Over the past three games, redshirt junior tight end Asa Watson has enjoyed a noticeable increase in his role in the Wolfpack's offense.
After having five catches for 57 yards in the first four games, four of them coming in the season-opening loss to Tennessee, Watson has made 10 receptions for 109 yards in the past three contests.
"I guess this is what I have been waiting for since I got here, to get on the field," Watson said "It's definitely fulfilling to get out there and actually have a role in the offense.
"This is probably the most comfortable I have ever felt. That comes with repetition. The more you get out there, the more comfortable you get. I really am excited about this year. It's going so well, but whatever it takes to help the team out, I got to do it."
Watson has technically started four of the first seven games this season, but fifth-year senior Mario Carter is the starter at tight end. In the last two contests though, Watson has played over twice as many snaps as Carter.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder is starting to fulfill the potential that had Wolfpack coaches excited when they signed him out of Rock Hill (S.C.) High.
After struggling initially to gain weight at NC State, Watson redshirted last year while recovering from two procedures on his heart. He had just two receptions for 28 yards in his first two seasons combined, but Watson, the younger brother of Cleveland Browns tight end Ben Watson, has enjoyed a break out of sorts lately.
Watson credited confidence with one of the keys to his recent success. He said that he learned he can make a contribution for the Wolfpack.
"I have what it takes to help this team, all I have to do is have confidence in my abilities," Watson explained. "A lot of things come with confidence."
How much confidence does Watson have now?
"I've got enough," Watson stated. "I know that my confidence can get too much. It can't go over what it needs to be. I got to stay levelheaded. At the same time I can't get down when I make mistakes.
"I think it's very important to stay levelheaded and just take each play one at a time, just focusing on my assignments and focusing on the ball and the blocks one-by-one. That really helps me."