NC State All-Decade Defense

Brett Friedlander

With NC State left out of the bowls this season, the book can officially be closed on its football history for the decade of the 2010s.

It's been an eventful 10 seasons, with some high highs and -- as was the case this year -- some disappointing lows. Along the way, some unforgettable players suited up for the Wolfpack.

In honor of their achievements, SI Wolfpack Maven has compiled a list of the best of the best at each position in the form of an All-Decade team for the 2010s.

Here is the defense:

Defensive end

Bradley Chubb (2014-17): After beginning his career as a linebacker who saw action in 11 games on special teams, Chubb blossomed after being moved to end as a sophomore when he finished second on the team with 69 tackles and 5.5 sacks. He became a full-fledged star during his final two seasons on the way to school career records of 26 sacks and 60 tackles for loss. Not only was Chubb the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2017, he also earned national honors by winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Ted Hendricks Award as the best defensive player in college football before the Denver Broncos selected him as the No. 5 overall pick in the NFL draft.

Art Norman (2011-14): Norman didn't get the public acclaim of Chubb or some of the other pass rushers that followed him, but he put together a career whose numbers stack up with any of them. Norman led the team in sacks all four years he played for the Wolfpack. He is the only player in school history to have accomplished that feat. His final total of 23.5 sacks ranks fourth on State's all-time list 

Defensive tackle

Larrell Murchison (2018-19): A junior college transfer from Louisburg College who redshirted his first year at State, Murchison made the most of his two seasons with the Wolfpack. He earned the team's Cary Brewbaker Award as its top defensive lineman as a junior after recording four sacks eight tackles for loss and an interception. He was even better this season, leading State with seven sacks and 12 TFLs, to go along with 48 tackles and two fumble recoveries. His 3.5 sacks against Florida State on Sept. 28 were the second-highest single game total in school history.

B.J. Hill (2014-17): Playing along side Chubb, Hill was part of arguably the Wolfpack's best defensive line. He shared the Brewbaker Award as a junior and twice won the Bo Rein Memorial Award as the team's "unsung hero." A talented run disruptor who was also an effective interior pass rusher, Hill finished his career with 185 tackles, 24.5 for losses, eight sacks and five fumble recoveries. He was drafted in the third round by the New York Giants and became a starter as a rookie.

Linebacker

Nate Irving (2010): Irving played only one season in the decade, but it was one of the best, most inspiring ever played by a member of the Wolfpack. After nearly dying in a car accident on Interstate 40 driving back to campus from his home in Duplin County, he returned from multiple injuries that forced him to miss the 2009 season to earn first-team All-American honors. Irving recorded a team-leading 97 tackles in 2010, 20.5 for losses. He added 6.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two recoveries. His eight tackles for losses against Wake Forest were a single-game NCAA record. After the season, he was voted as the co-recipient of the ACC's Brian Piccolo Award for courage.

Audie Cole (2010-11): Considered only a two-star prospect when he arrived at State -- after first committing to Central Michigan -- Cole developed into one of the best linebackers in school history. He tied Irving for the team lead with 97 tackles as a junior in 2010 before leading the Wolfpack with an incredible 132 stops the following year. Over the two seasons in the 2010s, Cole amassed 229 tackles, 24.5 for losses, 11 sacks, 12 quarterback pressures, seven forced fumbles and an interception. Known for his shoulder-length hair, Cole went on to play six NFL seasons after being drafted in the seventh round by the Minnesota Vikings.

Terrell Manning (2010-11): Manning was an athletic playmaker with a knack for being in the right place at the the right time, as he was when he sacked North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates in the end zone for a safety that clinched a 27-25 win against the Tar Heels in 2010. He was credited with 76 tackles, 11 TFLs and five sacks during that 2010 season. The following year, he earned second-team All-ACC honors for making 83 tackles, 14 for loss, with 5.5 sacks, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries despite missing two games with a knee injury. He was drafted in the fifth round by the Green Bay Packers.

CORNERBACK

David Amerson (2010-12): Amerson put together the greatest season ever by an ACC defensive back in 2011 by intercepting 13 passes, the most in conference history and second-most in NCAA history while breaking a school record that had stood since 1938. He returned two of his picks for touchdowns, including one in the Belk Bowl against Louisville, on his way to becoming a consensus first-team All-American and a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top DB. Amerson intercepted five more passes as a junior the following season before declaring early for the NFL draft. He was taken in the second round by the Washington Redskins.

Juston Burris (2012-15): A ball-hawking defender, Burris led the Wolfpack in pass breakups three times during his career. He broke into the lineup with a bang, intercepting a pass against Florida State in his first start in 2010, helping State to a victory against the Seminoles. He was credited with 121 tackles during his four seasons in red and white, while also intercepting three passes and breaking up 31 others. He was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round and is currently a member of the NFL's Cleveland Browns.

 Safety

Earl Wolff (2010-12): Called "the heart of the defense" by coach Tom O'Brien, Wolff was a hard-hitting safety who recorded more than 100 tackles in each of his final two seasons at State. His senior season totals of 119 tackles, nine pass breakups, two interceptions and a forced fumbled helped earn him first-team All-ACC honors. The aptly named Wolff finished his career with 400 tackles, seven interceptions and eight forced fumbles. His tackles rank fourth on State's all-time list, the forced fumbles are the third-most in school history. He went on to be drafted in the fifth round by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Brandan Bishop (2010-12): A versatile, consistent free safety,  who thrown right into action as a true freshman, starting eight games in 2009, Bishop is still the only player in program history to have more than 300 tackles and double-digit interceptions of his career. He finished with 290 tackles, including 103 in his senior season of 2012. His 12 interceptions are tied for fourth on State's all-time list. He had 25 pass breakups, forced four fumbles and recovered one for a touchdown. 

Check back tomorrow for the announcement of State's All-Decade Offense.

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