Who are the 12 Seniors Playing Their Final Game for the Wolfpack?

Brett Friedlander

Senior Night is always an emotional experience for a college football player. But for the 12 upperclassmen getting set to play their final game for NC State, tonight's rivalry showdown against North Carolina at Carter-Finley will be especially bitterweet.

This is a class that has experienced the highs of two straight nine-win seasons, but will finish their careers with a losing record and no bowl game thanks in no small part to an unprecidented epidemic of injuries.

Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren called Senior Night an event players remember for the rest of their lives. Here is a look at the 12 players that will try to make that lasting memory a good one:

Will Brown

A graduate of Raleigh's Cardinal Gibbons High School who grew up a Wolfpack fan, Brown walked on to the program and has spent the past five years helping prepare State for its games a member of its scout team. 

The 5-foot-8, 196-pound defensive back was rewarded for his hard work and loyalty to the program during training camp this summer when coach Dave Doeren presented him with a scholarship for his final season.

Brown, who was described by Doeren this week as "just a great young man to be around,": has seen action in five games thus far, playing one down from scrimmage against Western Carolina on Sept. 7 and contributing on special teams against Boston College, Clemson, Louisville and Georgia Tech.

Tyler Dabbs

A three-sports star at Morehead High School in Eden, Dabbs turned down scholarship opportunities to play at smaller schools to attend as a preferred walkon along with his twin brother Will. 

Although listed as a wide reciever, where he has played 19 snaps from scrimmage, his primary assignment over the past two seasons has been on special teams. He has seen action in 25 games over his Wolfpack career, including all 11 so far this season.. 

In addition to being credited with two tackles, he made the key block that helped spring teammate Thayer Thomas for a 76-yard touchdown on a punt return against Ball State on Sept. 21.

Will Dabbs

Tyler's twin brother Will started his Wolfpack career as a safety before being switched to running back last year. He played one snap in the season-ending rout of East Carolina in 2018, carrying for a three-yard loss, but has played a much larger role this season after receiving a scholarship this August,

Dabbs carried the ball nine times for 43 yards, with a long of 11 yards, in State's 41-0 victory against Western Carolina, then carried twice for two yards at Wake Forest when the Wolfpack ran short of running backs because of injury.

Like his brother, Dabbs is a key member of his team's kick coverage and return units. He was also credited with a special teams tackle in the opening game against ECU.

Stephen Griffin vs Loiusville 2018
Stephen Griffin makes a tackle against Louisville in 2018Jamie Rhodes/USAToday sports

Stephen Griffin 

A 6-3, 203 native of Charlotte who started his college career at Tennessee before transferring to State, Griffin has started eight games at nickel this season. He has 30 tackles, including a sack of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and is tied for second on the team with four pass breakups.

His career with the Wolfpack got off to a slow start when after sitting out a year under NCAA transfer rules, he suffered an injury in preseason camp that slowed him for the early part of the 2018 schedule. He returned to full strength and made his first start against Florida State and tied for team lead with six tackles in a 47-28 State victory.

In 24 career games in red and white, Griffin has compiled 70 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, nine pass breakups and a forced fumble. He also played 18 games at Tennessee, making 18 tackles and breaking up four passes with one start.

Tabari Hines stiff arm vs WCU
Tabari Hines gains yardage after a catch against Western CarolinaRob Kinnan/USAToday sports

Tabari Hines

A cousin of former State and current Indianapolis Colts star Nyheim Hines, the graduate transfer wide receiver took the indirect route to Raleigh for his only season with the Wolfpack. 

He started his career at Atlantic Division rival Wake Forest, where he had 22 catches for 206 yards and four touchdowns in three games against State. He then went to Oregon as a graduate transfer, but his time there was cut short by a knee injury. Because he only played in four games, he was able to redshirt, allowing him to return to the ACC.

Playing in all 11 games as a slot receiver, Hines ranks fourth on the Wolfpack with 30 catches for 313 yards and a touchdown. He's also run the ball three times for 53 yards. His best games came at Florida State, where he led State with six catches, and last week at Georgia Tech, when he helped fuel a second half comeback by catching four passes for 88 yards.

Deonte Holden vs Wake
Deonte Holden battles at the line of scrimmage against Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard/USAToday sports

 Deonte Holden

A sixth-year graduate student who has his own clothing line, Holden spent last spring in Paris studying abroad as part of his global luxury and management dual master's program.

After missing this year's season opener with an injury, the 6-4, 247-pound Maryland native has played in each of the next 10 games as a reserve defensive end. He's made nine tackles, including two for losses and 1.5 sacks.

For his career, Holden has played in 28 games with two starts, with 23 tackles, five sacks and six quarterback hurries.

Emanuel McGirt vs BC
Emanuel McGirt blocks his man against Boston College this seasonGreg M. Cooper/USAToday sports

Emanuel McGirt

A former four-star prospect whose career has been marred by injuries, McGirt finally got his chance to become a starter this season and he's made the most of it. The 6-6, 300-pound product of Durham's Hillside High has played both left and right tackle, starting six games and playing a total of 394 snaps.

He was had the highest grade of any offensive lineman on the team for the Ball State game and has recorded 12 knockdown blocks and five pancakes while not allowing a sack all season.

Kishawn Miller vs Clemson
Kishawn Miller has started four games this season at cornerbackRob Kinnan/USAToday sports

Kishawn Miller

An undersized cornerback at 5-9, 176 pounds, Miller committed to the Wolfpack during his second season of junior college at Georgia Military. Despite suffering a torn ACL before enrolling at State, Doeren honored his scholarship offer and signed the native of Buffalo, N.Y.

Miller played in nine games in 2018, starting against James Madison, while making seven tackles. He played a much larger role this season because of the attrition that saw five cornerbacks go down with injurys, including three for the season.

He is tied for eighth on the team in tackles with 36 and has two pass breakups while starting five of the last seven games.

Jarius Morehead vs Louisville
Jarius Morehead makes a tackle against Louisville earlier this seasonRob Kinnan/USAToday sports

Jarius Morehead

Morehead was one of four players selected by his teammates before the start of the season as a team captain and is the only one of the four to have stayed healthy enough to have played in every game.

He was the Wolfpack's most experienced player with 38 games and 26 career starts heading into 2019. He was also the team's top returning tackler with 81 while also boasting five career interceptions.

Although his numbers are down somewhat, the 6-1, 220-pound safety from Northern Guilford High School has posted another solid season, recording 44 tackles, with a sack, two quarterback pressures, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery.

Larrell Murchison celebrated with teammate Chris Ingram during a win against Ball State earlier this season
Larrell Murchison celebrating a sack against Ball State Rob Kinnan/USAToday sports

Larrell Murchison

A junior college transfer who waited his turn behind several future NFL draft picks on the defensive line, Murchison has developed into a legitimate pro prospect himself after two standout seasons with the Wolfpack.

The 6-3, 285-pound tackle has excelled in the new three-man front employed by State this season, leading the team with seven sacks while ranking fifth on the team with 46 tackles. 

The highlight of his season came at Florida State, when he barely missed a school record by recording 3.5 sacks against the Seminoles. He also had two sacks against Syracuse and two fumble recoveries last week against Georgia Tech.

Murchison has 11 sacks and 80 tackles in his two seasons at State. His play has earned him an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl, the most prestigious of the pre-draft college all-star games.

Jackson Quiggle

Quiggle is a walkon from Sanford who serves as the Wolfpack's backup long snapper. He suffered a knee injury as a redshirt freshman in 2016 and has not played in any games.

James Smith-Williams celebrates a sack during the first half of State's season opening win against East Carolina
James Smith-Williams had had an injury plagued senior seasonRob Kinnan/USAToday sports

James Smith-Williams

A Raleigh native from Millbrook High School, Smith-Williams is perhaps of the most well-rounded player on the Wolfpack's roster, a fact illustrated by his being awarded the jersey No. 1 by the coaching staff.

In addition to his talents as a pass rusher, the 6-3, 260-pound defensive end has been named to the prestigious AFCA Good Works Team and is a semifinalist for the Jason Witten College Man of the Year Award because of his his community service work -- including a major commitment to #SetTheExpectation, an organization that aids survivors of domestic violence.

On the field, Smith-Williams has endured an injury-plagued season in which he was sidlined for four games. He still managed to lead the team with seven quarterback pressures while recording 20 tackles and a sack.

A former defensive back who gained 70 pounds during his time at State, Smith-Williams has eight career sacks, 87 tackles and 13 quarterback hurries. Having already graduated with a degree in business supply chain management, he has already accepted a job with IBM whenever his football career is completed.

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