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Chuck Amato tells USA Today he thinks NC State could go undefeated – Pack Insider

NC State Defensive Coordinator Tony Gibson met with the media after practice today, with the Wolfpack’s season opener down in Greenville vs. East Carolina right around the corner on September 3rd. You can watch the video above, but below are some of the key notes from what he had to say.

Nickelback Tyler Baker-Williams

Gibson highlighted how the versatility of Baker-Williams. Due to his tremendous man-skills, they put him in a lot of pressure situations, and ends up being matched up against the best wideout. On top of that, he also fits the run game for the Wolfpack, being used in a lot of different ways in blitz packages. He plays, Nickelback, but has also played Safety for NC State, and can even be thrown out at Cornerback.

Defensive End Davin Vann

Beginning in the Spring, Vann began playing at a whole other speed. Gibson mentioned that Vann is in the best shape he’s ever been in, which is saying something. As he’s continued to understand more and more what they are doing schematically on defense, he’s playing with a higher level of confidence.

(Author Note: Vann started at Nose Tackle at NC State, but shifted to Defensive End)

How it works having Isaiah Moore at Inside Linebacker and Drake Thomas at Outside Linebacker

Thomas has played all three Linebacker positions for the Wolfpack, but Isaiah feels more comfortable playing inside. With both of them having experience on the inside, they are both great communicators and play well off of each other. Because of Thomas’ versatility, he can fill Moore or Wilson’s positions if they are ever out.

(Author Note: Traditionally, Thomas is an Inside Linebacker. It’s what he played in High School at Heritage. The fact that he earned 1st Team All-ACC honors last year, spending time at all 3 spots, speaks volumes to his Football IQ.)

Linebacker Jordan Poole

Gibson noted that Poole has had a really good camp and is running with the 2nd team currently, but is also getting thrown out there when they are in a Dime package as a pass rusher. He is confident Poole is going to be a really good player for NC State.

(Author Note: Poole, a 4-star player in NC State’s 2021 recruiting class, has been one of the players people have most anxiously anticipated seeing on the field. Poole was dynamic player coming out of West Stanly High (Oakboro, NC), rated as a 4-star prospect at both Running Back and Linebacker.) 

Nose Guard Cory Durden

Gibson made the point that when it comes to the Wolfpack defense, it all starts with the Nose Guard position. In the 3-3-5 scheme, they have to be strong in the middle, which begins with the Nose, followed by the Mike Linebacker and Safety. Durden is in the best shape he’s been in and playing the best he’s ever played.

(Author Note: Durden transferred prior to the 2021 season from Florida State, and started the season on the Wolfpack Depth Chart at Defensive End. After Nose Tackle C.J. Clark went down with an injury, Durden moved to fill the void in the middle of the Defensive Line, and ended up earning 1st Team All-ACC honors. Crazy.)

Gibson noted that this group no longer have to worry about getting lined up right. Now that they understand what they are doing, they need to focus on is becoming elite in communication, and reading and attacking the offense.

Handling Hype Surrounding the Defense

Gibson welcome’s the hype, and the pressure that comes with it. He wants to lead the best defense in College Football. He said they aren’t running from the pressure, they are running to it. But they still have to go out and execute.

Nose Tackle C.J. Clark

Gibson noted that Clark isn’t only playing in the middle, but he’s also playing on the outside at Defensive End. Clark is very athletic, and is good against the run and in pass rush. Gibson love’s where his head is at.

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