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August 10, 2012
When Tyler Brosius announced that he was not returning to NC State for his redshirt sophomore season, that not only left a void in the quarterback depth chart, it also presented a new challenge to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dana Bible.
That was get a true freshman in Manny Stocker ready to play quarterback. Stocker assumed the backup quarterbacking duties when Brosius left.
One of the silver linings in the situation however is that Stocker graduated early from Coatesville (Pa.) Area High and was able to enroll at NC State for the spring semester.
"You never know in football," Bible pointed out. "When it worked out that he was able to graduate early because he was so sharp and be with us, we were aggressive about it.
"We never assumed, with Coach [Tom] O'Brien you never make assumptions like that. Everybody is up and ready to go. He doesn't declare anybody redshirted or whatever. Everybody is on deck and ready to go from the start."
Fortunately for the Pack, starter and fifth-year senior Mike Glennon is "miles" ahead of where he was last year according to Bible, and Bible considered that "really impressive because he really was at a high level at the end of last year."
Bible is optimistic that Glennon will help provide tutelage for Stocker simply by leading by example.
"I think that's true of any position," Bible noted. "One of the coaching points is, 'Just do it like he did.' You can talk till you are blue in the face, but a lot of learning in this game is to see it and then to replicate it. That's really what goes on a lot.
"There are forms of learning and teaching, and for a lot of players that's absolutely the way that they can put the pieces together. They see it, assess and go, 'I can do that.'"
When NC State recruited Stocker and landed his verbal commitment over Cincinnati and Temple last summer, they knew they were getting a good athlete. They also liked his intangibles.
"We were impressed with just a really sharp young man, just had a good way about him, and when you play on high school on the field he had a real presence about him, took the game over," Bible stated.
Bible has seen those beliefs about Stocker from the recruiting trail confirmed thus far through spring and preseason practices. It's still a process however.
"You go with the theory of you walk before you run," Bible said. "Quite honestly he's very intelligent, Manny's very intelligent and very talented. That helps the process.
"I think what we do is right now we install, we just push ahead with the first and second group right here. As time goes on, where he needs more reps and less work, it'll be clearer to us then."