N.C. State backup QB Stocker ready and able if called upon

jgiglio@newsobserver.comAugust 13, 2012 

Mike Glennon played every meaningful snap at quarterback for N.C. State last season.

The plan for Glennon, a fifth-year senior, is to do the same in 2012. If something happens to Glennon, the offense would be turned over to Manny Stocker, a true freshman.

Stocker has impressed coach Tom O'Brien with his poise and maturity, two attributes that would help the young quarterback tremendously, say, if he found himself on the field Aug. 31 in the season-opener against Tennessee.

"He's not intimidated by the task ahead at all," O'Brien said.

Well, Stocker's might be just a little anxious, at least he was in Kay Yow Spring Game, which he was able to play in because he enrolled in January.

"I had to pinch myself a few times," Stocker said. "It was like, 'Wow, I'm really out here.'”

Stocker was elevated up the depth chart with the exit of backup Tyler Brosius, who left school to play junior college baseball. Brosius, who would have been a third-year sophomore, had a solid spring game but only played in six games last season.

Walk-on Garrett Leatham is only other available quarterback. Pete Thomas, a transfer from Colorado State, has to sit out the season under NCAA rules.

Glennon, in his first year as the starter, was as durable as any quarterback N.C. State has had. O'Brien is counting on Glennon to play smart and for a veteran offensive line to protect him.

But if Stocker has to play, his teammates have faith in him.

"When Manny's time comes, he'll get the job done," senior receiver Tobais Palmer said.

To O'Brien, there's little difference between the quarterback situation this season compared to last, when Brosius was a redshirt freshman with no game experience. O'Brien joked that Stocker is a "half" redshirt due to his early enrollment.

Stocker, who is 6-3 and 200 pounds, has a different skill set than the bigger, stronger-armed Glennon, but he has a familiarity with Dana Bible's pro-style offense.

"He's ahead of where he should be because he had that spring semester," O'Brien said.

Stocker, who threw for 20 touchdowns and ran for 10 for Coatesville (Pa.) High last season, said his high school ran a similar offense to Bible's, which was one reason he picked State.

"I knew I was going to be comfortable with the offense," Stocker said.

Still, there's a learning curve. Stocker was 0-2 in the spring game, although he did run for a 15-yard touchdown.

Stocker already has shown a better understanding in training camp than from the spring, Glennon said.

"The improvement he has made is drastic," Glennon said. "He would be ready to go if needed."

Stocker said he's glad he got a head start by enrolling in January. He's still learning route combinations and progresses but said he's learned a lot in the past nine months.

"I feel like I know the offense now," Stocker said.

If anything happens to Glennon, the Pack will need Stocker to run the offense, not just know it.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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