Former Wolfpack defensive lineman Bradley Chubb was given the number that was made famous by former No. 1 NFL Draft pick Mario Williams. Thursday night, Chubb once again followed in the footsteps of Williams by having his jersey honored at Carter-Finley Stadium.
At halftime of N.C. State’s contest against Wake Forest, Chubb saw his name forever immortalized inside the stadium where he caused so much havoc for opponents for four seasons. Chubb remembers playing in Carter-Finley and looking up seeing the banners that honored players like Williams and Russell Wilson, wondering if one day his name could join them.
“It’s crazy. It’s a surreal moment, honestly. It still doesn’t feel real,” Chubb said. “It’s a special moment.”
Chubb was drafted fifth overall by the Denver Broncos last spring and leads all rookies in sacks with 8.0. In 40 games at NCSU, Chubb recorded 25.0 sacks and 54.5 tackles for loss, passing Williams in both categories.
“Bradley, first of all, is the backbone of what we’ve tried to build here, a guy that built himself into what he is,” Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren said. “He took no shortcuts, he did things the right way, he treats people with respect, he plays hard on the practice field, and he prepares himself to be the best player on the game field. I was talking to one of the scouts this week and he said the guys were mad at him in Denver because he was practicing so hard. Now they are starting to practice hard because of his production.”
Chubb, who has started from day one for Denver, said he has yet to have a welcome to the NFL moment, but admitted nine games into the season there is still plenty for him to work on.
“Stuff like coverage and stuff, making false steps coming out of my stance,” Chubb said. “Just things like that, any little thing I’m going to try to correct to make my game go to the next level.”
Chubb came to Raleigh as a two-star linebacker out of Marietta, Ga. He switched to defensive end before his sophomore season and quickly worked his way into the starting lineup. After his sophomore year Doeren approached Chubb about wearing the No. 9, following in the footsteps of Williams.
“He felt I was ready for the No. 9,” Chubb said. “I remember seeing Mario’s name up here and thinking I wasn’t a ready, I wasn’t a leader at that point. To prove myself wrong like that and just to keep fighting and do all the things I did here, it’s just amazing.”
For the next player to wear the number along with the patches to honor Chubb and Williams, the 6-4, 276 pound Chubb said it will take a special player, on and off the field. When he was awarded No. 9. Chubb said he didn’t know what kind of player he would be. To “wear it the right way” that next guy has to represent the program around campus as well as in the community.
Chubb felt like his class of 2014 were part of the turn of the tide in Raleigh, a group that helped put the program on the national radar. Doeren said this latest honor is perfect for Chubb.
“He’s a glue guy, he’s a guy who transcends your locker room,” Doeren said. “I’m so proud of him and not surprised of what’s happening. He deserves it.”