There’s a chance Germaine Pratt, who is making the switch from safety to linebacker, could redshirt this season.
Pratt, who is a junior, is still recovering from shoulder surgery. He played as a true freshman so he still has a year to redshirt.
Pratt, who is listed at 6-3 and 230 pounds, would give the Wolfpack defense some size at linebacker that it needs but coach Dave Doeren said there’s no need to rush Pratt back if it makes more sense to give him a year to get healthy and adjust to the new position.
Pratt had 30 tackles and an interception as a safety last season. He had 32 tackles and made one start in 2014 as a freshman.
Doeren’s not worried about Pratt’s ability to change positions.
“His football IQ is incredible,” Doeren said. “He wants to be a coach when he’s done playing and he has that kind of love for the game.”
— Add politeness to Nyheim Hines’ quality traits. The sophomore receiver/running back from Garner said one of the first things he did after track season was thank Doeren for the chance to participate in the track season.
“I actually sat down and talked with him earlier this week because I felt like I didn’t actually look him in the face and thank him for letting me try to accomplish my goals in football and track,” Hines said.
Hines earned All-American honors during the track season with the 4x100 relay team, which also won an ACC title. In individual events, Hines posted a personal best time of 10.42 seconds in the 100 meters.
Hines looks noticeably leaner and stronger. He said he dropped 10 pounds, he’s at 190 now.
“I cut off some unneeded water weight and fat,” Hines said.
Hines has been practicing with the receivers and figures to play more of a role there in new coordinator Eli Drinkwitz’s offense after ending the 2015 season at running back.
Hines ran for 243 yards and a touchdown and had 20 catches for 256 yards with a touchdown. His role figures to expand on offense in his second college season.
He was one of the better kickoff returners in the country last season with a 26.3-yard average and scored one touchdown (100 yards vs. Clemson).
— Reggie Gallaspy was starting to make an impact at running back before missing the Belk Bowl with a foot injury.
Gallaspy had 81 yards on 13 carries in a win over Syracuse and 77 yards on 14 carries in a loss to North Carolina before being sidelined for the last game of his freshman season.
The same injury kept Gallaspy out all spring but he’s working his way back into his end-of-season form, Doeren said.
“Reggie is a thinker, a pleaser,” Doeren said. “He wants to do everything right.”
With Matt Dayes, Jaylen Samuels and Hines all smaller, versatile backs figuring to be main cogs in the offense, N.C. State needs either Gallaspy (5-11, 225 pounds) or Johnny Frasier (5-10, 224) to add a physical element to the running game.
— Three true freshmen who have stood out in the first week of practice, Doeren said, are cornerback Nick McCloud, safety Isaiah Stallings and receiver Kelvin Harmon.
Given the depth at those spots, it wouldn’t be a surprise if all three were asked to help this season. Harmon, in particular, with the injury loss of Jumichael Ramos, has the size (6-3, 196) to add a downfield element to the passing game.
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio