While we won’t be naive (and/or like Rick Reilly/Peter King/insert-your-own-cliched-columnist) and claim there’s some sort of pristine or pure honor in playing out your four years that other players just don’t get to experience, we’d still like to point out the senior players that are likely to stand out in 2012. These players have put in the time during their college careers, and now serve as the cornerstones of their respective teams’ potential success this season.
We’ll be going team-by-team in the ACC to identify the “standout senior” that’s key to his team, and why. Have a different thought on the matter? Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments.
NC State had a one-dimensional offense last season, and that fact’s not likely to change in 2012, either. And with senior quarterback Mike Glennon at the helm, maybe it doesn’t have to. In his first stint as a start in 2011, Glennon managed to throw for over 3,000 yards and toss 31 touchdowns. He led monumental comebacks and upsets, matured throughout the year and at times, capably carried the team on his shoulders. No wonder the Wolfpack are now thinking ACC Championship Game dreams…
State was horrendous on the ground in 2011, picking up nearly 104 yards per game, which was good for just 109th in all of the FBS. With an unseasoned quarterback (Glennon), that team shouldn’t have been able to win eight games. Yet, with poise and accuracy, he delivered over and over again. And now (as mentioned above), expectations have skyrocketed. There’s murmurs of top 25 potential, Glennon’s getting Heisman hype, and the QB even believes his team can win a conference championship. He’s the unquestioned leader, and he’ll willingly acknowledge that fact. So can anything slow him (or the ‘Pack) down?
Well, for one, he’s lost top target T.J. Graham to the NFL, which could pose a problem. Plus, now that teams have read the book on Glennon, he comes into the season as a known commodity. Prepping for him in year two becomes an easier task for defenses, especially without a running game in place. So while Glennon has the potential to deliver in ’12, it may be up to fellow senior, RB James Washington to see if he makes good on it. Should State get a solid ground game going, it’ll open things up for the pass, allowing Glennon to do what he does best: throw the ball downfield.
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