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Wake Forest Football To Hold First Scrimmage at 2 p.m.

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What should Wake Forest fans be looking to see?

The Wake Forest football team will hold its first scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday at 2 p.m. at BB&T Field. Though practices are open, the first scrimmage is usually the best opportunity that fans have to see the Deacs "go live" before the season officially kicks off on September 3rd against Elon. What are the main stories that Wake Forest fans should be paying attention to?

Offense

How much has John Wolford progressed?

Quarterback is obviously the most important position, and a team can only go so far with poor quarterback play. It was difficult to judge Wolford at times last year, simply because he had little time to throw and his receivers did not always do a great job of getting open.

This spring, it was clear that Wolford looked more calm in the pocket, and had a greater understanding of what he was being asked to do. He was put in a very difficult situation last year, as he was the starting quarterback of an ACC team despite not even participating in spring practice. I do think that fans will see a notable difference in Wolford's ability from last season, and that's a testament to how hard he has worked, and also thanks to the increased competition from Kendall Hinton and Kyle Kearns.

How will the running back snaps be divided?

In today's scrimmage, I anticipate that there will be a heavy rotation among the contenders for the starting job. This is because running back is a position where you can only tell but so much in drills, and have to see them in a game situation that is played at "live speed." The candidates I expect to see get the most reps today are Rocky Reid, Dez Wortham, Matt Colburn, and Isaiah Robinson.

Who will start at receiver?

At this point it seems very clear that true freshman Tabari Hines will start in the slot. It's also becoming increasingly clear that, in addition to being awesome at handshakes, Cortez Lewis will probably start at one of the outside receiver positions. At the other position I expect to see a three-way race between K.J. Brent, Tyree Harris, and Jared Crump. The good news for Wake Forest fans is that I could easily see any of the three winning that battle. That means the program is starting to add some depth. Will one of the three separate himself today?

Improved Offensive Line?

Last year's offensive line was abysmal by almost every definition of the word. This year's line is younger, but there is no doubt they are more physical and athletic. The improvement of the offensive line is probably the most important thing to pay attention to today. If the line isn't very improved, then it's tough to expect the offense to be significantly better. Clawson recruited a number of offensive linemen in the 2014 recruiting class, and Wake fans should see a number of those recruits start in today's scrimmage.

Defense
Who will start on the defensive line?

The defensive line really only lost Zachary Allen from a year ago, and the coaching staff has placed an emphasis on recruiting the defensive line over the past two classes, which means that this will be a crowded position. I anticipate Josh Banks starting on the defensive line, with Tylor Harris also getting strong playing time. Wendell Dunn and Duke Ejiofor should also see time at end. The most interesting player to me is Rashawn Shaw. He was highly regarded out of high school, but redshirted last year. Can he take the next step forward and win a starting role? Shaw has the biggest upside of anyone on the line, and a step forward from him could do wonders for the pass rush.

Will our linebackers blitz more than they did a year ago?

Last year the strength of the defense was the secondary. This year, with the secondary being less experiences, will defensive coordinator Mike Elko look to apply more pressure by sending blitzes from the linebackers? Marquel Lee is an excellent athlete who could rack up a nice sack count if given an opportunity.

Who starts at cornerback?

Wake Forest's biggest loss from last season was the duo of Bud Noel and Kevin Johnson. The loss was made worse by the fact that Bryant Gross-Armiento, a presumed starter, suffered an ACL injury. I expect that Brad Watson will be a starter, and that graduate transfer Devin Gaulden has an excellent chance to compete for major playing time. Who else might compete for time? Junior Jalen Latter is a candidate, along with sophomore Thomas Dillon, and freshmen Amari Henderson and Dionte Austin.

Get out to the field around 2 to see this year's version of the Wake Forest football team. Fan Fest follows the action, and this is a great opportunity for fans to get autographs and pictures. You may also select your season tickets at this event. Go Deacs!

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