NC State lost way more than a single football game during the team’s trip to Mississippi State. According to head coach Dave Doeren, linebacker Payton Wilson and defensive back Cyrus Fagan will miss the remainder of the season following surgeries.
Wilson, the ACC’s leading tackler (108) in 2020, is NC State’s top defensive player; however, a variety of injuries have cost him large chunks of playing time throughout his career. Wilson famously played during last season’s victory over Georgia Tech with two dislocated shoulders.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Wilson is a redshirt sophomore. He recorded five total tackles in the first two games of this season.
Both players will have surgery. Mighty big blow for the Pack. https://t.co/faXhKm6wja
— Jonas Pope IV (@JEPopeIV) September 13, 2021
Wilson was injured in the first half of the game at Mississippi State. He immediately left the field following a collision and went to the locker room for x-rays.
A former top-100 prospect, Fagan left the FSU program in October 2020. During his time with Florida State, Fagan battled injuries. He still played in 27 games from 2017-19, including five starts in 2019.
Both players will fully recover, per Doeren. However, losing two players like this is a serious blow for NC State’s defense. There’s good depth at linebacker; Drake Thomas and Isaiah Moore are very good players, too. But there’s just no replacing Wilson’s sideline-to-sideline impact.
Thomas has been promoted to defensive captain, now. Jaylon Scott, a former 3-star recruit from the 2019 class, will start in place of Wilson.