The 2015 season has been a bit of a roller coaster for Wake Forest fans. We have seen inspired performances such as road victories over Army and Boston College. We've seen close, but difficult losses to Florida State and Louisville. We've also seen horrific performances against North Carolina and North Carolina State. Over the last several weeks, it's been difficult to know exactly what we were going to get. I believe that's because we haven't had a primary quarterback. It's time to pick one.
Wake Forest's quarterbacks have been at their best when they had the week to prepare as the starting quarterback, and were left in long enough to get an adequate feel for each game. I understand that we needed to rotate the quarterbacks to a degree against North Carolina and North Carolina State. Wolford got beat up in those games, and that's why Clawson opted to put in Hinton. Fully understandable.
Against Louisville, however, there did not seem to be much logical reason for the substitution pattern. This system did not allow for either quarterback to get into much of a rhythm, and this also caused problems for the offensive line and the receivers. Hinton and Wolford, while they have some similarities, are different kinds of quarterbacks. Hinton is far more mobile, which alters how the line has the block, and means the receivers have to be prepared to run to open space when Hinton escapes from the pocket.
Wolford has some mobility, but his success mostly hinges on his ability to be accurate from the pocket. Against Louisville, he was no accurate. He completed less than one-third of his passes, and had three bad interceptions. You could make an argument that the actual interceptions were unlucky, but those passes were not accurate. Hinton had an awful interception in this game. I don't think anyone could argue otherwise. He also completed less than one-third of his passes.
Clawson now has a bye week. He and his staff have to evaluate this team, and pick a starter for the remainder of the season. The quarterback position is a very interesting one at Wake Forest. There is a player in John Wolford who started every game as a true freshman. Kendall Hinton was a higher rated prospect that Wolford, enrolled in spring practice, and has significantly closed the gap between the two. You could argue that he's been better. On the bench, there is Kyle Kearns, who is a 4-star recruit. The staff is redshirting him this season. Wake Forest also has Jamie Newman committed in the 2016 class, and he is a highly regarded prospect.
I don't know who the quarterback of the future is for this program. I don't know if Clawson knows either. All I know is that Clawson needs to pick a starting quarterback, and honor that for the rest of the season. The juggling isn't effective, and leaves too many variables. It didn't allow the players to get in a rhythm against Louisville, and I believe it's detrimental.
I still fully trust Clawson's ability to return this program to where it should be. The fact that there is now actual depth at the quarterback position is a testament to the job that he and his staff have done on the recruiting trail. Quarterback is the most important position in sports, and Wake Forest needs to have stability. The injuries during the earlier part of the season were outside of our control, but the team needs to make decisions about what it can control.
Who should Clawson choose?