The ritual N.C. State’s players performed at the end of practice Friday night didn’t sound like a lot of fun.
Second-year coach Tom O’Brien is establishing a tradition called “Wolfpack Warriors,” a once-a-year conditioning marathon that will establish how fit the players are.
Wolfpack Warriors is a long, arduous series of up-downs and sprints.
“They just kind of push us to the max and then some and see who can push it and who’s going to be there in the fourth quarter when everyone is tired,” said center Ted Larsen.
Larsen said he is an “endorphin junkie” who thrives off that type of workout. Senior linebacker Robbie Leonard said the difficult drill was tolerable because players started preseason camp in better condition than in any other year of his career.
That’s one sign that the team no longer is in its first year under a new coach. There are others, too.
O’Brien said the freshmen stand out now because they’re having more difficulty lining up than the veterans who have worked within his system for a year.
Although that might make it more difficult for the freshmen to contribute, it could mean the team is on stronger footing.
— Sophomore John Ware is back at linebacker after spending spring practice experimenting at strong safety, O’Brien said. Ware made 30 tackles as a reserve linebacker last season and was a standout on special teams.