Personally, I don’t know a single NC State fan. I don’t know the stereotypes that are associated with pulling for one North Carolina team versus another. And I don’t know which rivalries simmer the deepest in the Tar Heel State (besides the obvious basketball hatreds).
But what I do know is that feeling of scanning the board Saturday morning during College GameDay, looking for one extra team to throw into a three-team teaser. I do know what it’s like to want to get something small down on the breakfast games just to have some early action. And I certainly know the feeling of sleeping on a team like the Wolfpack on the road against a bigger name and then losing my shorts.
So this is why I write simple injury pieces like this one; so that you, the fellow square bettor, will hear the distant voice of TK on your shoulder as you tease Miami down six points to a “can’t lose” minus one. Take the Wolfpack plus 13 insteadddd. Cover two key numberssss. Do the backdoor cover dance in the 4thhhhh. After all, when it comes to wagering extravagant sums of hard-earned money on kids who can’t even drink legally yet, we’re all in this together.
NC State is returning most of its production from their eight-win season in 2020. Most importantly, redshirt sophomore quarterback Devin Leary looks healthy after an extended rehab for a broken leg. Based on his progress from spring practice and summer conditioning drills, there is a consensus belief inside the Wolfpack locker room that Leary is healthy and ready to lead the offense this fall.
“My leg feels amazing,” Leary said. “I’m back to 100 percent for sure. I was cleared on the first day of spring practice, and it’s been a full-go ever since it started.
“It’s been a great opportunity for me to really get my speed back, all my strength back. As far as playing ability and where I’m at with my leg, I’m back 100 percent. It feels back to what it used to be before I broke it.”
If the diagnoses are true, then Leary looks to have a career year as he enters his fourth season in the program. He’ll also have plenty of weapons, as all of his running backs and wide outs on scholarship last season return to Raleigh this fall. And finally, for the first time in his college career, Leary will have the same offensive coordinator for the second year in a row.
Most importantly, though, Leary seems to feel his best mentally as well.
“It’s something that my mom always instilled into me, that everything happens for a reason, but it’s really about how you respond to what happens to you. There were obviously multiple different routes that I could have taken after this injury, whether it was giving up on myself or just losing hope down the line.
“This injury honestly changed me, not only as a player, but as a person. Just from a sense of not taking anything for granted, and all the little things really do matter because they can be gone at any second.”
So there you have it, Wolfpack faithful (whoever you are), your QB has transformed into a perfect beacon of mind, body, and soul just in time for football season. According to FanDuel, NC State regular season win total sits at 6.5, with the juice leaning heavily under. Seven wins nets you a buck and a quarter on your investment. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.
Clear mind, healthy leg, can’t lose teasers. Let’s do this.
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