Today brings us a Friday, as well as Part IV of the Blogger So Dear Roundtable. The question posed to our brilliant staff today is: which redshirt freshman do you expect to have the biggest impact this season?
Ned: It's got to be Rocky Reid for me here. A lot of Deacon fans had high expectations for the Concord native before the start of last season, but a lingering foot injury kept him sidelined throughout the fall. He had a decent showing in the 2nd scrimmage over the weekend and he should be expected to split carries with true freshman Cade Carney and fellow 2015 recruiting class RB's Matt Colburn and Tyler Bell. My gut prediction for Rocky is at least 75 carries for 325 yards this season and a couple of TD's for the year.
Marc: I'm going to say Amari Henderson (and I won't be the first to say it). Wake has often been carried by its defense in recent years, and special seasons have come when the offense was able to hold its own. But for that formula to hold, the defense needs to be solid. Last year, there were some issues in the secondary which led to too many big plays putting Wake in a hole. This year, barring new injuries (and assuming timely rehab of existing ones), the cornerback position looks to be a lot stronger, in big part thanks to Henderson. Whether or not he starts, having someone with his size, athleticism, and talent able to step in when needed should be a big boost to the defense.
Adam: I'm also going to have to say Rocky Reid. I was really looking forward to seeing what he could do last year as a true freshman, but of course an injury sidelined him and resulted in him being redshirted. As long as he can stay healthy I see Reid having an impact for the Deacs in the ground game.
Chris: The guy I think that will get the most opportunities will be on the O-Line, Jake Benzinger. He seems to be #2 on the depth chart at a couple positions along the line, with some versatility in his skillset.
Rob: I expect Steven Claude, a wide receiver out of Miami, Florida, to have a very good redshirt freshman campaign. I broke down some more detailed thoughts in this article , and since then he has delivered. As it turns out, I don't always have horrible timing on articles. Jaguars fan dot GIF. In Saturday's scrimmage, Claude showed why he was one of highest ranked players in Wake Forest's 2015 recruiting class. He finished the night with a 72-yard reception for a touchdown and also took a kickoff back 90+ yards for the score. He's one of the fastest players on the team, and is now more consistent. He will compete with Alex Bachman for the starting role at S receiver, but even if he doesn't beat out Bachman, I still expect him to be a key contributor this season.
We will have Part V up for you this weekend. Also, due to the game being on Thursday next week, this officially starts our “game week”, in which we will have the usual articles (previews, Q and A, who/what to watch for, etc.).
Football season kicks off tonight with California and Hawai’i in Australia. THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER ARE OVER!