Wolfpack Spending Thanksgiving With 'Family'

Brett Friedlander

Ever wonder what a 225-pound offensive lineman would have for Thanksgiving if he was the one setting the menu?

Wonder no more.

NC State guard Joshua Fedd-Jackson was asked that question earlier this week and he was only too happy to go through all the elements his ultimate holiday feast.

"I'd start with fried turkey," he said. "Mac and cheese, yams ... a lot, a lot of yams. Mashed potatoes, extra gravy. Then I'd go with plate two, repeat everything, then get some ham on there. Then you gotta go to the dessert, at least four slices of sweet potato pie." 

As a native of Newark, N.J., with a game to play on Saturday against arch-rival North Carolina, Fedd-Jackson won't be able to go home for the holiday.

But the junior lineman said he's made enough close friends after three seasons at State that he plans to do some "house hopping" during the time off he and his State teammates will be given after practice today.

If he doesn't get enough to eat there, he need not worry. There's a private dinner scheduled for him and his Wolfpack "famlly" at one of Raleigh's best restaurants -- the Angus Barn -- where there's sure to be many of the items on Fedd-Jackson's fantasy menu.

"It is Thanksgiving week and so obviously we’re going to take time to be thankful with our players," coach Dave Doeren said. "Thursday after practice we’ll cut our developmental guys loose to go home and they’ll rejoin us for the game Saturday. 

"Our travel guys that are local will be able to go home and see their families and then Thursday night we take the whole team to Angus Barn, to their pavillion and it’s an awesome feast. The guys look forward to it. I know I do, and hopefully the game pants will fit on Saturday."

Senior safety Jarius Morehead is one of the players that live close enough to spend some time at home for Thanksgiving. But he's experienced enough to leave plenty of time for the drive back from Winston-Salem so as not to be late for that highly-anticipated team dinner.

"You can't miss that," Morehead said. 

Unlike some of his bigger teammates with bigger appetites, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound defensive back has a plan to pace himself over the course of the day.

"I usually make a plate at home and then go eat at the Angus Barn," he said. "We eat at five at Angus Barn so if I get hungry later, I'll just eat that plate from my mom's. Nothing beats mom's cooking."

Even though the players don't get much time at home, it still means a lot to be able to spend at least a few hours with their loved ones.

"I don't live that far away, so I get to see my mom," said Hillsborough's Payton Wilson. "She was excited when I told her I'd get to come home. So I'm excited about that."

As excited as the players are about their Wolfpack family Thanksgiving celebration, they're wary of the fact that they still have a game to play on Saturday.

And an important one, given that it's Senior Night with bragging rights on the line against a heated neighboring rival.

"I think I might cut back a little this year," Fedd-Jackson said with a chuckle. "I've got to go to war about 48 hours later."