Starter: Senior Ryan Finley
Back-up: Redshirt-freshman Matt McKay
Last year, the position was locked down for the third straight season by Finley. Finley started 39 straight games for the Wolfpack, providing a remarkable amount of consistency for Doeren’s offense.
Finley improved in every facet of his game over his career, culminating in a senior year in which he threw for 3,926 yards and 25 touchdowns. He led the team to nine wins and an appearance in the Gator Bowl against Texas A&M, where he posted one of his worst performances of the year, throwing for just 139 yards and two interceptions.
Finley finished sixth in the NCAA in passing behind Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He finished second all-time in N.C. State passing yards, only behind future NFL Hall of Famer Philip Rivers.
It was hard to imagine that Finley would be this successful in his N.C. State career. When he arrived in 2016, he was taking over from a successful quarterback in Brissett. He out-dueled a fan favorite in Jalan McClendon to begin the season and never looked back.
Replacing Finley’s production won’t be easy as he was a sixth-year senior, bringing a wealth of experience to the position. It certainly shouldn’t be expected of a first year starter.