The first scrimmage of the fall is over. There are winners, possibly losers, people staying put and then the people like us at BSD who like deciding all these things! Let’s just jump right into it. Be warned though, there is a bunch of mixing and matching between all three strings so the stats while good or bad need to be taken into context thanks for our good friend @Les_Johns for the reminder
One of the top stories is always gonna be the QB position for Wake. Kendall Hinton went 7-12 for 33 yards. Not impressive, but no interceptions is always good. Taking out the sacks he had 5 rushes for 55 yards, which is exactly what you want out of Hinton. Hinton also showed his blocking prowess on Colburn’s long TD run with a filthy block. These scrimmages are touch downs instead of tackling so he would probably have gone for more but still encouraging. QB of the day has to go to John Wolford though. Wolford was sharp going 14-15 for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns to Greg Dortch and Scotty Washington. While Hinton is the starter, for now, he still needs to play at a high level to keep Wolford off his heels. Not to leave out Jamie Newman who went 6-14 for 57 yards
To start this section off: Clawson said that one of his goals was to see a lot of the younger guys to see who would be in line for snaps this season so this could be a reason why we only saw 3 rushes from Cade Carney. People who stood out: Colburn wow. 4 for 56 is unreal even for a scrimmage. Will Drawdy, a true freshman walk-on out of Easley, South Carolina went 2 for 52. The workhorses seemed to be Christian Beal, who had 11 rushes for 29 yards, and Arkeem Byrd, 7 rushes for 29 yards. This made sense given Coach Clawson knows what he is getting out of Carney and Colburn, so it’s a good chance to see what the other guys can provide. These two have been touted as the guys fighting for the flashy change of pace back that Wake desperately needs.
Scotty Washington is a beast. He had a nice 37 yard TD catch and looks poised to come out and be the big vertical threat in the receiving corps. Greg Dortch also seems like he will be involved this years after a 5 for 22 day and a touchdown. With the return of Steven Claude to the team, questions were brought up if receivers like Sage Surratt and Waydale Jones would still see the field. Well Sage still got his with 4 catches for 32 yards. Jones had 2 catches for 14 yards and even Jacquarii Roberson had a catch for 15 yards. There aren’t target stats though which would be very interesting to see. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of Sage and Jaquarii not getting a redshirt this year
Now for the defense... who had a FIELD DAY. It should be noted that sack numbers are slightly inflated because if you touched the QB then they were down.
The starters here were noted as Duke Ejiofor and Wendell Dunn at DE while Willie Yarbary and Sulaiman Kamara were at the DT. Zeek Rodney had a minor injury, but with this being the first scrimmage and Clawson trying to get the younger guys in, not surprising that he sat. Deon Young didn’t really have an impact during the scrimmage with only 1 assisted tackle. Ejiofor had 2 sacks, Willie had 2 total tackles and Kamara had half a tackle and assisted on a sack. The big story here has to be Wendell Dunn. Hi lit up the stat sheet with 5 solo tackles and 3 sacks. Highly touted recruit Mike Allen had 3 tackles, 2 sacks, and really impressed.
Someone in the comments of a previous article brought up Ja’cquez Williams breaking out this year. Well the pride of Hunstville, Georgia went and had himself a day with 10 total tackles (7 solo) and 1⁄2 a sack. There is some competition between Grant Dawson and Justin Strnad for the second LB spot and for now it seems that Dawson has that edge. But having depth isn’t a problem with him being the 3rd and then having Nate Mays fourth.
Ja’Sir Taylor was flying around the field with 9 total tackles, Cameron Glenn with 3 solo tackles. Safety seems to be an issue depth wise as Traveon Redd has an elbow injury that will set him back 2 months at least, so we got to see Thomas Dillon get some snaps at safety. Amari Henderson and Essang Bassey got the starts at CB, which is very interesting to see with the addition of Cedric Jiles, but on that front I will wait a little longer to see how the CB spots develop
With every good there is a bad. While the defense was lights out, the offensive line seemed to struggle even with the mismatching all over the place. 9 sacks is absolutely unacceptable, while false starts were also a problem and they apparently just seemed to never get into a good rhythm. Here’s to hoping they do pick it up as I do think the starters are much improved and will be one of the key factors to how this season goes for the Deacs.
So there’s all the notes from the first scrimmage! What do you guys think? What do you guys hope for going forward?