RALEIGH N.C. State played six true freshmen last season. Coach Tom OBrien uses the term "soak" rather than "redshirt," but either way, he prefers to give his younger players a chance to learn before they play.
In the case of freshman quarterback Manny Stocker, that might not be possible. Stocker, who enrolled in January, is starter Mike Glennons backup after Tyler Brosius left the program.
OBrien didnt know how many of the 17 freshmen would play this season but he expected there to be a few.
"Theres enough talent in that class that theyre going to find their way on the field," OBrien said.
Receiver Charlie Hegedus and corner Marchez Coates have impressed early in training camp.
OBrien was happy that they were able to have three full teams in the first scrimmage Monday. OBrien said the freshmen made up most of the third team and they got about 25 plays in the scrimmage.
"Thats the most weve ever gotten them," OBrien said.
Half the true freshmen who played last season were the specialists kicker Niklas Sade, punter Wil Baumann and long-snapper Scott Thompson.
The other three were on defense. Defensive tackle T.Y. McGill and linebacker Rodman Noel are both listed as starters this season. Linebacker Michael Peek also played last year as a true freshman but he will miss this season after suffering a knee injury in practice.
Fedora in no hurry to expand playbook
CHAPEL HILL Dont expect to see Larry Fedoras complete playbook emerge during his first season at North Carolina. After all, Fedora isnt expecting to see that, either.
Theres plenty more to go, he said Thursday of installing his complete playbook. But I dont know if well ever get to it.
In the spring, Fedora hoped the Tar Heels would gain a fundamental understanding of both the spread offense and the 4-2-5 defense. Fedora estimated then that he and his assistant coaches installed about 50 percent of the offense and defense.
How much more Fedora will install during the preseason will depend, he said, on how UNC handles what the coaches have already taught. The Tar Heels first preseason scrimmage is Saturday.
Weve got enough in for this season, Fedora said. I mean, we can make it through a season with what we have [installed] right now. If we can execute what we have. Thats the question can we really execute what we have right now? Theres no reason to put anything else in if we cant execute what weve got right now.
Dukes O-Line depth a strength
DURHAM Eight offensive linemen started games for Duke last season. Seven return. So for the first time during coach David Cutcliffes tenure, Duke seems to have an abundance of experience.
But just how deep is the line? A full 10-deep, with a solid backup at every position, perhaps?
Probably not yet, offensive coordinator Kurt Rooper said. Were deeper than weve been, were more talented than weve been. You obviously always have concerns. Losing Kyle Hill and replacing a left tackle is not an easy thing to do. Takoby (Cofield) is doing a good job, but weve got to build some depth behind that.
Hill, who recently signed a free agent contract with the New England Patriots, is the only starter Duke lost to graduation. Cofield, listed as the starter at left tackle on the depth chart, started the final two games of 2011 when Hill went out with an injury. Dukes patchwork line last year did provide quarterback Sean Renfree with adequate protection, yielding 19 sacks, tied with Miami for the fifth-fewest in the ACC.
One lineman missing on the left side is Lucas Patrick. The redshirt freshman is the second-heaviest member of the line (310 pounds) but is out indefinitely after surgery on his fractured left ankle in March.
Dukes projected starters, though Cofield, junior Dave Harding, senior Brian Moore, sophomore Laken Tomlinson and junior Perry Simmons have started a combined 79 games, making the unit the most experienced on the team.
• The Blue Devils announced Thursday that freshman defensive end Allen Jackson had successful surgery on his right shoulder. Jackson was a three-star recruit from Maryland.