NC State fifth-year senior co-captain and defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy was thrilled when he found out the Wolfpack would be playing Louisville Dec. 27 in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.
Sweezy's final season has mirrored that of the 7-5 Wolfpack in some ways. He missed the first four games after having surgery on his foot in mid-August, and the squad went 2-2 during his absence.
Sweezy returned for the Georgia Tech game Oct. 1, but had to play through pain. NC State ended up going 5-3 in the contests he played in.
Sweezy finished with 21 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, 13 quarterback pressures and one forced fumble. The 6-5, 293-pound two-year-starter from Mooresville, N.C., has tallied 85 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 11 quarterback sacks and 19 starts in 34 career games.
Sweezy recently took some time to talk with The Wolfpacker and answer some questions.
What are you most looking forward to in the bowl game?
"Playing in front of all my family and friends. It's the last one and I want to go out with a bang."
How many friends and family will be attending the bowl game?
"There is going to be a bunch. My mom was freaking out about which bowl game we were going to play in, so she could start buying tickets."
How many times have you watched the replay of the comeback victory over Maryland?
"I've watched it a couple of times. I have to watch it all. I have to see how it all builds up."
Did the second half of the Maryland game show what this year's team is capable of doing?
"It was definitely frustrating [to trail by 27 points], but we just stuck in there and stuck it out. We got it done. We were up and down, but at the end of the day, we got it done."
What will it be like to wear the NC State jersey for the last time?
"It will be an honor. Against Maryland, that was our only guaranteed game. We knew we had to go in and win to get another one. We did that, so now I'm blessed enough to get another game. It's going to be exciting."
Have you talked much with the past NC State players who are playing in the NFL to learn what your next steps will be?
"Oh yeah, definitely. They just say to get to work because it is going to be a business. You have to be on top of your game all the time to have a chance."