The Game Notes for the Wake Forest-Appalachian State game came out today, and with it came a couple of changes in the depth chart.
Let’s take a look at a couple of the changes:
- True freshman Christian Beal is no longer on the depth chart, but Coach Clawson stated that he is still on “red alert” to play this year. As stated last week, I believe Isaiah Robinson coming back from his injury and Arkeem Byrd performing very well thus far, will save the year for Beal.
- R-Fr. Greg Dortch takes over the starting spot over Jr. Tabari Hines, but it should be noted that Dortch saw 46 snaps against Utah State while Hines saw 44. Both guys will get plenty of chances to show what they can do the rest of the year.
- Everything else remained the exact same as the past two weeks.
Let’s also take a look at some of the snap counts that stuck out last week to update on the progress:
- At the tight end position Cam Serigne saw 69 snaps, while Jack Freudenthal saw 44 snaps, and Devin Pike saw 26 snaps. This indicates that Freudenthal may indeed be heading towards taking over the backup role at the tight end spot, if he has not already done so.
- The running back position continues to be a three-headed monster, with Cade Carney taking just 13 snaps against the Aggies, presumably in part to his fumble early in the game. Matt Colburn saw 33 snaps, while Arkeem Byrd saw 44 snaps. This could just be to get Byrd’s feet wet, but I think we may be witnessing a guy who is going to take the job by the horns. Regardless of who starts, all three of these guys will see snaps because of their different skillsets.
- Cedric Jiles saw his first playing time at cornerback for Wake Forest, playing 22 snaps against the Aggies, while Bassey and Henderson each saw 60 snaps a piece. Ja’Sir Taylor continued to see some snaps as well, getting in for 26 snaps at the DB position. Coby Davis also saw snaps at the DB, pulling down 27 of them, presumably some at safety as well. Malik Grate saw 5 snaps, all on special teams, so it appears that the staff is set with Bassey, Henderson, Jiles, and Taylor as the four primary cornerbacks this year.
- The defensive line continues to be a revolving door from down to down to keep guys rested, but also develop depth. This week Chris Calhoun saw 39 snaps at DE, while Wendell Dunn saw 41 snaps. At the other DE position Duke Ejiofor saw 38 snaps, while Boogie Basham saw 37. I am guessing that this is just to keep everybody fresh and make sure the backups are ready to go in situational plays. As we get deeper into the year we will see if the snap counts go up for Dunn and Ejiofor, I expect that they will.
- Backup FS Luke Masterson got 34 snaps spelling Cam Glenn (53 snaps), and did well enough to get a kudos from Coach Clawson in the post-game radio show. While Thomas Dillon may be listed as second string, he played one snap and it was on special teams, while the aforementioned Masterson and Davis got a lot of backup snaps. Something to watch should something happen to Jessie Bates, III.
- The offensive line saw a couple of changes just based off of snaps from the Utah State game. While Phil Haynes is listed as the starter at LG, but he played just 20 snaps while his listed backup Sean Maginn played 25 snaps. Nathan Gilliam, the listed backup at center is shown to have played 90 snaps, presumably filling in some of the snaps at left guard as well. There were a lot of different linemen rotated in and out throughout the game, as highly touted R-Fr. Taleni Suhren played 25 snaps, Je’Vionte Nash played 28 snaps, and Tyler Watson played 25 snaps as well. The only position I would watch for right now is the LG spot, as I am unsure if Haynes was nursing an injury, or the staff simply wanted to try some other guys in that spot.
Coach Clawson has done an incredible job of rotating guys in and out, particularly on both the offensive and defensive lines. The ability to do this early in the year will reap dividends not just for this year, but moving forward into the next few years as well. There are no seniors on the offensive line, so the competition should be fierce there next season, which will result in a much improved blocking unit for 2018-19 and beyond.