Nate Irving ready to return from car accident
Posted June 23, 2010
Nate Irving has come a long way in one year. Last year at this time, he was recovering from a major car accident that left him hospitalized and out for the season. A long year of rehab and a tough year out of football and a major core member of the NC State defense is finally ready to be back on the field.
Irving joined the Insiders Mike Maniscalco and Mark Thomas on 620 the Buzz to talk about his year away from the game and eagerness to get back on the field. Irving said, "I just couldn't sit around and do nothing, and watch football, and watch football at the stadium and not be a part of it." He added, "When I saw my coaches and teammates I just wanted to work out, I was doing slight rehab in the hospital. It just made me want to come back."
But Irving is rehabbed and ready to don the #56 jersey for the Wolfpack next season. After suffering severe injuries in a car accident; a broken leg, collapsed lung and rib injuries and a long year of rehab, Irving is back and ready to join up with his new linebackers coach John Tenuta. Irving said he's still getting used to Tenuta's coaching style saying that "His style is a bit different than what I'm used to, but he's a great coach and knows the game football through and through."
It's hard to find a word to describe how it feels to be back. "Happy would be an understatement since I've sat out from the game for a year, but I can't really find a good word to say how I feel and how excited I am to come back to the game." Irving talked about taking the little things in football for granted and how not being able to participate in conditioning drills and practices made him a little hungrier for this season and training. "Adversity is going to strike, it is just how you answer the call. It will happen to everyone, nothing ever sticks to the script so you just have to pick it up and go on the fly."
Irving makes it back to the field with the Wolfpack for their first game on September 4th against Western Carolina at Carter-Finley Stadium for the first game of his Redshirt-Senior season, and expectations are high, particularly for the NC State defense. "I understand that the expectations are big, and I'll do my job just like I have done before and hopefully I can make an impact. I'm not really vocal off the field, but on the field that changes and I'm probably the most vocal guy on the field."
NC State missed Irving's presence in the middle of the Wolfpack defense last season, and his return will certainly provide some great leadership on the defensive side in addition to incredible play-making ability. The leadership is not in question, but for all NC State fans, and college football fans in general, you have to hope Irving is still the #56 we saw two seasons ago, if not better.