April 21, 2003
Spring 2003 OverviewThe PooP
Fourth-year coach Chuck Amato must have taken very good notes during his 18 seasons as an assistant at FSU, because he definitely knows how to run a successful program. He almost always understands the big picture, and he's also very good at watching and supervising the important details. He obviously has a knack for identifying and signing top talent, he maintains a hard-working staff of recruiters, he utilizes exciting offensive and defensive schemes, he wisely anticipates personnel problems and flip-flops various players to cover them up, and he's created a fun-filled family atmosphere among the players that keeps the peace inside and translates well to fans and recruits on the outside. Amato's third season (11-3, 5-3 ACC) was very good, and 2003 could be even better.
Probable 2003 Starters
* returning starter
+ injured/missed spring drills
Coming On Strong
It's almost impossible to have a more impressive foundation of returning starters at key positions than NCSU will have this season. The first-team players at quarterback, tailback, receiver, left tackle, linebacker, rover and cornerback are championship-caliber. Rock-solid returning starters: LT Chris Colmer, WR Jerricho Cotchery, CB Marcus Hudson, RV Andre Maddox, RB T.A. McLendon, CB Lamont Reid, QB Philip Rivers, LB Pat Thomas. Also looking good: LB Freddy Aughtry-Lindsay, DE Terrance Chapman, CB A.J. Davis, RB/WR Tramain Hall, LB Oliver Hoyte, LB Manny Lawson, TE John Ritcher, WR Richard Washington, DE Mario Williams.
Cause For Concern?
The Pack's two biggest question marks are on the offensive and (especially) defensive lines, but even there they have some proven talent. If the o-line stays healthy and meshes as well as it did last year, and the d-line stays healthy and gets the expected help from some heralded freshmen, the sky is the limit for this team. Also: backup QB, depth on both lines.
On The Sidelines
The following players missed all or most of spring drills: LB/DE Corrie Dawson (knee), TE Avery Gibson (ankle/knee), DT Alan Halloway (hand), WR Sterling Hicks (shoulder), DB Marcus Hudson (suspension), RV Andre Maddox (neck), RB T.A. McLendon (wrist), OL Jed Paulsen (knee).
The following scholarship athletes left the program in the past 12-18 months with eligibility remaining: RB Carlos Doggett (academics/before 2002 season), FB Cotra Jackson (academics/before 2002 season), LB Corey Lyons (dismissed/before 2002 season), DB Craig Moody (chose to graduate), WR Chris Murray (left team), OL Reggie Poole (academics/before 2002 season), LB Chip Thomas, DB J.J. Washington (chose to graduate).