The Deacons will return 16 starters for the 2017-18 season, nine on offense and seven on defense. While key players like Tyler Hayworth, Marquel Lee, and Ryan Janvion will be missed, Clawson has done an impeccable job in recruiting solid depth and potential starters behind those key players.
Of the players who redshirted in 2015 and 2016, players like Sulaiman Kamara, Carlos Basham, Nate Mays, and Jake Benzinger have made a strong impression throughout the spring. In fact, Benzinger has been with the first team much of the spring as the Deacs replace two starters in Hayworth and Josh Harris.
Per Coach Clawson, the depth of the team is extremely important and it shows up most in the latter part of the season. He winces at fact that the Deacs finished the regular season 1-5 despite the victory against Temple in the Military Bowl.
Clawson, regarding the goals of the spring said:
“If you were to say ‘what are the three goals of the spring? No. 1 we’ve got to get in good quality work, get good reps. No. 2, we stay healthy. No. 3, we’ve got to develop younger players in our program.”
In the latest scrimmage, the offense dominated the defense despite being without tight end Cam Serigne. Per Clawson, this was a first since he has been in Winston-Salem. While the defense was missing key players in Jaboree Williams and Essang Bassey, the offensive leaned on experience and its rushing attack to take advantage of the defense.
With the spring session winding down for the Deacs, Clawson hopes that the Demon Deacons will have much more depth and development as they look to improve on last year’s 7-6 record.
Wake Forest will hold its annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 8 at 3:00 p.m. at BB&T Field.