In our final installment of looking at where Wake Forest ranks among ACC teams at each positional unit will be focused on the secondary. Here is ESPN's ACC secondary rankings. Wake Forest comes in 12th. They are one spot behind N.C. State, and one spot ahead of Syracuse. Let's dive deeper into what Wake's secondary will look like in 2016.
Secondary play isn't all about jumping routes and forcing interceptions, but lack of playmaking was a major problem last year for the Wake Forest defense. Wake Forest threw 18 interceptions of its own, but forced just 6 interceptions as a team, so turnover margin was a serious issue for the Deacs. Will that improve in 2016? It better.
Cornerback wasn't a position of strength last year, and that was to be expected after losing Kevin Johnson and Bud Noel to the pros. Brad Watson held his own, but a problem for the Deacs was that Devin Gaulden got burned far too often. He got burned so much that Coach Clawson decided to replace Gaulden with true freshman Dionte Austin. While Austin struggled at times, he competed unbelievably hard and the true freshman clearly demonstrated his talent. I'm excited to see his sophomore campaign. Wake fans will also see redshirt freshman Amari Henderson this year. I'm not in love with the position after those three, but time will tell how much some of the reserves improve.
Safety play should improve in 2016. I'm very bullish on Cameron Glenn and Jessie Bates. Ryan Janvion has great experience and while he doesn't force many interceptions, he'll be helpful in run support. There's also the possibility that Traveon Redd plays as a true freshman. He was an early-enrollee and will be a very physical player.
Secondary is still a question mark for Wake, but there is potential. They also have the added advantage that the front seven should be able to generate a greater pass rush, which should lead to more interceptions. Wake needs to improve its turnover margin this season, but reducing its own turnovers will not be enough. The Deacs will also need to force more turnovers and generate points or at least improved field position.
Later today we will compile each of the positional unit rankings and see where each team stands at every position.