Update on Wolfpack Quarterback Situation

Brett Friedlander

COVID-19 played a role in coach Dave Doeren's decision to start backup Bailey Hockman at quarterback for NC State's season opening game against Wake Forest on Saturday.

Even though Leary never actually had the virus.

Although nothing official will be announced until likely after the game when Doeren meets the media, announcers on the ACC Network broadcast of the game from Carter-Finley Stadium reported that Finley spent 20 days in quarantine during preseason camp because of contact tracing.

Because he misseds so much practice, Doeren decided to go with Hockman, an experienced backup who started two games for the Wolfpack last season.

Hockman accounted himself well during the first half, completing 13 of 17 passes for 123 yards, completing passes to nine different receivers while leading his team to touchdowns on its first three possessions. He also ran for a score.,

The Wolfpack and Deacons were tied 21-21 at halftime.

While Hockman has played well, Leary is in uniform and is available to play if necessary.

Hockman, a left-hander who started his college career at Florida State, started two games last season. He completed 57.3 percent of his passes (86 of 150) for 910 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Leary, meanwhile, started the final five games and played the majority of the last six after starting last season as No. 3 on State's depth chart. He finished with a team-leading 1,219 passing yards and eight touchdowns, but he was intercepted five times and completed only 48.1% of his attempts.

True freshman Ben Finley and redshirt freshman Ty Evans are the other two scholarship quarterbacks on the Wolfpack's roster.

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