Ok, I've had my rest over the last few months to get over perhaps the worst year of athletics in Wake Forest history. Louisville has had a historic run in the past calendar year (Sugar Bowl champs, NCAA basketball champs, College World Series berth, runner-up in the women's NCAA basketball championship, and more), and for every top dog there has to be a bottom dog. We may not be the very bottom, but based on the results we were certainly fighting for it.
Now that it is all behind me and a very distant past (my psychiatrist tells me that I need to face all my problems in the past, so I of course bury them next to the hatchet), I can move onto this new year and once again become my usual overly optimistic self.
I'll try to throw some real analysis into the articles I do this season that isn't marred by my darling idealist point-of-view on Wake Forest athletics. I believe I've done that in the past to some extent, so I will continue to plod on and do it again!
The beginning of a new athletic season means only one thing here at Blogger So Dear---FOOTBALL ROSTER BREAKDOWNS!!!! Last year I set a very ambitious schedule that I obviously failed at because real life gets in the way. This year I am just saying that I will preview all the positions (hopefully) before the season starts and then make it into one nice readable volume for you all (maybe).
Bear with me on some of this stuff because I have a thankfully short memory and may have lost some vital information regarding Wake Forest football from last year. If anything is blatantly wrong please point it out and laugh at me if you would like.
Anyways...let's get it started with the 50 pound kahuna---the quarterback position!!!
Note: All stats come from www.cfbstats.com. If you don't know about the site then you should go there if you like college football. It's a great site and other than KenPom for college basketball, is my most used source for statistics on this website. Enjoy!!!
As I wrote in last year's quarterback preview, everything still pretty much starts and ends with a now senior Tanner Price.
After growing significantly from his true freshman to his sophomore season, by nearly all statistical accounts Price regressed, as seen in the table below:
*The rating average is incorrect because it isn't weighted, but rather the average of all three years.
His numbers this past year were pretty eerily similar to his freshman year except he threw the ball a lot more. At this point the sophomore year is a bit of the aberration, but hopefully he can revert back to the stats he accrued in 2011. This was certainly aided by Chris Givens, but he did have Michael Campanaro last year at his disposal. The drops and lack of another reliable option, especially when Camp was out, hurt the bottom line on Price's numbers too.
Price really needs help from his offensive line to provide him time to throw. This was a problem throughout last year and did not help the bottom line numbers for him. Also, one of Terry, Ragland, James, or any of the other younger WR's have to step up and provide a feasible second set of hands that Price can rely on. Campanaro is a great asset to have for Wake Forest, but he needs a Robin to his Batman if the Deacs want to experience a lot of success in the throwing game.
Despite the reversion back to freshman-like numbers, there is not a threat to him as the starting quarterback. He is taking all of the first string reps in practice and has looked pretty good early on. While Price has not been the savior that some expected for the football program, I do think he has come under more scrutiny than he has deserved, especially considering the lack of blocking up front.
It will be interesting to see how the switch to a misdirection offense will help or hurt Price's overall game. It seems like the plan is to move the pocket a lot and do some rollouts to give him more time to throw. While Tanner's legs aren't a negative overall, they also are not a huge positive. I think the offense switch will be a boost to Price because of the confidence boosts it will give him to complete shorter, quick hitters, as well as get some help from the running game.
The backup quarterback picture is also less than clear at this juncture. Although R-Jr. Patrick Thompson is probably the guy to beat right now for the second-string job.
Patrick is the twin brother of DE Zach Thompson and has been around the block a few times already in Winston-Salem. His experience, along with Tanner's, will provide great leadership to some of the younger guys at the position. Thompson played in three games last year, completing 5-6 passes for 21 yards.
There are several players behind him that will be pushing for playing time. Most notably is R-Fr. Tyler Cameron. Cameron enrolled early at Wake Forest in January of 2012, but missed all of spring practice this year after undergoing shoulder surgery. Cameron's 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame and dual threat potential will perhaps give Wake Forest fans a glimpse of time after Price. He was rated as the 9th dual-threat QB in the country his senior year by Rivals.com. If Cameron continues to recover well from his surgery, it would not surprise me at all to see him take over the second string job as he is groomed for his likely starting role next year.
The other big name that Wake fans have been focused on is R-So. Kevin Sousa. Sousa played in two games last year as a redshirt freshman (@FSU, @Notre Dame), after his freshman campaign included a surgery that limited his reps on the scout team. Sousa came into Wake Forest with relatively high fanfare, choosing the Deacs over Miami (FL) and Michigan. To this point, the quarterback position has not proved easy for Sousa at the collegiate level. He has looked good on deep balls and evading the rush, but continues to struggle with timing routes and medium-length throws. Due to the these types of problems, I expect Sousa to be the fourth option at QB this year for the Demon Deacons. It would not surprise me to see Sousa get shifted around a bit during his time at Wake Forest. He has very good athleticism and I am sure the staff can find a way to get him on the field, especially with so many questions at the WR position.
Michael Radford is a true freshman out Charlotte Country Day School. Given the amount of players at the QB position already, a red-shirt seems to be the most likely option for him this year. Radford is also a dual-threat QB and it will be interesting to see how he develops over the next couple of years to see if he can push Cameron at the starting position.
|QB Depth Chart|
|1||Tanner Price||QB||6'2''||205||SR||Austin, TX (Westlake)|
|2||Patrick Thompson||QB||6'2''||210||RS JR||Ashburn, VA (Stone Bridge)|
|3||Tyler Cameron||QB||6'3''||220||RS FR||Jupiter, FL (Jupiter)|
|4||Kevin Sousa||QB||6'3''||230||RS SO||Orlando, FL (Lake Nona)|
Stay on the lookout for more positional and practice updates the rest of the week as we get closer to the August 29th kickoff against Presbyterian.