Dave Clawson signed an 8-year extension on Tuesday that will keep him as Wake Forest’s head football coach through the 2024 season. Though he went just 3-9 during each of his first two seasons at Wake, he led the Demon Deacons to a 7-6 record in 2016, including a 34-26 victory over #23 Temple in the Military Bowl. Clawson earned the contract extension through his performance on the sidelines, and that extension will equip him with something that will allow him to further improve Wake Forest’s recruiting efforts.
Clawson has been successful everywhere he’s been - Fordham, Richmond, Bowling Green, and now Wake Forest. He has rightfully earned his reputation as an excellent program builder, but the only blemish on his resume from a recruiting perspective was that he has never been with the same school for more than five seasons. By that logic, Clawson won’t be with Wake Forest for more than two seasons, but this extension should do a lot to alleviate that concern. This trend was no doubt going to be used against Clawson and Wake Forest for recruiting purposes, and this is especially relevant because National Signing Day is less than one month away.
Wake’s current class is only ranked 66th nationally by 247 Sports, including 14th in the ACC, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. The class is much smaller than previous classes due to signing 25 players in each of Clawson’s first two classes at Wake, and 21 a year ago. Wake currently has just 15 verbal commits in this class. The good news is that this class is Clawson’s best in terms of average star rating. The class is small, but players like Mike Allen, Taylor Powell, Chase Monroe, D.J. Taylor, etc. should have excellent careers for the Deacs.
This extension will provide great defense against those trying to flip away Wake’s current recruits. The extension can also potentially help flip recruits from coaches who are on the proverbial hot seat. Clawson and other members of his staff can make a very compelling case that Clawson will be there for the duration of that player’s collegiate career, while it’s entirely possible some other coaches will be gone in a year or two. Ultimately, I expect this extension, combined with Wake Forest’s bowl victory over #23 Temple, will have a very strong impact on Wake’s 2018 class.
Wake Forest is still going strong to finish out the 2017 class, but will enter the 2018 recruiting cycle equipped with a brand new indoor practice facility, a state of the art sports performance center being built, a coach with a massive contract extension, a tangible improvement over a three-year period, and a bowl victory over a Top-25 opponent. I fully expect Wake Forest’s 2018 class to be its best yet.