Coach Clawson confirmed on his radio show on Wednesday evening what many were thinking throughout fall camp, and that is that Cade Carney will be Wake Forest’s starting tailback against Tulane on September 1st. Carney, a true freshman, beat out redshirt freshman Rocky Reid and sophomore Matt Colburn, though they will all get carries.
Carney enrolled early, participated in offseason conditioning and spring practice, and clearly made the most of his opportunity in a brief period of time. Despite being just a true freshman, he has a very solid frame at 5’11”, 215-pounds. The term workout warrior can be overused, but he deserves the moniker. Securing his commitment was a major recruiting win for Coach Clawson, as Carney also held scholarship offers from North Carolina, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, and ECU.
Wake’s rushing attack in the second and final scrimmage was pretty decent. Carney ran 11 times for 44 yards , Reid carried the ball 5 times for 43 yards, and Colburn carried the ball 12 times for 78 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown run. Carney is not only a solid option from a running perspective, but he should be a legitimate receiving threat out of the backfield. He’s definitely the most athletic of the backs who are healthy, and I think he’s going to have a very good year. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield could be a nice new wrinkle that Wake hasn’t had in recent seasons.
I wasn’t initially sure that Carney would even play running back for Wake Forest, as I saw him more in the “athlete” role, but one of the reasons he came to Wake was because Clawson promised him an opportunity to play running back. Clawson was absolutely a man of his word, and Carney took full advantage of the opportunity he was given.
Wake Forest probably isn’t going to play many true freshman this year, and that says a few things. First is that Wake Forest now has sufficient depth to where Clawson and his staff can afford to redshirt more players, and become even more of a player development program. But this also says that if you are good enough you will play, regardless of your class. Carney won this competition no because of necessity, but because of talent, hard work and preparation.
I’m very eager to watch him play next Thursday night, because I think he’s going to have a great debut under the bright lights of BB&T Field.