NC State's reputation Quarterback U has grown with news that Ryan Finley has become the fourth former Wolfpack passer to earn a starting position in the NFL.
The Cincinnati Bengals announced Tuesday that the rookie fourth-round draft pick will replace long-time starter Andy Dalton in hopes of shaking the team from a dismal 0-8 start. He will take over for the Bengals' next game following this week's open date, on Nov. 10 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Finley joins Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, and Jacoby Brissett of the Indianapolis Colts as former Wolfpack quafterbacks currently leading NFL teams.
A fifth former State quarterback, Mike Glennon, is a backup with the Oakland Raiders.
"Let's go ahead and make the switch and get behind Ryan and try to go win these next couple of games," Bengals coach Zac Taylor told NFL.com of the reasoning behind the move and its timing. "This is not an easy decision to make. We're not 0-8 because of Andy. Andy has worked harder than anyone else in this building to help us win football games. Just a decision I made."
Dalton has started 128 games for the Bengals since joining the team in 2011, missing only three games because of injury in 2015. But he's thrown eight interceptions with just nine touchdown passes so far this season for a Cincinnati's offense that is ranked 25th in the league this season and has scored fewer than 20 points in each of the past three weeks.
Finley has yet to play in a regular season game for the Bengals. He completed 47 of 64 passes for 415 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in three preseason appearances.
He completed better than 60 percent of his passes for over 3,000 yards in each of his three seasons with the Wolfpack. Finley's best season came in 2018, when he completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 3,928 yards with 25 touchdowns to 11 interceptions.