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Wake Forest Football May Recruiting Breakdown: Defense

Who are some available 2016 defenders Wake Forest is looking to add to its recruiting class? Here are some names to follow in the coming months.

Coach Clawson is looking to bring in yet another historic recruiting class to Wake Forest next season.
Coach Clawson is looking to bring in yet another historic recruiting class to Wake Forest next season.
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to Part 2 of the Blogger So Dear May Football Recruiting Breakdown. Last week I went over some names to follow on the offensive side of the ball for the 2016 recruiting cycle, and this week I’m focusing on prospects on defense that Deacon fans should get familiar with. These are players that the Demon Deacon staff is showing significant interest in and also have Wake pretty high on their recruiting list. There’s a good chance some of these players will be wearing the Black and Gold starting in 2016, so get to know their names and bios now as their recruitment starts to heat up this summer.

Wayne Davis

Basic Info

-CB from Norfolk, VA (Lake Taylor)

-Rankings

  • 320 Nationally
  • 33 CB
  • 10 Virginia

-3* on 247sports, 4* on Rivals

-Commitment Status: Wake in Top 5

-Notable other offers from:

  • Ohio State, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia Tech

It is no secret that Wake is going to need to revamp its secondary after an offseason full of significant departures. Bud Noel and Kevin Johnson have both signed NFL deals as of last week, which is great news for the program’s overall reputation, but alarming considering Coach Clawson needs to find big-time replacements to fill their shoes as soon as possible. Wayne Davis wouldn’t be able to step on the field for the Deacs until 2016, but he would absolutely be worth the wait if the staff can land him. While 247sports has Davis as a 3*, multiple scouting sites across the country have him as a solidified 4* prospect and one of the top 350 players in 2016. The only problem is that high-profile players are always accompanied with high-profile demand, and beating out Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and the defending champion Buckeyes will be no easy task. But the sheer fact that Wake Forest is even contending for recruits like this shows the progress the program has made since 2013. Davis is a CB who would come in, start from Day 1, and possibly find himself in the same position Noel and Johnson are in right now. If he can be convinced into signing with the Deacs, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Alexander Gagnon

Basic Info

-OLB from Charlotte, NC (Charlotte Catholic)

-Rankings

  • 468 Nationally
  • 35 Outside Linebacker
  • 19 North Carolina

-Consensus 3*

-Commitment Status: Still Open

-Notable other offers from:

  • Northwestern, Vanderbilt, UNC, NC State

Alexander Gagnon is one of the top prospects in all of North Carolina and would be a big-time addition to the 2016 class for Wake Forest. Top 500 recruits have been hard to come by in previous recruiting cycles for the Deacs, but this year the momentum seems to be in favor of WF landing a few players of this caliber. Gagnon has offers from multiple ACC schools and earning his commitment will inevitably be challenging, but 247sports has Northwestern, Vanderbilt, and Wake as his three leaders at the moment which is a good sign considering the significant amount of interest he has been receiving recently from NC State, UNC, and Duke. Wake has yet to pickup a LB commitment this cycle and with Hunter Williams and Brandon Chubb both graduating next year, landing a recruit like Gagnon is definitely a priority.

Zander Zimmer

Basic Info

-Weak Side DE from Orlando, FL (Bishop Moore Catholic)

-Rankings

  • 904 Nationally
  • 53 Weak Side DE
  • 112 Florida

-Consensus 3*

-Commitment Status: Wake one of the leaders

-Notable other offers from:

  • West Virginia, Duke, Vanderbilt, Virginia

The Defensive End from Orlando is certainly not short on scholarship offers at the moment. It would actually take a decent amount of effort to find a team that hasn’t been in contact with Zimmer at some point, as the Florida product has picked up 27 offers to date and been in contact with many more schools than that. Despite all the other attention, Wake Forest seems to be one of the leaders for his services and even has a Crystal Ball prediction as of a couple weeks ago. When asked about Wake Forest back in March after a visit, Zimmer said "I’m loving it there," and sending him recruiting letters like this has undoubtedly made him feel wanted. Being #1 at the end of the day over 26 other schools would be quite the accomplishment, and I feel like that’s where the Deacs very well could be with Zimmer’s recruitment soon.

Nolan DeFranco

Basic Info

-Weak Side DE from Winter Garden, FL (West Orange)

-Rankings

  • 667 Nationally
  • 40 Weak Side DE
  • 93 Florida

-Consensus 3*

-Commitment Status: Still open

-Notable other offers from:

  • Vanderbilt, Virginia

If you were looking at DeFranco’s and Zimmer’s profiles side by side you might think you were seeing double. Both are top DE prospects from Florida with 15+ offers and Wake competing with all the same schools to land them. DeFranco distinguishes himself slightly by his massive frame, and at 6’6 230 he would come in and be the tallest guy on the Deacon D-Line from Day 1. Wake could absolutely use some size at the DE position to help swat balls down and disrupt passing lanes, and he moves pretty well for a guy his size as you can see from his Hudl video. Vanderbilt has a Crystal Ball prediction in its favor at the moment, but DeFranco still seems a ways away from making any definite decision.

Sir Patrick Scott

Basic Info

-CB from Upper Marlboro, MD (Riverdale Baptist School)

-Rankings

  • 628 Nationally
  • 61 Cornerback
  • 17 Maryland

-Consensus 3*

-Commitment Status: Wake Forest is the favorite

-Notable other offers from:

  • BC, Cal, Wisconsin

As I mentioned earlier, Wake Forest has some rebuilding to do in the secondary over the next two years, and the perfect way to start would be landing yet another Maryland DB in Sir Patrick Scott. 247sports has Scott listed as the 61st best corner in the nation for 2016, but many have him ranked higher than that and it's easy to see why. Scott is listed at 6’1, which is big for the Cornerback position, and he uses his size to create contact at the line and give Wide Receivers fits off the snap. Back in March Scott listed the Demon Deacons as his leaders and that’s where it looks like he still stands, which is excellent news for Coach Clawson and his staff. Hopefully, the two sides can make their mutual interest official soon and Scott will be yet another Maryland product as a member of DBU.

Keyshawn Canady

Basic Info

-CB from Teachey, NC (Wallace-Rose Hill)

-Rankings

  • 1181 Nationally
  • 110 CB
  • 51 North Carolina

-Consensus 3*

-Commitment Status: UNC, ECU and Wake at top

-Notable other offers from:

  • UNC, Eastern Carolina

Canady is listed on 247sports as a CB, but many scouting sites declare him an athlete based on his ability to play RB as well. Canady has breakaway speed and has been clocked at a 4.35 40 time by scouts. His highlight video shows big play after big play as a RB and on the defensive side of the ball you can see him laying some serious hits on opposing Wide Receivers. It seems to be a three-way race for Canady with UNC and Eastern Carolina the other favorites to land the prospect. UNC has a Crystal Ball prediction to its name, but I wouldn’t give that too much mind since it was made six months ago and a lot can change over the course of the summer. Getting a versatile player like Canady who can play multiple positions is always valuable, especially when it comes at the expense of in-state competition.

Michael Dwumfour

Basic Info

-DT from Wayne, NJ (Depaul Catholic)

-Rankings: N/A

-Consensus 2*

-Commitment Status: Still open

-Notable other offers from:

  • BC, Army, Temple

Dwumfour might be under-scouted by most sites, but the DT from New Jersey has really started to pick up high-D1 interest as of late. Penn State has been in contact with him a lot recently and an offer from the Nittany Lions is likely in his future. Although slightly smaller than most Defensive Tackles at just about 6’1, Dwumfour moves quickly and can be a menace to block for opposing lineman. He also raved about Wake Forest a few weeks back to Scout.com saying "The coaching staff was very welcoming to me and my family. They have very high academics. They have a good football program that is on the come-up in the ACC, and they played against a lot good teams, and they did well against them." He also stated in a separate interview that he is in contact with the coaching staff "almost everyday," and I personally think that the Deacs are the favorites to land him at the moment. If Wake can get Dwumfour to visit once more in the fall, I’d say its looking good that he reps the Black and Gold beginning in 2016.

Sulaiman Kamara

-DT from Richmond, VA (Hermitage)

-Rankings

  • 704 Nationally
  • 44 Defensive Tackle
  • 25 Virginia

-Consensus 3*

-Commitment Status: Still open

-Notable other offers from:

  • Duke, North Carolina, Penn State

Sulaiman Kamara would be the big time Defensive Tackle addition the Deacs have been looking for. While most sites have Kamara as a 3* DT, Scout.com has him labeled as a 4* and a top 25 DT in the 2016 class. The man, simply put, is a beast on the D-Line (As his Twitter name @the_beast_71 implies) and would be a big time contributor for years to come. Penn State has been coming after Kamara hard and Duke is a threat to Wake earning his commitment as well, but he did seem quite impressed on his recent visit to Winston-Salem this spring. He said in late March to Scout.com "Wake Forest is recruiting me the hardest and it makes me feel really good." He also said "Their junior day was amazing. They made us all feel like we belong and that’s where we need to be. I’m planning to visit again, probably this summer." Another positive visit will certainly help Coach Clawson’s quest to land Kamara, and I think this is a big-time prospect Wake will absolutely be in the running for throughout his entire recruitment process.

Traveon Redd

Basic Info

SS from Ridgeway, VA (Magna Vista)

Rankings

832 Nationally

52 Safety

32 Virginia

Consensus 3*

Commitment Status: Deciding July 31st, WF an option

Other notable offers from: Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, Illinois

Redd seems to be a top Safety target at the moment for Dave Clawson and the staff and he recently set his official commitment date to be July 31st. Redd took an unofficial visit on April 3rd to Wake Forest and spent some time with now Houston Texan Kevin Johnson during the day. He also attended Junior Day back in February and received an offer during his visit then. Redd is a big-hitting Safety with good speed and a strong knowledge of the game. Also, if you look at some of his stat-lines from games last season they are simply absurd, with multi-touchdown games, interceptions, double digit tackles, and fumbles a weekly occurrence on his team that won the  3A state title. It’s clear Redd would be an excellent addition to the 2016 class, so set your calendars for July 31st now so you’ll be ready to hopefully hear some exciting news that afternoon.

That’ll do it for Part 2 of the BSD May Recruiting Breakdown for WF Football. Expect another article later on in the summer with an updated list of guys you should be looking out for and follow me @DeacFan3 for more frequent and smaller recruiting updates. Coach Clawson and his entire staff seem to know exactly what they are doing in terms of turning this program around so Deacon fans get on your feet and get ready for an exciting couple of years. The #aWAKEning is real and after a rough couple of seasons in Winston-Salem as fans, it’s finally time to put our struggles in the rear view mirror and embrace the bright-looking road ahead with open arms.