N.C. State QB Devin Leary
After leading the Wolfpack to a 9-3 record last season, junior QB Devin Leary is the toast of the ACC heading into 2022. In fact, he is the preseason conference player of the year and many think he could be a darkhorse Heisman Trophy candidate.
It’s easy to see why. Last season he passed for 3,433 yards while tossing 35 TDs and being picked off just five times. It was truly a breakout season for the first-year starter.
In 2021, he passed for a TD in every game his team played. That included five games in which he threw four TD passes.
Leary is living up to the hype that surrounded him when he came out of high school in the class of 2018. That year, he was rated a 4-star prospect and the No. 16 pro-style QB in the nation by 247Sports.com.
"“In my opinion, we have the best quarterback in the country coming back to play for us,” N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren said to ESPN’s Pete Thamel in May. “Devin Leary is a winner, he’s clutch. “From an arm strength standpoint, it’s unbelievable what that guy can do throwing the football. He’s not a dual-threat quarterback. But you talk about a guy who can truly throw the ball and is clutch and can sit in the pocket, move around and do all the progression things he’d be doing at the next level.”"
Leary is a frightening matchup for a Texas Tech defense coming off of a year in which it ranked dead last in the Big 12 against the pass by allowing 268.2 yards per game through the air. But the Red Raiders return virtually their entire secondary thus giving fans hope for a better season against the pass in 2022.
There’s no doubt that Leary will be a huge challenge for Tech in the third game of the season. That doesn’t give the defense much time to work out the kinks and become accustomed to executing DeRuyter’s scheme before facing one of the top QBs in the nation.