstanding tight end. It’s needless to say that Bryan will be directly affected by the quarterback change after having success receiving passes from Wilson the previous three seasons.
But fortunately for Bryan (and the Wolfpack’s passing game as a whole), if there’s one thing about Glennon that stands out, it’s his ability as a pocket quarterback.
“He can throw the ball really well,” Bryan said. “He studies the game real well and knows defenses real good. He’s a real smart player.”
While State will certainly miss Russell Wilson’s scrambling, make plays out of nothing ability, Bryan said Glennon will still be a threat to make plays with his feet.
“It’s probably not as good, obviously as Russell was, but they’re two different quarterbacks,” he said. “But if (Glennon) needs to run he can definitely do it.”
Even so, Mike Glennon is not an outstanding runner, so protecting him will have to be a priority for the Wolfpack’s offensive line. This shouldn’t be a problem, as Bryan said the line is the most athletic he’s seen since enrolling at State.
“We definitely have some athletes on the line and they’re getting bigger and stronger,” he said. “I think they’re going to have a great year. It’s a good offensive line we have. They’re experienced more this year as well.”
Bryan hopes the offensive line’s athleticism and experience will also help the Pack’s running game in 2011, led by running back Mustafa Greene.
“I think our running game is going to be great, and you definitely have to have it to be a great team,” he said. “I think we have the offensive line to do that.”
If the N.C. State offensive line can create a powerful surge in the running game while forming a protective pocket in the passing game, quarterback Mike Glennon will have a great opportunity to be successful.
“I’m actually hoping we have a really good running game,” Bryan said, “because that will open up the passing game for Glennon.”
Where Mike Glennon is successful in the passing game, you better believe George Bryan will be successful, too. If the two are able to consistently connect, the Wolfpack should see the success they saw a year ago.