Apr 8, 2013
When a successful starting quarterback leaves a program, the top storyline in spring practice becomes obvious. Now that Mike Glennon has moved on from NC State, new head coach Dave Doeren has an open battle to fill the signal-calling position.
The arms race is essentially a two-man competition between sophomore Manny Stocker and Colorado State University transfer Pete Thomas. Each has been working with the starting units in spring camp and each has a different set of strengths to offer the Pack at the position.
“We are definitely two different types of quarterbacks, but the offense is tailored to whoever the quarterback is,” Stocker said. “If he (Thomas) is the quarterback, then certain plays will be tailored to him and he can run certain plays. If I’m the quarterback, then I will run other plays that he wouldn’t run. But whoever wins the job, that’s who the offense is going to be tailored to.”
Regardless of who does get the No. 1 nod, the NC State offense is expected to look very different under Doeren. The first-year coach from Northern Illinois favors a faster tempo with more read-option looks and hurry-up situations.
“It’s definitely a challenge, but as a quarterback, that’s what you need to do,” Thomas said. “You need to not only know what you are doing on every play but also know what everyone else is doing on every play and you need to lead them at the same time.”
Through the first handful of workouts, the edge appears to belong to Thomas, although Doeren is in no rush to fill out the depth chart.
“Pete is making progress pretty steadily and Manny is still struggling with some things,” Doeren said. “But one guy is older than the other so it’s a little bit expected.”
Thomas graduated from Valhalla High School in El Cajon, Calif. early to enroll at Colorado State where he was a two-year starter. He threw for 4,269 yards and 18 touchdowns in that span but also tossed 21 interceptions.
“I think competition makes everyone better,” Stocker said. “The more competition there is, I think the better whoever the quarterback is, is going to be.”
NC State still has time to make the ultimate decision. The Wolfpack open their season Aug. 31 against Louisiana Tech.