National Signing Day is less than two weeks away. On Wednesday, February 3rd, fax machines will become relevant again for one day, as recruits can officially fax in their signed national letters of intent. While nothing is "official" until that date, and Wake could potentially add a few more recruits, I thought it would be a good time to evaluate where Wake Forest's recruiting class stands relative to previous years.
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This year's class is currently slightly smaller than Clawson's first two classes. With a very small senior class, the scholarship limit of 85 prohibited Clawson from bringing in as many recruits, though a number of redshirt juniors will graduate early and not return to the team next season.
This year's class, and yes it's only on paper, would be the highest rated class during Clawson's tenure. Oh by the way, last year's class was the highest rated in Wake Forest history, so that means Clawson would set the record for the best recruiting class in Wake Forest history in consecutive years.
The biggest strength of this year's class appears to be on the defensive line. Wake has commitments from Sulaiman Kamara, Emmanuel Walker, Zander Zimmer, and Carlos Basham, Jr. Each player is rated as a 3-star, and Kamara is one of the highest rated prospects in the history of the program. Wake will also look for an immediate contribution for Dom Maggio, who is an early enrollee and will be replacing punter Alex Kinal.
Wake also has another three offensive linemen in this class, but I anticipate that the goal is to be able to redshirt all three of them. Taleni Suhren is the gem offensive lineman of this class, and will be a great addition to this line. Clawson is right when he says that eventually offensive line will be a strength of this program.
Clawson has said that his ideal class is that he plays one-third of freshmen and redshirts the remaining. Given the lack of experience and depth on previous teams, he has had to play some freshmen out of necessity, but in his third year he should hopefully be able to redshirt as he wants.
Six commits have enrolled early: Dom Maggio, Traveon Redd, Jamie Newman, Cade Carney, Jeremiah Brown, and Brandon Chapman. Redd and Chapman have strong chances to play this year, and will greatly benefit from the 15 spring practices. Jamie Newman will redshirt this year, and the 15 spring practices will do wonders for his development. He's highly touted, but will benefit from getting a head start on learning the system and refining his mechanics.
Overall, I definitely believe this is the deepest class that Clawson has had at Wake. Now, in year three, Clawson is going to have to start winning games in order to continue this recruiting momentum into 2017. I believe he will, but in year three he can't afford to continue blaming the previous regime. 2016 should be a fun year, and this program is set up very well moving forward.
Blogger So Dear will increase recruiting coverage as we get closer to National Signing Day. Also, with spring practices starting earlier than you think, our coverage of the current team will also increase.