Wake Forest sneaks up on you – when they win – that’s just how you do it in Winston-Salem, N.C. And Deacs coach Jim Grobe has, for the most part, excelled at that.
But for four seasons in a row, they’ve finished below .500, after three consecutive winning years from 2006-08 (28-14 record) – with an ACC title in the mix.
On that kind of run, spring football becomes open tryouts for almost everybody.
“It’s a really competitive time for us individually,” Grobe said. “Football is a team sport, but for us right now, each kid at each position – we’re trying to get him as much repetitions as we possibly can.”
More on the Deacs…
2012 Record: 5-7 (3-5, fourth in Atlantic)
Plays Clemson: Sept. 28, in Clemson.
Returning Starters by Position (16)
* Mix of injured starters during the 2012 season and midseason replacements.
Outgoing Starters: 8
Offensive Leader: QB Tanner Price – The three-year starter has thrown for 6,666 yards for 39 touchdowns/21 interceptions.
Defensive Leader: CB Kevin Johnson – The rising senior made it a second-straight year the Deacs had a player in the top-10 in passes defended nationally, breaking up or intercepting 18 of them.
Key Issues This Spring: 1) Building depth – The Deacs were injury-riddled from the get-go in 2012, and the trend continued as they got to within a game of bowl eligibility, only to lose the last three. This spring is about finding identifying anybody that can contribute this season, says Grobe. “When we come back in August, we’re pretty much set in our lineups in who we’re going to play,” he said, “so we’re trying to figure out not only the scholarship players who can help us out, but (also) there may be a handful of walk-on kids who can get on the field.”
2) Getting healthy – The injury bug is still biting the Deacs though, starting spring practice without upwards of eight projected starters. That list included top receiver Michael Campanaro and three o-lineman. Offensive tackle Colin Summers, who started 11 games last season as a redshirt sophomore, may be done for his career with a possible blood disorder. “Depth is a concern for us,” Grobe said. “That’s why it’s important for young guys to get the work. Some of them are getting more work than they need honestly with some of the injuries, but it’s been really good…Going forward, the nice thing is when we get ready to play the season – these old guys (returning) will be the bell-cows for us.”
3) Finding new targets – Wake Forest needs improvement in the passing game overall (91st nationally in ‘12), and they will have to do so replacing two of their top three in receptions, wide receiver Terence Davis (43 for 544 yards/2 TDs) and fullback Tommy Bohanon (23 for 208 yards/5 TDs).
More Spring Football Check-Ins