North Carolina State struggled last season, notching just three wins and failing to beat a single ACC team. The defense had its moments, but found it hard to compete down the stretch due to the lack of offense. The Wolfpack should be better prepared for 2014, with its defense leading the way.
Forrest West of Campus Sports recently interviewed rising star TY McGill, a senior defensive tackle who has started 12 games over the last couple of years and will be expected to provide a leadership role this season. McGill is quick, making 15.5 of his 64 tackles behind the line over the last couple of years, and can push the pocket on passing downs, with 7 sacks. At 6’1 and 289 pounds, he’s strong enough to stand up against run too.
As it turns out, he’s also a good interview. Read on for more:
Campus Sports: Heading into this season, compared to last [year], what do you feel has to be the biggest change in order for you guys to have a successful year?
TY: The biggest change we have to have to have a successful season is focus. More focus in the film room and more focus amongst the players. With great focus come[s] minimal mistakes, allowing for more positive plays to be made.
Campus Sports: What do you feel is the biggest difference between this year’s team and last years team thus far? Whether it’s energy, swagger, work ethic, etc.
TY: The biggest differences between this year’s team and last year’s team are that there are a lot more leaders on this year’s team. Being that there was a new coaching staff last season, the team didn’t know what to expect from the coaches. Last year’s team didn’t have much direction [so] we didn’t know where to go and did not have much guidance.
Campus Sports: Including yourself, who else do you think has taken on a leadership role heading into the season?
TY: Jacoby Brissett (quarterback) and Art Norman (defensive end). Jacoby is very vocal and demands a lot out of his players as a QB. [He] is a leader on and off the field and has good character.
Campus Sports: Have the coaches expected more out of you this offseason compared to last? What have they done differently especially [defensive line coach Ryan] Nielsen?
TY: Coaches have expected a lot from us. So far this off-season we have met their standards and expectations. Coach Nielsen is a perfectionist and it helps with the team, especially the D-line, a lot. After having us for a whole year, they know exactly how the team needs to be pushed.
Campus Sports: What are your goals you have set for the team this year? As well as the D-Line, sacks and TFLs?
TY: By the end of the year I expect the team to have no less than nine wins this coming season. Going back to Coach Nielsen, he put out a guide for everyone. The guide has expectations for sacks ,TFL’s for all of the linemen on the defensive unit. I don’t want to say too much, so I’ll just let the numbers speak for themselves.
Campus Sports: In your college career, who is the toughest O-Lineman you’ve faced?
TY: Troy Jackson from FSU (Seminoles) who is also my cousin. He is real[ly] knowledgeable when it comes to the game of football, and a beast physically.
Campus Sports: What are your personal goals heading into the season?
TY: Personally I just want to make sure that I take care of all of my responsibilities and make no mistakes that could hurt the team on the field. If I take care of that, everything will fall in place.
Campus Sports: If you had to choose would you say Beyonce or Rihanna?
TY: Beyoncé without a doubt.
Campus Sports: Who would you say the cutest girl on campus is?
TY: My girlfriend Sarah Salloway.
Campus Sports: Who do you have going to the NBA finals next year after these offseason moves?
Campus Sports: Who is the most athletic person on the defensive line?
TY: Easily me.
Stay up to date on TY’s personal happenings by following his Instagram account – @allcost