Devin Carter, Wolfpack Offense Off to a Flying Start

Brett Friedlander

Devin Carter led NC State with three catches in Saturday's season opening 45-42 victory against Wake Forest, including a two-yard touchdown grab on a jump pass from running back Ricky Person Jr.

Tuesday, the sophomore wide receiver met with members of the local media via a Zoom conference to talk about the win, the trick play, the Wolfpack's new offense and the difference between last year's team and this one, among other subjects.

Here is what he had to say:

What have the coaches been talking about in terms of building on Saturday's opening week performance?

"We always look to improve our technique every week. We really just focus on what we're going to attack in the next game. Whether is pass or running, we always look at our techniques and clean up on that." 

How much pride do the receivers take in their blocking when the running game has the kind of game it did against Wake Forest?

"That's a main focus every day, not even every week, We know the o-line is going to get their job done so is we block, we can create explosive plays and we take great pride in that."

What did you see from Bailey Hockman that gave you confidence in his ability to get the job done after it became clear that Devin Leary wasn't going to be able to play?

“I feel like both guys shared equal amounts of confidence and growth as leaders throughout the offseason and just the tough times in general. Both of them really stepped up and one took it. I'm glad I don't have to be the person to make the call on who is starting at quarterback. I'm comfortable with whoever's back there.”

Did Bailey have a calm presence on the field that made everyone else a little more comfortable out there?

"He shows great poise. Both of them do, really."

Is there any difference in the way the ball comes out with Bailey being a lefty and Devin being right-handed?

"When (Bailey) first got here, I could tell a little difference. But as you get reps with both of them, you just see the point, catch it fat. It's really both the same."

What kind of ball does that other quarterback Ricky Person throw?

"He throws great balls!"

How stressful was the leadup to that trick play?

“We worked on that it all week. I wouldn't say it was as stressful as it may have seemed. I was kind of calm during the play.”

How much did you learn during the offseason to help you take the next step in becoming a go-to receiver?

"We learned a lot. Even though we were out after about five spring practices, we learned about all the different types of techniques to use versus a DB's certain techniques. We would have Zoom meetings, so I feel we didn't really lose a step as a group." 

What does it say about this team that it bounced back the way it did after losing a 14-point lead and rallying to win in a situation last year's team might have folded?

"I saw great leadership and I saw great poise from everybody. It didn't really affect us. We went up 14-0 and they kind of made their way back into the game, even took the lead at one point in the game and I didn't really see it affect anybody. Usually somebody gets affected, goes internal and slips up on one of their assignments. 

“We've been through a lot of stuff throughout the offseason, we've been through adversity so we know how to get through it together. That's what I feel is the difference of this team this year rather than last season. It comes with leadership and I feel like we're closer this year.”

How do you approach the matchup against a long, athletic defensive backfield like the one Virginia Tech has?

"We have to know the coverage, beat the coverage and play with technique. We have to execute. We have to be on our toes every play and execute. That's the only thing I see."

What do you like about this offensive system compared to last year?

"I believe it's the person you play for, not the system and I feel like the leadership Coach (Tim) Beck brings gets us juiced up."

How much of this offense is read and react as opposed to running a play?

"That's almost our whole concept, really. We do a lot of reading and reacting to coverages off what the DBs are doing. In the spring it was new, I wouldn't really say challenging. I like it. It helps you make full speed decisions and play fast, that's really what you got to do."

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