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N.C. State QB battle is down to three

RALEIGH - Just three candidates remain for the starting quarterback job at N.C. State, which has seen two key players undergo surgery during training camp, coach Tom O'Brien said Tuesday.

Senior Daniel Evans, redshirt freshman Russell Wilson and freshman Mike Glennon remain in the competition at quarterback. Junior Harrison Beck and sophomore Justin Burke, who did not participate in Sunday's football scrimmage, are out of the race.

Tailback Toney Baker, who tore a knee ligament in last season's opener, has had surgery to clear out residue in his knee. O'Brien said Baker is "on the shelf" for a while but didn't give a timetable.

Clem Johnson, a junior college transfer who was competing for a starting spot at the boundary safety position, broke his jaw in the scrimmage Sunday. O'Brien said he might be out for the season.

"We brought him in here for a purpose," O'Brien said. "The way he was playing, he would have been the starter at safety for us. That's the way he was going. It's a big loss for us right now."

O'Brien said the coaches like something about the performances of each of the three remaining quarterbacks in the race for the starting job. Each will be evaluated in two remaining scrimmages, one of which is set for Friday.

Evans has started 17 games over the past two seasons and was 6-for-8 for 89 yards during Sunday's scrimmage. Wilson is the team's most mobile quarterback. At 6 feet 6, Glennon is the tallest and the most similar to quarterbacks who had success at Boston College under O'Brien.

"They're learning the system," offensive coordinator Dana Bible said of the freshmen. "Russell has been here, I guess, a year longer. Sometimes some of the pieces fit better than others. But we're pleased with the progress they're making. We can't wait for the next day to see how they take the next step."

N.C. State opens the season Aug. 28 at South Carolina.

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