QB Jacoby Brissett 'more seasoned' at North Carolina State entering final spring game



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RALEIGH, North Carolina — Jacoby Brissett is getting pretty comfortable at quarterback for North Carolina State.

His first spring practice sessions in 2013 came shortly after transferring from Florida and getting familiar with new-at-the-time coach Dave Doeren.

Last year came with the pressure of knowing he would take over as the Wolfpack's top QB.

Brissett said Thursday that he's "seeing things a lot faster" and that "the game's slowing down more" than perhaps it did during his first two springs here.

The redshirt senior will wrap up his final set of spring practices Saturday in the Wolfpack's annual Kay Yow Spring Game.

Doeren says he sees a "more seasoned" quarterback than the one who arrived after the 2012 season.

Brissett sat out in 2013, working with the scout team, before taking over last year. He threw for 2,606 yards and 23 touchdowns with only five interceptions and rushed for 529 more yards and three scores.

Among quarterbacks in the five power conferences, Brissett joined Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota of Oregon and UCLA's Brett Hundley as the only players with 2,000 yards passing, 300 yards rushing, 20 touchdowns and five or fewer interceptions.

Brissett's progression is one reason why bigger things are expected of the Wolfpack this season than perhaps they were a year ago — when they were coming off a dismal 3-9 finish that included an 0-8 performance in Atlantic Coast Conference games.

"He's not thinking nearly as much," Doeren said. "Last year, he pressed at times in the spring and felt like he had to do everything on his own."

The Wolfpack came on strong at the end of last season, winning four of their final five games — including a 35-7 rout of rival North Carolina and a 34-27 win over Central Florida in the Bitcoin Bowl.

Brissett threw at least one touchdown pass in each of the final seven games, and also rushed for 167 yards and a score against the Tar Heels.

"I think as the year went on he got more and more comfortable being the manager of the game and understanding that he doesn't have to win the game every play," Doeren said. "You just see him now — a play doesn't look good, he'll get out of it and get to the next play."

The end of spring practice means the beginning of individual workouts without any coaches around, and Brissett says a top priority will be continuing to develop on- and off-field relationships with his receivers. N.C. State returns just one starting wideout — Bra'Lon Cherry, who caught 27 passes for 354 yards a year ago.

"As a quarterback, the main thing is just getting time with the receivers," Brissett said. "We've got a new group. ... Just moving forward and understanding what we're doing, and moving forward towards our goal."


Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap

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