Former Jefferson High quarterback Bryant Shirreffs is transferring after one year at N.C. State.
Shirreffs, who led the Dragons to a state title in 2012, had expected to redshirt his first year with the Wolfpack before injuries opened the door for him to play in eight games.
But after moving from quarterback to running back during spring practice, then back to quarterback, he felt like a change would be best. The team’s move from more of a fast-paced spread to a drop-back offense also played a role in his decision.
“I just felt like it was the right thing for me and what I wanted to do,” Shirreffs said in a phone interview Wednesday. “It’s been a tough process the last week or so, but I have a good feeling about it.”
Shirreffs was 164-of-257 passing for 2,369 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior at Jefferson, when he also totaled 1,372 rushing yards and 20 more touchdowns on the ground.
He will finish up his final summer class at N.C. State on Monday, then focus on where he’ll play next. Shirreffs said proximity to home is “not a huge deal,” noting he only came home three times during his freshman year despite being relatively close to Georgia. He’s looking for a place where he will be happy.
“I know the feeling of that because I had that feeling when I came here,” he said. “I’ll feel it in a school I visit. You’re going to have to compete wherever you are. Playing time isn’t a factor. It’s more getting a chance and making the most of an opportunity.”
Shirreffs had 34 carries for 158 yards, fifth-best for N.C. State in 2013 while running mainly out of a wildcat formation, and was 4-of-5 passing for 17 yards. He was responsible for two touchdowns on the season, both in a 23-21 victory against Richmond on Sept. 7 — a 28-yard run and a 7-yard pass.
While his spring featured plenty of changing roles, Shirreffs said his brief time at running back should serve him well going forward.
“I learned a lot about blocking schemes and recognizing defensive fronts,” he said.
N.C. State was 3-9 overall and 0-8 in the Atlantic Coast Conference last fall in coach Dave Doeren’s first season. Though the team struggled, Shirreffs said he gained valuable experience.
“It was definitely nice to play,” he said. “I feel like I’ve kind of got those jitters out of playing in front of a big crowd.”