There are three massive 2016 football recruiting decisions coming up this weekend that many Wake Forest fans across the nation are on pins and needles for. 3* targets Moe Neal, Traveon Redd, and Phillip Patterson are all announcing on either Friday or Saturday who they will be playing football for at the next level and there’s a decent chance a Wake Forest hat is the apparel they are proudly wearing by the end of the weekend. So what do you need to know about these three targets and how realistic a chance do we have at these guys?
Phillip Patterson is a 3* WR from Virginia Beach, VA who 247sports has rated as the 415th best player in the nation. The Deacs made Phillip Patterson’s final 7 a few days ago with a number of other Power 5 programs including Penn State, VA Tech, Duke, and UNC. His stock has absolutely soared since the spring as he jumped over 600 spots in the 247sports rankings in late April and picked up multiple SEC offers as well. Yet Wake Forest extending an offer to Patterson nearly 9 months ago has clearly played into the Deacs’ favor as highly-prestigious yet more recent suitors have fallen by the way side as he has trimmed his impressive final list. Virginia Tech seems to be the favorite for Patterson at the moment (He visited the Hokies last weekend) followed by Duke who was a leader for him back in April. With that said, I can’t really see him ending up at a school that isn’t one of those two, and considering Wake Forest has a plethora of young Wide Receiver options already on campus or committed to the program, nobody should lose too much sleep if we come up short in this recruiting battle at the end of the day.
Now we get to two of the most well-known Wake targets of the 2016 recruiting cycle: Traveon Redd and Moe Neal. Traveon Redd is set to announce his college decision Friday between Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, and Maryland, but don’t worry too much about the ACC traitors; this is primarily a two-horse race between the Dores and Deacs. Both fan bases have been going back and forth on Twitter all week long trying to show the most love to the 3* Safety target out of Virginia, but it’s anyone’s guess which fan base he will ultimately end up calling his own Friday afternoon. Vanderbilt has 3 Crystal Ball predictions in its favor as of Wednesday afternoon, but the 2016 WF recruiting class has been very active in trying to make Redd feel at home and a part of the family. When you have multiple commits for a certain school tweeting at you to come join their class, it likely has some swaying effect. The real question is if the effect is enough to make him call Winston-Salem home for the next four years.
@tredd_17 JOIN THE FAM BROOO— Cade Carney (@CadeCarney10) July 27, 2015
— Justin Feldkamp (@JustinABC13) July 28, 2015
The other priority target is 3* APB Gastonia talent Moe Neal, who is down to just two ACC schools for his decision on Saturday: Wake and Syracuse. Neal plays at Forestview High in North Carolina and is considered by Rivals as a Top 15 APB in the class of 2016. While he can make plays out of the backfield, his Hudl also shows him as a threat in the slot and I can definitely see the coaching staff recruiting him for this role. Neal is the type of playmaker that Dave Clawson has been adamant about bringing in since he took over a Wake Forest program that dreadfully lacked any offensive weapons a year ago. Although every Crystal Ball pick (5) has Neal going to Cuse at the moment, I think Wake is much more in this race than 247sports implies.
— Michael Clark (@MClarkScout) July 27, 2015
Good Visit at Wake yesterday!! pic.twitter.com/lfC5DpHaFM— Moe Neal (@Captainmoe21_) July 25, 2015
When it is all said and done, my guess is that we will have landed 1 of the 3 targets announcing this weekend. Phillip Patterson seems the least likely at the moment, and I would say Redd and Neal are 50-50 odds heading into Friday. The interesting thing to watch out for is that if Redd commits on Friday to the Deacons, does Neal feel more inclined about joining #theaWAKEning the following day with Wake rolling on some recruiting momentum. Landing Neal AND Redd would be a tremendous weekend for this staff, and by 247sports’ Class Calculator rankings, would propel the Deacs above Rutgers, Minnesota, and West Virginia to become the 42nd best class in the nation.
Finally, some baseball recruiting news.
Wake Forest Baseball Lands a Top OF Commit
Nick DiPonzio has committed to the Diamond Deacs this past week to become the 8th member of the 2016 recruiting class. DiPonzio is an OF out of Macon, GA who was a High Honorable Mention for Perfect Game’s Preseason Underclassmen All-American teams this spring. 7 of the 8 2016 WF commits so far are also on this exclusive list, which bodes well for the program that is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2015 season. Perfect Game also has DiPonzio as the 263rd best prospect in the class of 2016.