Triangle Football Camps

NC State football planning indoor practice facility

News ServicesAugust 13, 2013 

— N.C. State is planning the stages of building an indoor practice facility near Carter-Finley Stadium, Wolfpack athletics director Debbie Yow said Tuesday.

Yow is hopeful the $14million facility will be ready for spring practice in 2015. Virginia and Florida State opened new indoor practice facilities this year. Closer to home, N.C. State is the only ACC team in the Triangle without a place to move inside when it rains or gets excessively hot.

“We do need one,” Yow said. “Duke has an indoor facility and (North) Carolina has one.”

The facility will be built near the Murphy Center, which is next to Carter-Finley Stadium. N.C. State’s outdoor practice fields are also located near the stadium.

Yow said the building will be funded privately through the Wolfpack Club. Former coach Tom O’Brien long lobbied for an indoor practice facility. Yow said first-year coach Dave Doeren asked about the facility before he was hired.

“We have a better understanding now of when that might occur,” Yow said.

Joe Giglio

UNC defense ‘not even close,’ Koenning says

For a while it was a running joke among UNC coaches about how much depth the Tar Heels had on defense.

“We’ve got them running out of our ears,” Vic Koenning, the UNC defensive coordinator said earlier this week. “We’ve got plenty of guys. And then all of a sudden it’s like somebody shot a shotgun in there and got pellets in all of them.”

The days of joking about plentiful depth are over for Koenning, whose defense has been decimated by injuries during the preseason. Sophomore Shakeel Rashad and sophomore safety Sam Smiley, two players who were vying for starting positions, have been lost for the season due to injuries.

And those two didn’t count among the six defensive players who missed practice earlier this week for a variety of ailments, Koenning said. The numbers are so thin that tight end Jack Tabb has been working at linebacker, and Damien Washington, a former receiver, has been moved to safety.

The position changes and attrition due to injury have made it difficult for the Tar Heels’ defense to establish continuity and consistency. Koenning said the UNC defense is “not even close” to where he wants it.

“There’s been a handful of times where I’ve sat back and kind of started to get a feeling like, all right, we’ve got a chance to be pretty good,” he said.

But then another injury strikes, or a mistake, and Koenning said he is reminded of how far the defense has to go.

Andrew Carter

LT Stone out for year

Duke’s first major injury of the fall came Monday afternoon, when reserve tackle Tanner Stone suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the Blue Devils’ scrimmage. He will undergo surgery Wednesday.

“It’s really frustrating for a really fine redshirt freshman offensive lineman prospect,” coach David Cutcliffe said. “His spirits are good, and we will all be there to help him through a difficult rehabilitation.”

Stone, who is 6-foot-6 and 290 pounds, was expected to back up senior starting right tackle Perry Simmons. Cutcliffe has said repeatedly he wants to rotate offensive and defensive linemen frequently to keep everyone fresh, and Stone was expected to be part of a four-man rotation at tackle with Simmons, Takoby Cofield and Carson Ginn.

“We had four tackles that were ready to play with Tanner,” Cutcliffe said. “Now with three, we have to solve that puzzle.”

Cutcliffe did say he was pleased with the progress made by redshirt freshman Casey Blaser, a South Mecklenburg High graduate who is listed at 6-foot-5, 280 pounds. Still, the loss of Stone hurts.

“When you lose a player like Tanner, it always gives you a weak stomach,” Cutcliffe said. “It was a long night last night for us as coaches.”

Laura Keeley

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