Monday at Quail Hollow Club, golf was not the main top of discussion as the Charlotte Sports Foundation had an ACC and a SEC coach in the house to talk about their September match up on the gridiron.
The Belk College Kickoff will take place at Bank of America on September 2nd as NC State will take on South Carolina.
2017 will be the 5th season for Pack head coach Dave Doeren and expectations are high among Wolfpack fans.
State has 21 seniors-- 11 are returning starters.
From a local standpoint, State has 18 players from the Charlotte area with 6 of them as starters.
On offense, they have quarterback Ryan Finley back and former West Meck star Jalan McClendon returns as well.
One of the most versatile offensive players in the country is back in former Mallard Creek star Jaylen Samuels. Last season, he led the Pack in receiving with 55 catches and was 3rd on the team in rushing.
On defense, State will have one of the best defensive lines in the country led by D-end Bradley Chubb. But 2 local products will also be huge up front-- former West Stanly star BJ Hill (defensive tackle) and former Lincolnton star Darian Roseboro (defensive end).
The Pack finished last season 7-6 and capped the year with a win over SEC foe Vanderbilt in the Independence Bowl 41-17.
"It's been 15 years since NC State beat a SEC team and we did that in the bowl game," said coach Doeren. "To have a chance to maybe have back to back SEC wins would be big for our program so those are great reasons to win the game."
Meanwhile, Will Muschamp is returning for his 2nd season as the head coach of South Carolina.
The Gamecocks currently only have 3 players from the Charlotte area on their 2017 roster not counting incoming freshman. So this game is a chance for USC to put their brand in front of local high school players.
The biggest returning starter is linebacker Skai Moore. He led the team in tackles the first 3 years of his career and he was All SEC in 2015. Moore would miss last season with a neck injury.
Offensively, the Gamecocks bring back quarterback Jake Bentley and four of five starting offensive linemen.
Starting the season against a tough ACC opponent will be a great help in the opinion of coach Muschamp.
"I think it's good to start the season off against a really good football team because I think it's extra motivation for your players during the summer," said coach Muschamp. "We have to be ready to go when we report to camp July 27th."
This NC State vs South Carolina game is just the start of great games in the yearly Belk College Kickoff schedule.
Next season, Tennessee and West Virginia will meet at Bank of America Stadium. In 2019, it will be North Carolina vs South Carolina. In 2020, it will be Notre Dame vs Wake Forest. And in 2021, Appalachian State will take on East Carolina.
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