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Competition heating up for starting quarterback at N.C. State

Last season when the N.C. State football players walked off the practice fields, the quarterbacks typically wearing their green jerseys with white numbers, one signal caller turned heads more than others. And it was not potentially NFL-bound Jacoby Brissett, then a fifth-year senior and two-year starter for the Wolfpack that exhausted his eligibility after the Belk Bowl loss in December.

Rather it was Jalan McClendon, a Tarzan-like figure at the position. McClendon, a native of Charlotte, stands every bit of 6-5 and checks in at a lean 212 pounds. Even more impressive is the effortless tight spiral McClendon throws. His powerful right arm coupled with his size oozes potential, and he even has some mobility to add to the repertoire, as head coach Dave Doeren noted in a recent interview with ESPN.com.

“Jalan can throw the ball as good as any quarterback I’ve ever seen,” Doeren proclaimed to the blog. “Can he make the decisions a starting quarterback has to make? That’s what this spring has to be about for him. He’s not a 4.5 (40-yard dash) guy, but he does run pretty good, probably a 4.7 guy.” McClendon only got brief mop-up action last year, completing 8 of 14 passes for 69 yards. Yet with all his physical potential, he would seem a sure bet to be Brissett’s replacement when the Pack takes the field in the fall.

A more accurate portrayal of the situation though is this: McClendon is the early favorite. With new offensive coordinator Eli Drinkwitz taking over, the Pack is having an open competition to ensure that McClendon earns the job. The top competitor…