Watch a time-lapse of the NC State Wolfpack's first practice of the preseason
A little lighter, a lot healthier, tight end David J. Grinnage is ready to pick up where he left off last season.
The 6-5, 265-pound junior had five touchdowns in the last seven games of the 2014 season. Then he sat out all of spring practice with a sore back. Grinnage was able to rehab the injury without surgery. He said he lost about 10 pounds and worked on his core strength.
“My back feels great,” Grinnage said. “I just had to get stronger.”
The weight loss was an added bonus, Grinnage said, but also helps with the back soreness.
“Just get less weight on it and it makes me faster as well,” Grinnage said.
Grinnage was one of 10 N.C. State players who sat out the spring with injuries. Defensive tackle Kenton Gibbs (arm) and receiver Stephen Louis (shoulder) are the only two players who sat out in the spring who are not back on the practice field.
Grinnage came on at the end of last season as quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s favorite target inside the 25-yard line. He caught his first career touchdown against Boston College on Oct. 11. He added two more the next week at Louisville and scores against Georgia Tech and North Carolina.
Grinnnage finished the season with 27 catches for 358 yards. His usage in the offense, and not just in the red zone, could go up with the Wolfpack looking for more options in the passing game.
“I can be used all over the field,” Grinnage said.
Defensive end Mike Rose, defensive tackle Justin Jones, defensive tackle Monty Nelson, cornerback Charlie Twitty, defensive end Deonte Holden, linebacker M.J. Salahuddin and receiver Gavin Locklear are the other players who were injured in spring and are back in action.