The Wake Forest offensive line is now down another player. This time it came in the form of a transfer. Will Smith, who would have been a redshirt junior this season for the Demon Deacons, has transferred to Liberty, and is eligible to play immediately.
Liberty has added a transfer offensive lineman from Wake Forest, Will Smith, who is 6-5, 305 & will have 2 years left. Immediately eligible.— Chris Lang (@ChrisLangLNA) August 7, 2015
This news comes just several days after the announcement that starting center, Ryan Anderson, has been suspended for the first five games of the season. While Smith was not expected to start, he was, however, expected to rotate in and receive legitimate playing time. How will the Demon Deacons adjust?
The offensive linemen will now have to play more positions than they originally anticipated.
Projected Rotation Players:
Ryan Anderson (when he returns from suspension)
That means that Wake Forest will have just seven healthy offensive linemen, who Clawson believes is capable of earning snaps, for the first five games of the season. Four of those seven are less than two years removed from high school football. Wake fans should expect to see Dylan Intemann playing either guard or tackle, while Josh Harris will play guard and potentially some center. Hayworth could also see time at both guard and center. I expect that Haynes and Herron will both exclusively play tackle, but I would not be shocked if either played some guard.
I truly hope that Clawson does not have to burn a redshirt on either Nathan Gilliam or T.J. Haney. I was a fan of both of those commitments, but I do not believe either is ready to play this season. As Clawson says, the closer a player is to the ball, the more you want that player to redshirt and develop strength.
The offensive line is young, but they are talented. Wake Forest fans should be thrilled that Clawson recruited so many offensive linemen in the 2014 recruiting class to begin the rebuilding process on the offensive line as soon as possible. This line is young, but they are talented and more physical than last year's line. Now, lack of depth is an even bigger concern than it was just a few days ago. Injuries on the offensive line and snap counts will be a major story line that fans should keep a keen eye on. Let's hope for no more attrition.