If good fortune doesn't come Tom O’Brien’s way this football season, he can’t blame the Raleigh Sports Club.
To initiate the organization’s 2011-12 schedule of guest speakers today at Highland United Methodist Church, the N.C. State football coach immediately was presented with a jumbo box of Lucky Charms cereal and a toy leprechaun.
Father O’Malley himself couldn’t have asked for a warmer Irish welcome.
With former Wolfpack star Claude (Hoot) Gibson among the audience of 200-to-300 people, O’Brien began with a summation of his restocked kicking corps. He eventually promised that fullback Taylor Gentry, a Raleigh Leesville Road High product, would get at least one carry during the season.
In 14 years as a head coach, O’Brien has never called a rush for one of his fullbacks.
During a question and answer period with the crowd, O’Brien fielded about a dozen queries — not one of which was about former quarterback Russell Wilson, who will make his Wisconsin debut tomorrow night. In other N.C. State news:
- O'Brien praised the preseason camp work of freshman placekicker Niklas Sade, who converted 14 of 16 field goal attempts in scrimmage situations. Among those was a 53-yarder, O'Brien said.
- Defensive lineman J.R. Sweezy’s foot injury was identified as a preseason low point. A team captain, Sweezy could miss the first four or five games.
- NCSU’s sports information department on Wednesday announced the pending debut of football game replay shows on Time Warner Cable’s Channel 24. “Wolfpack Look Back Football” is scheduled to air each Wednesday, starting Sept. 7, at 8 p.m. Sports talk radio host and former Wolfpack football player Mark Thomas will host the shows.