Spring football, and especially the Spring Game in particular are ways that fans fill a void between the end of one football season and the start of a next one. While I am not particularly infatuated with what goes on during these practices, I do see the value in getting guys reps, teaching freshmen the playbook, and getting a first look at what the team will look like for the first time without seniors.
This spring season is not particularly different, but I will take a look at the 3 main things that stuck out to me during the Wake Forest spring game on Saturday.
- Greg Dortch and Christian Beal add a new dynamic to the offense
These two guys have speed and elusiveness at the WR and RB position that has been sorely lacking for Wake Forest recently. Whether this will translate into the fall will be another question altogether, but the moves that they have shown at the scrimmages and the Spring Game were very refreshing.
I believe that Dortch will push Tabari Hines for time at the slot receiver spot, and will be an immediate impact player in kick and punt returns.
Christian Beal should provide an outstanding change of pace from Cade Carney and Matt Colburn in the backfield. I think he will be able to capitalize on some tired defenses this year to generate more dynamic plays than Wake has seen in a while.
- The quarterback battle may not be over yet.
Senior John Wolford, coming off of one of his best performances at Wake Forest in the Military Bowl, looked good on Saturday again. The offense moved when he was in the game and he showed strong command of the offense.
Junior Kendall Hinton struggled a bit, which isn’t unexpected given he was basically playing “touch” football in the game, and Coach Clawson said after the fact that Hinton had a hip flexor that limited him a bit. Hinton has shown that when the lights are bright he can come out and perform, but there are still a fair amount of questions regarding his ability to be consistently accurate with his short and intermediate passing game.
To add another layer to this battle, RS-Sophomore Kyle Kearns looked excellent this weekend. He completed a couple of passes that neither Wolford nor Hinton could have completed given the amount of touch required. Kearns lack of mobility in Coach Clawson’s offense could be a problem, but he looked really good on Saturday.
- There are a lot of injuries that kept players off the field for the Spring Game
One of the biggest issues with the game is that there were a lot of key players out. The list of guys who didn’t suit up, or were limited by their injuries was noticeably long. Since the team was already thin due to a high number of red-shirt juniors, this stuck out a lot on Saturday.
Duke Ejiofor had been limited but managed to play, but Cam Serigne, Arkeem Byrd, Cortez Lewis, Cam Glenn, Isaiah Robinson, Thomas Dillon, and Tyler Bell all missed the game due to injuries.
While it is only likely that Bell will miss the regular season, when injuries pile up like this it can definitely impact the effectiveness of the practices and scrimmages.
It sounds like most of these injuries will heal up over the summer before fall ball, but you never like to hear about these injuries at any point.