Tight end was one of Wake Forest's best positional units last season, especially on offense. Redshirt freshman Cam Serigne led the team with 54 receptions for 531 yards and 5 touchdowns. Special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Adam Scheier was supposed to have a unit that was even deeper this season, however an unfortunate series of events derailed the vision of establishing a two tight end offensive system this season. What happened and what does the tight end position look like headed into fall camp?
Cam Serigne put up excellent numbers last season and as a result was named second team Freshman All-American. He set a school record for receptions by a tight end with 54, and was also named an honorable mention All-ACC selection. Earlier this month, Serigne was named to the Mackey Award Watch List, which is presented each season to the nation's top tight end. Backing him up was true freshman Devin Pike, who flipped his commitment from Louisville to Wake Forest in January of 2014. Pike finished the 2014 season with 7 receptions for 30 yards. With those two in the fold, the top of the depth chart looks strong, but the depth is questionable.
That depth would have been much stronger, however, 4-star Bowman Archilbald, who enrolled early at Wake Forest, injured his leg and then transferred to South Florida to rehab closer to home. In my opinion, Archibald had a very legitimate chance to play as a true freshman. Another casualty was Jake Bargas, who initially committed to Wake Forest in the summer of 2014, but flipped his commitment to the University of North Carolina several weeks before 2015's National Signing Day. Bargas is a receiving tight end like Serigne, and had the potential to be a very productive player for Wake. Those four tight ends between the two classes would have allowed Wake Forest to effectively run many twin tight end formations.
Wake Forest's coaching staff countered this attrition by moving Steve Donatell from linebacker to tight end. Donatell is a versatile athlete. He played quarterback in high school, and also transformed into a long-snapper last season. Donatell made the transition to tight end in spring practice, and had one reception for 13 yards in the spring game. Brendan O'Neil is the fourth and final scholarship tight end on the roster, but the redshirt sophomore has yet to record a reception in his career.
Tight end should be a position of strength for Wake Forest this season. Serigne has the talent to one day play in the NFL, and Devin Pike is a very solid prospect for Wake Forest. If they both can stay healthy, then Wake Forest is set at this position. If Serigne gets injured, however, then that will be a significant blow to a Wake Forest offense that greatly struggled to generate first downs, let alone explosive plays. What do you all expect to see from the tight ends this season?