This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA College Football 2011
The slate's been wiped clean. The most successful class in Wake Forest history has graduated and we are entering a new chapter in Demon Deacon football. Despite the fact that, well, this season might be a bit of a struggle, there is something refreshing about no expectations. We have a front row seat to watching these young guys make mistake, make big plays and ultimately grow into great players.
We'll obviously be delving deeper into this later on, but at first glance, what am I expecting in this season of Wake football?
Read more after the jump and share your expectations in the comments
First and foremost, the quarterback position. This is really the biggest question mark. Replacing the best quarterback in Wake history is a bit of a tall order. But the Deacs are not lacking in talent. Between Tanner Price, Ted Stachitas
, Brendan Cross
and Skylar Jones
, there are some serious athletes there. But who will step up? The Deacs need a leader to manage the return to the run-first offense and to throw to the stable of extremely talented receivers. While Skylar can use his speed in an option attack, both Price and Cross have big enough arms to get the ball downfield. I full expect to see packages for Skylar regardless of whether or not he wins the starter's job.
At the RB position there is still plenty to work with. Both Pendergrass and Josh Adams are still there, Tommy Bohanon has a ton of strength at FB and there are talented true freshmen waiting in the wings if they end up being needed in a pinch to shed their redshirt. But they will need the offensive line, which struggled at times last season, to step up and play big.
Defensively, there are a lot of pieces--lots of speed and strength, but the size up front is a lot smaller than last season. The youth will be a factor here as we saw last season, but hopefully the big minutes these guys played a year ago will lead to some leaders being found and some big plays. Guys need to take the reigns though, plain and simple, which was something that didn't happen last year. These things have a way of shaking out.
It isn't a question of if the Deacs will be good again; it's a question of when. This season will have its big moments and its headaches, but as long as the team improves overall, the future is bright. The team may win 5 games, but it will be important to take away the positives and the building blocks. It will be exciting to see where these players go from here.