Caulton Tudor

Transfer QBs helped lift Doeren's stock

Posted October 12

A few midseason football talking points.

New Deal: If there’s a lingering concern about Dave Doeren as NC State hustles to extend his contract beyond 2019, it probably has to be quarterback recruiting.

In his fifth season, Doeren has the Wolfpack (5-1, 3-0 ACC) in the national rankings, has notched two of the school’s most impressive wins since the Philip Rivers era and at least six or seven of the top players could be on NFL rosters within the next year or two.

But most of the coach’s offensive success at State has been delivered by quarterbacks who began their college careers elsewhere – Ryan Finley at Boise State and his predecessor Jacoby Brissett, who played two seasons for Florida before getting the Pack job in 2015.

Transfer players are more commonplace than ever in college football and men’s basketball, so it’s hardly need for panic. If anything, the transfer movement is likely to grow more and more as the NCAA tinkers with the rules.

There are quarterbacks on the roster behind Finley and another likely on the way in Devin Leary, a high school player in New Jersey who has committed.

No Deal: While Doeren has flourished with transfer quarterbacks, UNC Larry Fedora has used former LSU player Brandon Harris very little since the first game or two.

The Tar Heels (1-5, 0-3 ACC) are long shots to reach a bowl in Fedora’s sixth season and he obviously has an eye on the future as he turns to redshirt freshman Chazz Surratt.

When Harris announced for UNC last summer, the thought was that he would bring some much needed experience to an offense that had lost many of its key players to the NFL.

With only one touchdown pass and three interceptions, Harris likely will spend the rest of his season in short relief.

Leaders: Handicapping the ACC top awards at midseason, Doeren likely has a slight edge over Miami’s Mark Richt, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson, Virginia’s Bronco Mendenhall and last season’s winner Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente.

The top offensive player has been Finley and Wolfpack teammate Bradley Chubb is either at or very near the top on defense.

The top rookie has to be Virginia Tech redshirt freshman quarterback Josh Jackson, who has passed for 1,700 yards and 13 touchdowns.

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