N.C. State kicker Kyle Bambard reacts after missing a field goal in the fourth quarter against Clemson on Oct. 25, 2016 in Clemson, South Carolina. While the miss was a low point for Bambard’s 2016 season, he made five of six field-goal attempts in the Kay Yow Spring Game on Saturday.
By Rob McLamb
Special to the Times
N.C. State held its 2017 Kay Yow Spring Game at Carter-Finley Stadium Saturday. Three storylines emerged.
The Wolfpack, who recently added a graduate transfer at the kicking position in former Carson Newman placekicker Carson Wise, are hoping the 2017 campaign will bring more consistency from the kicking game.
Kyle Bambard drilled five field goals in six attempts at the spring game Saturday. It was a stark contrast for the junior, who struggled last season to the tune of 11-for-18 on field goal attempts in 2016. His late game miss at Clemson denied N.C. State an upset win versus the eventual national champions and prompted head coach Dave Doeren to bench Bambard in favor of Jackson Maples.
N.C. State also has a commitment from 2018 placekicker Chris Dunn.
Doeren was asked about Bambard’s success afterwards. The kicking game has been a source of consternation for N.C. State and the head coach was succinct in his praise.
“Oh it was great for Kyle,” Doeren said. “I’m excited that he was able to do that.”
A POSITIVE IMPRESSION
Like most schools, N.C. State used its spring game as a means to bring in recruits. The Wolfpack secured a prized commitment days afterward.
Devin Leary, a four-star prospect who is ranked as the 19th best quarterback in the nation by Scout committed to N.C. State Thursday afternoon.
The New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year after setting state records for touchdowns (48) and passing yards (3,688) last season, Leary completed 198-of-316 passes while leading Timber Creek to a 12-0 record and a second straight South Jersey Group 4 championship.
Leary also held offers from Boston College, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Rutgers, Maryland, Baylor, Minnesota, West Virginia, Indiana, Iowa and Kentucky among several others.
N.C. State hosted nearly 60 kids from New Jersey recently that were en route to a 7-on-7 tournament in Florida. Leary, who was offered Saturday, is the third player the Wolfpack has landed from The Garden State in the past two seasons and is beginning to become a priority
Leary joins Dunn, defensive back De’Von Graves and versatile athlete Ricky Person as the Wolfpack’s fourth commitment in the 2018 class.
A GREAT CAUSE
The crowd for the Kay Yow Spring Game helped raise $10,889 for cancer research. The disease has touched most and has been particularly brutal for N.C. State over the years.
“That’s really an integral part of the game,” Doeren noted. “It’s a way for us to show our pride towards that cause and to be able to recognize Elizabeth Trevathan, [Director of High School Relations Harry] Trevathan’s wife and her battle and her passing. I thought was a special moment for him and his family as well.”
Rob McLamb has covered NC State Athletics and recruiting for Pack Pride (Scout.com) since 2012. You can follow him on Twitter @RobMcLamb.