Going into the week five games, very few people were talking about NC State QB Jacoby Brissett. Despite leading the Wolfpack to a 4-0 start and throwing for more than a thousand yards with a nice 10/1 TD to INT ratio, Brissett was largely an unknown. Now, with a should’ve-won game against top ranked Florida State in the books and a tremendous performance by Brissett, he’s officially become the best player no one is talking about.
Sure, you can make the case that prior to the FSU game, his stats were somewhat misleading considering who the Pack were playing. Three schools who are either FCS or were FCS a few years ago and a downtrodden USF team doesn’t scream ‘contender’.
But no. 1 FSU is a different story. That’s a legitimate defense filled with future professional ‘ball players. That defensive line is as athletic and explosive as any you’ll find in the SEC. That linebacking corps has true sideline-to-sideline playmakers who could probably play DB at some schools. That secondary features arguably the best tandem of cornerbacks in the country in Ronald Darby and P.J. Williams. To be blunt, this is an outstanding defense that eats mediocre quarterbacks alive.
How did Brissett do in his big test? 32 of 48 (67%) for 359 yards, 3 TD’s, 0 INT’s and 38 yards rushing. Not too shabby. On the season, Brissett has now thrown for 1,364 yards (just under 69% completion percentage) with a 13 to 1 TD to INT ratio.
When you consider the fact that Brissett is also doing this essentially without a true number one option on the outside it’s even more impressive. His top three pass catchers are a backup WR, a backup RB and a backup TE. Granted he’s had a heck of a ground game to take a lot of pressure off the aerial attack and keep the defense honest, but imagine what he could do if he had, say, Baylor’s receiving corps. Or Alabama’s. That’s just scary.
What kind of prospect is Brissett? An intriguing one to say the least. He’s always had an impressive raw skill set with 4.5 speed on a 6-foot 4, 230-pound frame with a strong arm to match. But before this season he’s always been more potential than production. And through five games this year that’s still true to some degree, as his best football-playing days are still in front of him. But he’s come a long way in showing he can succeed against defenses, and very good defenses at that, with his arm, and surrounded by mediocre talent.
This upcoming week against Clemson will be another tough test. Mackensie Alexander and Garry Peters are a solid CB tandem, and Jayron Kearse and Jadar Johnson have been ball hawks all season long at safety. Oh, and they have one of the best defensive lines in the country and two freaks at LB in Stephone Anthony and Tony Steward.
Brissett may not be getting noticed as much as he should by now, but he’ll have plenty of opportunities the rest of the season to continue building his resume.
Best Player No One Is Talking About? NC State QB Jacoby Brissett