The Wake Forest football program has relieved redshirt sophomores DeAndre Martin and Sherman Ragland III from scholarships. While showing potential, the duo failed to receive consistent playing time in 2013 due to off-the-field issues.
After leading the team with six rushing touchdowns as a freshman, Martin entered 2013 huge expectations. The bulldozing 6-2, 235 lbs running back even said in the preseason that he was capable of handling 25 to 30 carries a game. But without the full trust of the coaching staff, he received 16 carries all season for 52 yards.
Meanwhile, Ragland was expected to be the Demon Deacons’ major contributor at wide receiver to complement Michael Campanaro. At 6-2, 195 lbs, the speedy Ragland compiled 20 receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown—most of which came in his monstrous 10 catch, 91 yard effort in a loss to Syracuse.
The talented duo were plagued by off-the-field issues and maturity questions. Martin was among six players suspended for the game versus Maryland in 2012 for failing a drug test. Additionally, both players were cited for poor attendance in class and team meetings.
In October, then-head coach Jim Grobe told Dan Collins of The Winston-Salem Journal, ""I try to tell our football team – and they don’t always listen – talented people are a dime a dozen, people with really good talent."
"The main reason you even ask about those two guys [Martin and Ragland] is, it's obvious they've got a lot of talent,''
"The problem is, as Lobo says all the time, some kids will never disappoint you if you don't count on them."
New head coach Dave Clawson said he would clean up the Wake Forest football team starting from Day One. And thus far, he has lived up to his word.
Here’s a statement from Ragland:
Hello Wake Forest recipients,
I had a wonderful stay and like all other good things, an end must approach at some point. Much love to all the new people I've met while I was [at school]. It’s really been an interesting experience... WFU football team [will perform well] this year. Party less, study more and chase your dreams. [Missing] classes and being late to tutors have been my down fall unfortunately... Look for me on the ESPN channel.
Full Disclosure: I have known both players since the Fall of 2011, our first semester on campus. I lived in the same freshman hall as Martin and was in a class with Ragland.