Hard work and dedication paid off for one walk-on at NC State.

During a normal team meeting, defensive backs coach George Barlow talked about what the team needed to do to become a better player and a better person, but highlighted walk-on cornerback Nick Lacy as someone who exemplifies some of the traits the Wolfpack look for in a student-athlete.

"I think he hears those words and he tries to live by those words on a regular basis," Barlow said. "This dude right here, he's not just a regular soldier. He's warrior. He's a warrior because he does this and because he loves it. He doesn't do it for rewards, he does it because he loves this team."

Lacy, a 5-foot-7-inch, 181-pound redshirt sophomore from Pinehurst, North Carolina, saw action on special teams last year in four games and finished with a fumble recovery.

Barlow talked about Lacy's smile, which rarely wavers every day and never once vanished throughout the video. And even more impressive than his attitude, Barlow said, was how Lacy makes a big sacrifice by paying his own way in college.

"But you know what?" Barlow said. "He ain't go to do it with his own money any more!"

Immediately swarmed by teammates after hearing the news, Lacy's smile grew wider than ever.