RALEIGH — N.C. State coach Tom OBrien tweaked the depth chart for Fridays season-opener with Tennessee with notable new starters at running back and outside linebacker, but it was also missing senior cornerback C.J. Wilson.
Wilson, a three-year starter, has an eligibility issue with the NCAA, OBrien said Monday at his weekly press conference. OBrien didnt specify the issue.
He just has an issue, OBrien said. When its cleared up, well let you know.
Wilson, who graduated last December, has started 29 games in three years and ended the spring as the starter opposite All-American corner David Amerson. Wilson had 31 tackles and an interception last season.
Since the start of training camp, July 31, junior Dontae Johnson has worked with the first-team. Wilson practiced with the scout team last week.
Breaking into the starting lineup against the Volunteers will be sophomore running back Tony Creecy and sophomore linebacker Brandon Pittman.
Creecy, second on the team in rushing last season, usurped the starting job from James Washington, who was listed as the backup.
Tony really took a big step in the spring and he continued to perform really well through preseason camp, OBrien said.
OBrien said Creecy, Washington and Mustafa Greene, the starter in 2010, will all play in the first half Friday, a departure from the coachs usual two-back rotation.
Maybe the hottest guy will be the guy who plays in the second half, OBrien said.
There is more clarity at the linebacker spots, which will feature three new starters from last season. Pittman has been slotted at strong-side linebacker, beating out Rodman Noel in camp.
Senior Sterling Lucas, who will start in the middle, made two starts in 2009 and missed all of last season with a knee injury. Rickey Dowdy will start at weak-side linebacker.
Also missing from the depth chart was sophomore receiver Bryan Underwood, who injured his left knee before Aug. 11 and has not practiced since.
Underwood, a sophomore, is not listed on the injury report but OBriens policy for nonconference games is to list only the players who are out for the season.
OBrien said Underwood has not been cleared to return to practice but he left open the possibility that he could play against Tennessee.
Three true freshmen made the depth chart with left tackle Quincy McKinney and receiver Charlie Hegedus joining quarterback Manny Stocker, who was elevated to backup earlier in training camp. OBrien also added he expects linebacker M.J. Salahuddin to play against the Vols.