Can Brandon Mitchell Make NC State an ACC Atlantic Contender?
Aside from the fact that the NC State Wolfpack are making a transition from the Tom O’Brien era to the Dave Doeren era, the biggest question that surrounds the 2013 edition of the ‘Pack is how the void that’s been left with the departure of QB Mike Glennon to the NFL will be filled.
Prior to today, there were two options for Doeren and staff to take the role of Glennon’s successor. On one hand, there’s the young sophomore Manny Stocker, who has attempted just a mere two passes in his brief college career. On the other hand, there’s Colorado State transfer Pete Thomas, who has 21 career starts under his belt. One brings potential, while the other brings experience–a definite interesting scenario for Doeren in his first season at the helm.
Now, with the news today that the coach has landed former Arkansas Razorbacks QB Brandon Mitchell, you can add another name into the battle that will become the NC State QB competition leading into this fall.
With all of the pieces now seemingly set in Raleigh, who will be the man come September for the Wolfpack?
I’ll admit that when it was just Thomas and Stocker, the thought did cross my mind that Doeren may implement some sort of the infamous two-quarterback system. Both bring their own unique attributes to the table that could have been used to NC State’s advantage at different points in the games the year. Stocker was clearly the more versatile of the two, while Thomas had the in-game experience, as well as the more efficient arm.
However, with the addition of Mitchell, Doeren may have found the man that can give him a hybrid version of Thomas and Stocker.
Mitchell did in fact lose the starting job at Arkansas to Brandon Allen, but make no mistake about it, he didn’t lose it by much. At 6-4 and 239-pounds, if need be, Mitchell is almost the epitome of a stand-tall-in-the-pocket QB, and he has the arm strength and accuracy to go with it.
As last year’s incredibly successful Doeren-led Northern Illinois team showed us, very rarely does the coach ask his QB to give his best Dan Marino impression. Doeren’s fast-paced offensive gameplan requires his signal callers to move around constantly. Well, with Mitchell timed out of high school in the 40-yard dash at around the 4.5 second range, this factor of his game shouldn’t present any issues.
Basically, after careful consideration and will all due respect to the hard work that Stocker and Thomas put in throughout the spring, I think that Doeren has found his man in Mitchell. I have to expect that when Week 1 rolls around, he will be the one under center, and will stay there for the entire game as well as throughout the season.
Adding Mitchell to an offensive mixture that already includes two manageable running backs in Tony Creecy and Shadrach Thornton, as well as a decent receiving group, may make the NC State Wolfpack a surprise contender in the ACC Atlantic Division.