There are always things that don’t make a lot of sense on the surface no matter how true they are. The NC State Wolfpack being a factory for NFL quarterbacks is one of those things. For years, the Wolfpack has been a tick above average at best as a football. Yet, NC State continues to send quarterbacks to the NFL. Let’s take a look at all of the quarterbacks that NC State has sent to the NFL over the years.
Rivers is undoubtedly the most famous quarterback to come out of NC State. He’ll end up spending over a decade and a half as a starter in the NFL, going to eight Pro Bowls. Rivers led the league in touchdowns in 2008 and passing yards in 2010.
The only caveat in his career is that he struggled to make the Chargers a consistent winner and never got his team to the Super Bowl. Other than that, you can’t ask for much more from a quarterback than what Rivers has accomplished
While he finished his career at Wisconsin, Wilson got his start at NC State, winning ACC Rookie of the Year and being a First-Team All-ACC selection as a freshman in 2008. He ultimately led the Wolfpack to a 9-4 season and a top-25 ranking in 2010.
In the NFL, Wilson has taken things to another level. He helped the Seahawks win a Super Bowl in his second season and has been a Pro Bowler in all but one year since coming into the league. Odds are, Wilson will win MVP one year and eventually surpass Rivers as the best quarterback to come out of NC State.
After transferring from Florida, Brissett had two outstanding seasons with the Wolfpack, playing a huge role in Dave Doeren getting the program to another level.
In the NFL, he’s spent two seasons as the full-time starter for the Colts, posting respectable numbers in both seasons despite Indy missing the playoffs. Even if he ends up being a career backup, Brissett is likely to be one of the NFL’s best backups, which is nothing to scoff at.
With Glennon waiting in the wings, NC State was able to survive Wilson transferring to Wisconsin. In two years as the starter, Glennon racked up over 7,000 yards and 62 touchdown passes.
Of course, outside of his rookie season, Glennon has spent most of his NFL career as a backup. Nevertheless, he’s stuck around in the league for nearly a decade, which is more than most quarterbacks.
Young fans are surely familiar with the four other NC State quarterbacks on our list, but they should also familiarize themselves with Gabriel. He was a two-time ACC Player of the Year with the Wolfpack and then a four-time Pro Bowler in the NFL with the Rams and Eagles.
He led the NFL in passing yards in 1973 and touchdown passes in both 1969 and 1973, winning league MVP honors in 1969. While his teams lacked success in the NFL, Gabriel was one of the most overlooked quarterbacks of his generation.