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2017 Wake Forest Football Recruiting: Five Priority Targets that You Need to Know

Who are some of the top 2017 targets you should get to know in the coming months?

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 class is officially signed and in the books, but that doesn’t mean Wake Forest recruiting news needs to slow down at all. After a very successful Junior Day this past Saturday that featured a number of top 2017 targets make the trip to Winston-Salem, the staff picked up commits #2 and #3 in the form of a pair of talented Linebackers.

The first was Jamal Riggins, who committed on the spot after receiving an offer on Saturday and picked the Deacs over South Carolina. On Sunday, 2017 Georgia OLB Jake Simpson chose to verbally commit to Wake Forest as well, joining Riggins and Christian Beal in the class. These three targets are excellent additions to what could be Dave Clawson’s breakout recruiting class in his third season with the team. What are some potential names to look out for in the coming months that could be joining this trio? Have a look below.

Yusuf Corker, CB, 3*

Corker is a 2017 CB target from Stockbridge, GA that the staff has been interested in for a long time now. On the 247sports composite he currently ranks as #550 overall in the nation and a top 50 CB in the class. Rivals rates him even higher, as a 5.7 3* and the 36th best player in the state. His offer list is quite impressive as well, containing scholarships from Ole Miss, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Vanderbilt to name a few.

Despite the intense interest from many P5 schools, he named Wake Forest his leader on Twitter after attending Junior Day this past weekend. Corker visited campus with his brother, Wallace, and Woodland High teammate Tre’ Allen, who has made it clear on social media multiple times in the past month that he is a big fan of the school as well. The last time Wake landed two commits from the same high school in the same class was in 2014 when Demopolis products Demetrius Kemp and Cortez Lewis signed together.

Given how active the staff has been in recruiting Corker from the very beginning, I think there is a great chance he ends up committing to the Deacons at some point this spring. As a top 600 player in the nation, he would immediately become the top ranked recruit in the class.

Mike Allen, DE, 3*

Mike Allen is a 6’6 3* Defensive End from Buford, GA that Wake Forest is very much in contention for as we head into the spring. He holds 17 D1 offers currently, with Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Wake Forest his main five options. In an article with 247sports this past week he listed the Deacs as his early leader before coming to Junior Day with his high school teammate, Tyler Taylor.

Gwinnett Daily Post writer Paul Thomas ranked Allen and Taylor the #11 and #12 ranked recruits in Gwinnett County, which is one of the best high school football regions in the nation. By looking at his film, you can see how a DE of his size and speed could be absolutely dominant at the next level. Recruiting interest from around the country will remain strong for Allen over the next year, but the fact that big programs have already offered and he remains incredibly interested in the Deacs is a very good sign.

Jordan Williams, DE, 4*

Wake Forest has the opportunity to land its highest ranked recruit in history in 4* Defensive End, Jordan Williams. The Virginia Beach product comes in at #95 overall and #3 in VA in 247sports’ latest 2017 rankings; high praise that is equaled in impressiveness when it comes to his offer sheet. Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, and USC are just a few of the schools that have extended a scholarship to the young man, with many more P5 programs undoubtedly going to be added to the list as well before his senior season begins.

Williams posted two tweets yesterday following his Junior Day visit, one of which featured a great picture of him and Coach Clawson smiling at BB&T Field. There is no doubt that this would be the signature signing of Dave Clawson’s recruiting career, selling the great team culture and brand new facilities to land what would surely be a four year contributor on the Defensive Line.

Where could Wake have a slight advantage in the recruitment? Williams attends Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia, which is the same program 2016 commit LaRonde’ Liverpool is from as well. Liverpool has been one of the biggest "social media recruiters" the team has had over the last couple of months, frequently tweeting at other targets to join the 2016 class after he had given his verbal commitment.

The connection between those two might end up having an effect on a recruitment that could be the turning point for recruiting in this new era of WF football. In terms of competition, the biggest competitors for Williams’ talents will likely be Notre Dame, Clemson, and nearby Virginia Tech. However, given the fact that offers continue to roll in for the DE, I don’t expect a decision about his future to be made anytime soon.

Taylor Powell, QB, 3*

In terms of who the Quarterback for the 2017 class will be, the favorite right now would seem to be Arkansas’ Taylor Powell. Powell is a 6’2 Pro-Style QB from Fayetteville, AR who was in attendance for Junior Day over the weekend. Last season he put up sensational numbers, throwing for over 3500 yards and totaling 55 TDs to earn him USA Today Player of the Year in his state.

In a recent report by Scout, National Recruiting Analyst Greg Powers stated that Powell is beginning to receive interest from Auburn and Alabama and an unofficial visit to the latter might be in the works in the coming weeks. His offers currently are from WF, Illinois, Maryland, and Memphis, but I would expect that to increase throughout the spring as he visits more schools and camps.

It’s important to note that with many schools often only taking one QB per class, these commitments tend to happen earlier rather than later, as spots fill up and recruits don’t want to be scrambling late without a committable offer. I would be surprised if Powell didn’t have a school picked by June, and hopefully that school happens to be located in Winston-Salem.

Brad Johnson, DE, 4*

Brad Johnson is a 6’3, 210 lb DE from South Carolina that would have a good chance to be a four year starter for the Demon Deacons. 247sports has him as the #6 player in South Carolina, #25 WDE, and #354 overall in the nation for the class of 2017. He currently attends Pendleton HS in SC, which if it sounds familiar is because that is where 2016 commit Malik Grate came from as well.

Johnson has a terrific first move off the snap and can also be seen multiple times in his Hudl video running down smaller RB’s from behind. Right now the favorite looks to be South Carolina, but he does seem to be seriously considering WF as well. Given the fact that he is a 4* recruit, but does not have too many FBS offers at the moment (4), I would say this recruitment will be one of the longer ones we follow unless South Carolina or Clemson grab him early.

Of course, there are plenty of other talented targets that Wake Forest is recruiting that I did not mention above. For more frequent recruiting news on them and all things Wake Forest football, follow me on Twitter @DeacFan3 or give a look to Deac94 on And last but not least, Go Deacs!