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NC State

Wolfpack's Irving out for the season, O'Brien says

Posted August 13, 2009
Updated August 14, 2009

— N.C. State linebacker Nate Irving is out for the season, Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien said Thursday.

“He was our No. 1-rated defensive player,” O’Brien said. “When you lose your best player, it always makes an impact on the defense and makes an impact on the football team.”

Irving suffered multiple injuries in a June car accident when returning to Raleigh from his home in Wallace. O'Brien said a doctor evaluated Irving's leg Thursday.

“[The doctor] told him it's best if he sat out this year,” O’Brien said. “He still has appointments. Certainly, we're going to plan to play without him.”

O'Brien said Irving, given how mangled the car was, was lucky to be alive. He suffered a broken leg and a collapsed lung in the wreck.

Irving was traveling on I-40 West when he dozed off and ran off the road around 4:30 a.m., said  Capt. Everett Clendenin, a spokesman for the state Highway Patrol. Irving tried to regain control but the vehicle ran off the road and struck two trees.

"I remember leaving home, and I woke up in the hospital,” Irving said. "To be here today as I am now, I'm pretty blessed. And to be able to have another chance to play football later on down the road is another blessing, so I don't have any complaints."

Irving has one year of eligibility remaining after this season.

“Who knows? If we get ourselves to a January bowl, maybe six months – I think that's what they're saying – he might be there if he can play,” O’Brien said. “We're not going to put him in there just to say we played Nate Irving this year. He's got to be a functional member of the football team.”

State is scheduled to play Dwayne Maddox, a sophomore, at linebacker to replace Irving. Maddox moved into the starting lineup last season when Irving was injured in the East Carolina game, but the Wolfpack wasn't close to being the same team with Irving out.

“The positive side was [Irving’s wreck] happened before we started camp, so it gave us an opportunity to rectify that situation as best we can,” O’Brien said.

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  • uncfan1 Aug 14, 2009

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    You really are kidding - if not with me, then yourself. If you don't hear it, it's because you don't want to. And when you do, it's almost always something more serious than the marijuana, under-age drinking, or some other victimless crime charges you most frequently hear about with Carolina players.

  • uncfan1 Aug 14, 2009

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    Punching is one thing. Striking him repeately after clocking him is another. He had to be pulled off the much smaller (and unconscious) student, but not before causing a concussion and blowout fracture to the eye. Yes, he suffered tremendous tragedy, but that's no excuse for the damage he inflicted on a person who had nothing to do with it.

    That being said, I hope he has grown and learned a valuable lesson. I wish him well. Just don't be surprised if you hear of a similar incident some time in the near future.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 14, 2009

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    I doubt it. You don't hear about State players doing stuff like this very often. It seems pretty common for Carolina players. And no, I'm not joking.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 14, 2009

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    Like I said, I read it a couple of months ago. Even if the kid he punched had nothing to do with anything, his mind had to have been in a bad state after learning his mom had died of a blunt force blow to the head, had her trailer set on fire, and his little brother pulled from the blaze, lucky to be alive.

    If he punched someone after all that, I can find it in my heart to forgive him if he's grown from it now.

    TOB did his due diligence with this kid. He interviewed several people, including his ex-coaches at Georgia. The kid was re-admitted, and could be back at Georgia right now if he wanted. He chose to start over fresh, with the Wolfpack.

    If he goes on to do great things, play in the NFL, etc., I could see this being one of those heartwarming comeback stories that you see on ESPN sometimes.

  • uncfan1 Aug 14, 2009

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    I'm sure a similar list for State, encompassing 25 years or so, would be just as long, or longer.

  • uncfan1 Aug 14, 2009

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    I don't know, but I think that's a connection that exists only in your own mind. I certainly have seen nothing that suggests it.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 14, 2009

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    Just not like the thug list at Carolina.

    I can't post the link because it contains the word "unc" immediately followed by "rapsheet", and that combination happens to form a word that WRAL does not allow ("c" + "rap").

    Here's the url. I added an extra space between "unc" and "rapsheet". Delete that space from the url and it will work.

    http://carolinasucks.com/images/unc rapsheet.htm

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 14, 2009

    View quoted thread



    It is so much more than that. The guy he beat up is somehow related to the guy that shot his mom (it might be the shooter's son? I can't remember now...) I read about this back when I first found out we might be recruiting him. It's not just a case of a dude beating up another dude for talking to his woman.

  • kennywalters Aug 14, 2009

    Wow, disappointing break for the Pack defense. Really disappointing for the Irving I'm sure. Even though I'm a UNC fan, I'd rather see the young man able to play rather than being sidelined. Oh well, a medical redshirt will mean that he will hopefully be back next season better than ever.

  • joeltarheel66 Aug 14, 2009

    Man, I hate that for Irving! That guy is a beast!! Hopefully he will recover fully and it won't affect his future in football.

    And for the idiots State fans on here talking trash about arrests and thugs.... are you kidding?? State has never had a player arrested, huh?? ROFLMAO!!!

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