Senior Danny Dembry Impressed at Wake's First Preseason Scrimmage
Wake Forest is a little over two weeks away from opening up their football season against Syracuse and provided a little sneak peek of the team today in the team's first preseason scrimmage. The Deacons practiced and scrimmaged for a little over two hours at BB&T Field in an event that was open to the public. The scrimmage provided an opportunity for nearly all healthy players on both sides of the ball to see the field, and fans the first chance to see how the Deacons look in a non-practice setting.
Click through for thoughts and analysis from Wake Forest's first preseason scrimmage
- There haven't really been too many injuries so far this preseason and the only guys I noticed who weren't dressed or weren't playing were Michael Campanaro, Terrence Davis (right foot), Airyn Willis (hammy), Morgan Harris (hammy), and Josh Strickland (hurt ankle today at scrimmage, out 4-6 weeks)
- The defense looked solid early on today when the first teams were matched up against each other. Once Price got comfortable though he was able to lead the offense on a couple of solid drives, including a nice strike to Matt James across the middle for a touchdown.
- Price is far and away the best quarterback Wake has right now. Price went 10-14 on the day for 175 yards and a touchdown. Stachitas seemingly has a lock on the backup spot and ran with both the first and second team amassing a 10-16 passing line with 99 yards. The biggest knock on Ted is his decision making in the pocket, where he frequently holds the ball too long or panics and tucks the ball under before he really needs to. Price looks much more comfortable in the pocket and looks improved from last year.
- Freshman Kevin Sousa was the only QB on the roster who did not play and instead spent most of the practice standing behind the offense off to the side with QB's coach Elrod.
- With Givens and Campanaro out, the starting receivers were Danny Dembry, Matt James, and Brandon Terry. James looked solid with a couple of nice snags from Tanner Price, including the aforementioned touchdown and another play where Price was flushed out of the pocket and floated a ball out to James, who went up and met it at the apex to bring down a nice twenty yard reception.
- Dembry was the most impressive wideout today and his stats showed it with 6 catches for 112 yards.
- Turner Faulk also got a chance to show off his skills at the flanker spot with Givens and Camp out, and he did not disappoint. He had the play of the day when he caught a 30 yard pass from Thompson, juked through two guys, sprinted down the sideline, and dragged a defender 10 yards into the end zone for a 70 yard touchdown run. It will be interesting to see if he sees the field much in the regular season since he is behind so many people in the depth chart, but he was impressive today.
- The receiver corps may be the deepest Wake has had in quite some while and should be a strength for this year's offense.
- Josh Harris had a few nice runs but didn't play too much, which allowed Pendergrass to have a good performance with two touchdowns. Hopefully Harris isn't injured and was just being rested a bit since we know what he brings to the table.
- The offensive line continues to struggle at times, particularly once the starters come out of the game. It will be interesting to see what happens if Garrick Williams goes down with an injury because the center position will be totally up for grabs, but Raines looks to have the inside spot there as a backup. Joe Looney was impressive and is the vocal leader of the offense.
- The defense looked a lot better than they have in the past couple years. The move to the 3-4 allows multiple schemes where any number of players can be blitzing from any position. Scott Betros, Desmond Floyd, Josh Bush, and Cyhl Quarles all impressed today and the safeties have done a much better job of getting up in coverage to stuff the run.
- Whitlock continues to be VERY impressive and is almost impossible to stop one on one. Booi has the inside track on the backup NT spot with Souza still out.
- The two CB's going with the first team defense were Bud Noel and Kenny Okoro. Marshall ran with the second team, and that position battle between Noel and Marshall is probably the biggest one to keep an eye on as the preseason continues. Meanwhile Duran Lowe is the backup option at the safety position
- True freshman Desmond Floyd had a great game and was all over the backfield when he was out there. It remains to be seen if there are any freshman that will get playing time this year but Floyd or Godspower Offer probably have the greatest chances on the defensive side.
- Cyhl Quarles had a nice interception across the middle of the field on a ball intended for Quan Rucker and made a good read to go up grab the ball and come down with the pick.
- After the initial scrimmage the team ran a couple of punt drills where Alex Wulfeck and Alex Kinal both got to show off their skills. Kinal absolutely bombed his first punt, flying 55 yards and hanging in the air between 4.5 and 5 seconds. If pressed to pick a punter now it would have to be Kinal.
- True freshman Orville Reynolds was on the field to catch punts with Lovell Jackson and Khiry Sutton, but muffed a couple of opportunities. There has been some talk about not redshirting Reynolds, but he will probably end up with the RS and Scooby will end up being the punt returner.
- The running back depth chart probably goes Harris, Pendergrass, Knott (who has impressed so far this year with his speed and ability to hit the hole). If Reynolds doesn't redshirt he would be slotted in with Knott for the third or fourth RB spot.
I'm certain there are things I've missed or misremember from this morning, but if anyone has questions or concerns let me know and I'll be sure to answer them.