Over the last several years, there has been a lot of talk about NC State’s recent success in the quarterback position. A poll was conducted on Twitter to determine where each QB lands in the opinion of WPN. Imagine if all of these quarterbacks were in Raleigh at the same time? That’s what “Project QBU” hopes to accomplish in the near future.
5. Roman Gabriel (1959-1961)
Voted 5th with 30 out of the 801 votes.
The legend of Wilmington native Roman Gabriel is often forgotten because of the age difference between his playing days and that of the other successful Pack quarterbacks. Gabriel broke 22 school records and 9 conference records. He was drafted 1st in the AFL and 2nd in the NFL. After a good run in professional football, Gabriel pursued commentating, coaching and even acting.
4. Russell Wilson
Voted 4th with 67 of the 801 votes.
Russell Wilson burst onto the scene in Raleigh when the quarterback position had been in shambles since Philip Rivers had graduated. Wilson had a special ability to rush just as well as he could pass. The two sport wonder also played baseball for the Pack in the off season of football.
Wilson was named the ACC’s First Team quarterback as a freshman. No other freshman had done that. He threw for 76 yards while being one of the primary rushed each of his three seasons at NC State. If it weren’t for the circumstances of Wilson utilizing his final season at Wisconsin, Wilson would have likely passed Rivers’ passing TDs school record. He finished his playing career at NC State with a 3-0 record against UNC.
Russell Wilson concluded his college career at Wisconsin where he led his team to a Rose Bowl. In the NFL, Wilson surprised everyone when he earned a starting job in Seattle after dropping to the bottom of the NFL Draft. Wilson has flourished with the Seahawk’s organization playing in two Superbowls and winning one. Wilson occasionally returns to Raleigh to hold summer camps.
3. Jacoby Brissett (2014, 2015)
Voted 3rd with 87 of the 801 votes.
Jacoby Brisett transferred in front Florida and almost immediately made a impact. Brissett was great outside the pocket and routinely should extend plays. He threw 46 scores in just two seasons.
Brissett was drafted in 2015 by the New England Patriots where he earned his first start when a suspended Tom Brady was out. He was traded to the Colts last season where he now backs up Andrew Luck.
2. Ryan Finley
Voted 2nd with 202 of the 801 votes.
Finley burst onto the scene with unparalleled accuracy. A fan favorite for sure, he earned the respect of fans, players and coaches almost instantly. Finley, a Arizona native, transferred in from Boise State but considers Raleigh home now. Finley is currently gearing up for the NFL Draft but this isn’t the last you’re going to hear from a Finley.
Ryan Finley’s brother recently committed to play football at NC State. After three straight bowl appearances for Ryan, it’s going to be big shoes to fill for younger brother Ben Finley.
1. Philip Rivers (2000-2003)
Voted 1st with 358 of the 801 votes.
Philip Rivers is one of the most loved alumni in NC State history and number one on this fan poll at a whopping 358 out of 801 votes. The bolo tie wearing, gun slinging, high energy quarterback burst onto the scene in Raleigh as the century was turning over. With 95 TDs and 13,484 career yards, Rivers shattered records as he ushered in a new era of NC State football. NC State’s football program changed tremendously with the help of Rivers and Coach Chuck Amato.
As a NFL quarterback, Philip Rivers has transcended time with 15 years seasons thus far with the Chargers organization. Rivers, now 37, shows no signs of slowing down and he had a outstanding 2018-2019 season leading the Los Angeles Chargers. Rivers is also uniquely a father of 8, soon to be 9 children.