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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: North Carolina State
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  North Carolina State blocked Alex Barbir's 39-yard field goal attempt with 1:18 left to beat No. 21 Liberty 15-14 on Saturday night, handing the Flames their first loss this season. Liberty (8-1) was trying to earn a third win against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent this year, all on the road. The Flames had their shot to extend the best start in program history, too, putting together a drive to give Barbir - who had kicked a 51-yard field goal to beat Virginia Tech earlier this season - a shot at the lead. But Vi Jones deflected the kick to set off a celebration for the Wolfpack (6-3), who moved the chains once more to run out the clock and seal a win on a tough night for both offenses. Zonovan Knight ran for two touchdowns to lead N.C. State, including the go-ahead 4-yard score with 6:53 left. That play was set up by a diving interception from true freshman reserve Aydan White. Knight also had a first-half touchdown run and ran for 96 yards on the night, while Ricky Person Jr. added 83 yards - part of a 167-yard rushing effort that largely had to carry the Wolfpack's offense with Bailey Hockman getting nothing going consistently in the passing game. Malik Willis threw for 172 yards and two touchdowns for Liberty but had three interceptions, two coming in the fourth quarter. He also ran for 44 yards as the Flames managed just 279 total yards. - AP College/North Carolina State Football

(DS#52 OLB) rJr/2022 OLB Vi JonesNorth Carolina State
News Source: AP College/North Carolina State Football
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  Former McNeese cornerback Darion Dunn announced he's transferring to North Carolina State University of the ACC. Dunn made the announcement via his Twitter.- KPLCTV

(DS#54 CB) rSr/2022 CB Darion DunnNorth Carolina State
News Source: KPLC TV
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  Bailey Hockman threw for three touchdowns and ran for another against his former team as North Carolina State defeated Florida State 38-22 on Saturday night. Hockman, who began his collegiate career in 2017 at Florida State, was 24-for-34 for 265 yards and an interception. Thayer Thomas, a redshirt senior, made a career-high 11 catches for a career-best 135 yards and two touchdowns. NC State (5-3, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped a two-game skid. Freshman Chubba Purdy got his first career start for Florida State, completing 15 of 23 passes for 181 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns. The Seminoles (2-6, 1-6) have lost three straight games since upsetting then-No. 5 North Carolina. - AP College Football

(DS#37 QB) rJr/2022 QB Bailey HockmanNorth Carolina State
News Source: AP College Football
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  NOV 9 ACC SPECIALIST OF THE WEEK: Zonovan Knight, NC State, So., RB, Bailey, N.C.,...Returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in Friday night's 44-41 loss to No. 11 Miami...Only the fourth player in school history to return a kickoff 100 yards (Nyheim Hines twice, TJ Graham, Tobais Palmer)...Also rushed for 45 yards and another score. - Atlantic Coast Conference Football

(DS#14 RB) So/2023 RB Zonovan KnightNorth Carolina State
News Source: Atlantic Coast Conference Football
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  Bailey Hockman needs no introduction. The redshirt junior quarterback has played in several games so far at N.C. State. But with the emergence of redshirt sophomore quarterback Devin Leary, who has started the Wolfpack's last three games, it looked like Hockman could be a reserve the rest of the season. However, after Leary was carted off the field in the second half of N.C State's win over Duke on Saturday and had surgery to repair his fibula the next day, Hockman will be back on the field for the Wolfpack. Leary is expected to miss 4-8 weeks to recover and coach Dave Doeren said he doesn't anticipate him returning this year.

Hockman, who's 6-2 and 200 pounds and is from Powder Springs, Ga., started two games in 2019 and the first two games of the 2020 season. He'll now be the starter Saturday when the No. 23 Wolfpack (4-1, 4-1 ACC) heads to Chapel Hill (3-1, 3-1) to face off with No. 14 UNC. "I can't say enough about guys who stepped up in their roles," Doeren said. Hockman entered the game against Duke after Leary was injured. N.C. State was up by one. Hockman led the team on a scoring drive, tossing a nine-yard touchdown to redshirt junior wide receiver Thayer Thomas to start the fourth quarter. Hockman only threw seven passes against the Blue Devils, completing four, for 43 yards as N.C. State relied on the run game with a double-digit lead late in the game. Against the Tar Heels, though, much more will be expected of Hockman, who has appeared in 10 games for the Wolfpack, with mixed results. - Raleigh News Observer


(DS#37 QB) rJr/2022 QB Bailey HockmanNorth Carolina State
News Source: Raleigh News Observer
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  OCT 19 ACC CO-OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Ikem Ekwonu, NC State, So., LT, Charlotte, N.C.,...Logged 72 gradable snaps while playing left tackle in the Wolfpack's 31-20 win over Duke after playing the previous four games at right guard...Had five knockdown blocks on the day to bring his season total to 26...Graded 90 percent for the night and did not allow a hurry, a hit or a sack. - Atlantic Coast Conference Football

(DS#7 OG) So/2023 OG Ikem EkwonuNorth Carolina State
News Source: Atlantic Coast Conference Football
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  OCT 19 ACC LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Payton Wilson, NC State, So., LB, Hillsborough, N.C.,...Pulled down two interceptions in NC State's 31-20 win over Duke on Saturday...First Wolfpack player with a pair of interceptions in a game since Jerod Fernandez picked off No. 1 Florida State twice in the 2014 matchup...Wilson's second pick of the night came with the Wolfpack down 20-14 in the third quarter and set up the go-ahead touchdown...Finished with a team-high 19 tackles, the most for a Pack player since Earl Wolff had 19 vs. Clemson in 2012...Currently leading the ACC and ranks sixth in the FBS in tackles per game (11.0). - Atlantic Coast Conference Football

(DS#15 OLB) rSo/2023 OLB Payton WilsonNorth Carolina State
News Source: Atlantic Coast Conference Football
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  Starting quarterback Devin Leary could miss the rest of the regular season for No. 23 North Carolina State after having surgery Sunday for a leg injury suffered in a win against Duke. In a post on the program's Twitter account, the school said Leary had surgery a day after breaking the fibula bone in his left leg. He is expected to miss four to eight weeks. N.C. State (4-1, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) is halfway through its league schedule, with a nonconference game against Liberty and an open week still ahead. Entering the Duke game, Leary had won two consecutive road games since retaking his starting job lost due to missed preseason workouts from COVID-19 contact tracing. But he was knocked from Saturday's game after taking a hard hit on a keeper from Duke's Lummie Young IV - who was ejected for targeting - and Leary's leg bent awkwardly beneath him.

He offered a thumbs-up while being carted off with 55 seconds left in the third quarter. He later returned to the sideline on crutches and wearing a protective boot. Bailey Hockman, who started the first two games, played in relief of Leary. N.C. State, which entered the AP Top 25 on Sunday, visits rival North Carolina next Saturday. The 14th-ranked Tar Heels fell nine spots after Saturday night's loss at unranked Florida State. It will be the first meeting with both teams ranked in the poll since 1993. - AP College Football


(DS#35 QB) rSo/2023 QB Devin LearyNorth Carolina State
News Source: AP College Football
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  Cary Angeline and Thayer Thomas had second-half touchdown catches to help North Carolina State beat Duke 31-20 on Saturday despite losing starting quarterback Devin Leary to injury. Angeline's 4-yard scoring catch put the Wolfpack up for good late in the third quarter. Then Thomas added a highlight-reel grab early in the fourth, somehow snagging a 9-yard pass with his right hand and pinning the ball to his helmet while being knocked out of the end zone. N.C. State (4-1, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) got another strong performance from its defense, which surrendered one offensive touchdown while coming up with a goal-line stand for the third straight week. This time, N.C. State regrouped after a bumpy first half that included deficits of 10-0 and 17-7, as well as eight penalties for 106 yards. The Wolfpack cleaned up those mistakes to go ahead in the third, though that's when Leary was carted off with an injury to his lower left leg. - North Carolina State/AP College Football

(DS#6 TE) rSr/2021 TE Cary AngelineNorth Carolina State
News Source: North Carolina State/AP College Football
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  Leary's injury comes after he had won two straight road games since retaking his starting job lost due to missed preseason workouts from contact tracing. He took a hard hit on a keeper from Duke's Lummie Young IV - who was ejected for targeting - and Leary's leg bent awkwardly beneath him with 55 seconds left in the third. He offered thumbs-up while being carted off, then later returned to the sideline on crutches and wearing a protective boot. Doeren didn't offer specifics on Leary's injury, saying: "It doesn't look like we'll have him for a while." - AP College Football

(DS#35 QB) rSo/2023 QB Devin LearyNorth Carolina State
News Source: AP College Football
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  Devin Leary got North Carolina State off to a fast start with two first-quarter touchdown passes and the Wolfpack's defense forced four turnovers and blocked a punt in a 38-21 victory against Virginia on Saturday. Zonovan Knight ran for 101 yards and two scores, leading a balanced offense that picked up 179 yards on the ground and 184 through the air. Leary hit Trent Pennix with a 5-yard scoring pass and Cary Angeline with a 32-yarder as the Wolfpack (3-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) built a 24-0 lead in the first half. Knight scored on runs of 35 and 2 yards, the latter score cementing the victory with 1:49 to play. The meeting was just the second between the teams since 2012 and the Cavaliers (1-2, 1-2) proved generous hosts. They threw three interceptions, lost a fumble and had a punt blocked. Alim McNeill returned one of the interceptions 18 yards for a touchdown. Leary was 11 for 25 for 184 yards and one interception. Virginia also lost quarterback Brennan Armstrong to an injury late in the first half and turned to seldom-used senior Lindell Stone, who finished 30 of 53 for 240 yards. - North Carolina State/AP College Football

(DS#35 QB) rSo/2023 QB Devin LearyNorth Carolina State
News Source: North Carolina State/AP College Football
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  Leary wasn't just throwing lasers, but he was getting rid of the ball quickly, spreading it around, keeping Pittsburgh at bay. It was the kind of command that Wolfpack fans expect at that position, alongside the likes of Phillip Rivers, Russell Wilson, Mike Glennon, Ryan Finley and Jacoby Brissett, all former N.C. State quarterbacks on NFL rosters. "He's always had it," Emezie said about Leary. It is the arm talent, but it's also the mental part of the game. Take the game-winning score for example. Emezie said that wasn't even the play drawn up, but Leary saw something in the defense he liked, told the coaches and they went with it. "Coach having faith in him, him having faith in me," Emezie said. "That was just a blessing right there. He's so confident in himself, he's just a confident player." - Raleigh News Observer

(DS#35 QB) rSo/2023 QB Devin LearyNorth Carolina State
News Source: Raleigh News Observer
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  N.C. State went on the road and won an ACC game for the first time since 2018, 30-29 over Pittsburgh, behind a big day from quarterback Devin Leary. The Wolfpack trailed by five with 1:44 remaining and went 80 yards to shock No. 24 Pittsburgh. It was Dave Doeren's first win over a ranked opponent since the 2017 season. N.C. State (2-1, 2-1) also snapped a six-game road losing streak. The Wolfpack jumped out to a 10-point lead and trailed late, but Leary saved the day with his heroics on the final drive. Leary threw four touchdown passes, including a dime to Emeka Emezie with 23 seconds remaining in the game in his first start. He finished with 336 yards and was 6 of 8 on the last drive, taking the team 80 yards with 1:44 remaining. Leary led the team to three straight scoring drives to start the game. - Raleigh News Observer

(DS#35 QB) rSo/2023 QB Devin LearyNorth Carolina State
News Source: Raleigh News Observer
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  Former Marvin Ridge High star Emeka Emezie had one of the biggest catches of his career Saturday, which helped N.C. State rally to beat nationally ranked Pittsburgh on Saturday. Emezie, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior, caught a touchdown pass from Devin Leary with 25 seconds left in the Wolfpack's 30-29 win over No. 24 Pitt. It was Leary's fourth touchdown pass of the day and came after the Wolfpack converted a fourth-and-9 earlier in the drive, which covered 79 yards on eight plays in just 81 seconds. Emekie's catch - and Leary's back-shoulder throw - helped N.C. State bounce back from an embarrassing 45-24 loss at Virginia Tech last week. Emezie, whose parents are from Nigeria, finished with seven catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns. - Raleigh News Observer

(DS#70 WR) Sr/2021 WR Emeka EmezieNorth Carolina State
News Source: Raleigh News Observer
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  OCT 5 ACC QUARTERBACK OF THE WEEK: Devin Leary, NC State, So., QB, Sicklerville, N.J.,...Led NC State to a 30-29 road win at No. 24 Pitt on Saturday...Completed 28 of 44 passes for a career-high 336 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winning TD with 23 seconds remaining...First Wolfpack quarterback since Russell Wilson in 2009 to finish a game with 330-plus passing yards, four touchdown passes and no interceptions...Engineered Saturday's game-winning drive that began at NC State's 25-yard line with 1:44 on the clock and no timeouts remaining. - Atlantic Coast Conference Football

(DS#35 QB) rSo/2023 QB Devin LearyNorth Carolina State
News Source: Atlantic Coast Conference Football
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