Devin Leary isn’t a quarterback whose name has leaped off the screen, but he’s starting to be noticed more with the way he has played this season.
Leary was a part of an NC State offense that took down Clemson, one of the most dominant programs in recent college football history. Leary took 44 shots during the game, completing 32 of them for 238 yards with four touchdowns as the Wolfpack recorded a 27-21 overtime win and moved to No. 23 in the rankings. He earned the Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week Award for the performance, was named the Walter Camp FBS Player of the Week, and became just the third signal-caller in NC State history to take down the Tigers.
That will do something to put you on the map, and certainly increase your draft stock. Such has been the case for the redshirt sophomore, who has completed just under 69% of his passes for 1,032 yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions.
Some things of note there: Leary has taken a big step where accuracy is concerned, as he finished out the 2020 season with a completion percentage of 60% after having a dismal 48.1% completion percentage as a freshman. His touchdown-to-interception ratio is also about where you’d want it considering how many times he throws the ball. That ratio was 8:2 in 2020 and 8:5 back in 2019.
Leary has received some criticism for struggling to push the ball downfield during his career, but that has hardly looked like an issue as of late. The air that he’s gotten under the ball and the timing and the placement he’s put on a lot of these throws don’t leave too much more to be desired.
You also get the sense that he doesn’t let a moment get too big for him—nothing says the pressure is on quite like going for the win in overtime against a top-10 ranked team as an underdog. Despite this (and he did have some good protection on that game-winner), he maintains his composure and confidently finishes off the game.
And game-winning heroics aren’t necessarily new to Leary, who helped stage a 30-29 comeback victory over a No. 24 Pitt team last year.
Every season we have players who come out of the woodwork and rise in a big way, going from virtually unknown to in the spotlight. Leary seems to be in the company of a group of quarterbacks that consists of names like Jake Haener (Fresno State) and Kenny Pickett (Pitt).
It will be interesting to see if Leary can remain on the steady up, but this Wolfpack team is one that was said to have the potential to be one of the best in their conference and he is undoubtedly functioning as a big piece of that momentum.
- Aug 22, 2022
- Aug 22, 2022