With true freshman quarterback Sam Hartman out for the rest of the regular season, Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson now has a decision to make as to who will start the final three games for the Demon Deacons.
Wake sits at 4-5 and needs to win two of its final three games if it wants to make its third straight bowl game. Adding insult to injury, the Deacs have just three days before it takes the field again, when it will play at No. 22 N.C. State on Thursday night.
My best guess is that Clawson will make an announcement tomorrow at the press conference, so we wanted to go ahead and get these articles out tonight!
Cam made the case for Kendall Hinton to be the starting quarterback, while I will present the case for Jamie Newman. Both of these articles assumes that each player is healthy and the staff is making a decision solely based on which player gives the team its best chance to get two out of three wins against State, Pitt, and Duke.
Obviously this may not be the case given Hinton’s apparent injury last week, so these articles may be null and void, but here is the case for Jamie Newman!
Jamie Newman is a redshirt sophomore who has seen limited time thus far during his career in the Old Gold and Black. He was ranked as the 16th best dual-threat quarterback in his class and a three-star by most recruiting websites.
When it was announced that Kendall Hinton would be suspended for the first three games of the season it was likely that Newman would take over to start the season, but Hartman came in and won the job out of spring ball.
I’m not going to blow a ton of smoke here and say that I think he will step in and be a dynamic game-changing player, because honestly he is a huge unknown in game action at this point.
Newman has thrown just 19 passes in two seasons, completing 9 of them with two interceptions and no touchdowns. He has shown a good ability though to run the football with a bruising style, and at 6-4, 235 that is not something a defense wants to face a lot.
While he has not been able to get into a rhythm yet collegiately, he has good arm strength and in theory has the ability to make the throws that the coaching staff will demand of the QB.
He can run the read based offense that Clawson likes to put out there because he can absorb the hits that he will take on the QB reads, and can also be successful throwing the ball.
My main promotion of Newman is that I believe he can be more consistent in the passing game than Hinton is. Wake relies on not getting into long down and distances, and incompletions on first and second down really can put a its back up against the wall.
We have seen Hinton prove to be an explosive athlete at the QB position, but also struggle immensely with short-to-intermediate passing, which is the bread and butter of the Wake offense. My hope is that Newman is better in that aspect.
I do think that it will take Newman a while to get up to the speed of the game. In the games he has played in so far I have seen some shaky throws. It is hard to tell in those situations if it’s just lack of chemistry with the receiving corps, bad reads, or just bad throws on correct reads.
I think once he gets into a flow with the first team he will begin to settle in and be the consistent thrower and runner that the offense needs.
N.C State is very good defensively at stopping the run (11th in defensive rushing S&P), but not as good at stopping the pass (103rd in defensive passing S&P). This will inevitably lead to Newman or Hinton being asked to make some big time throws on third down and that is where I believe Newman has the advantage.
It is a tough ask for either guy to come in and start the final three games with the season on the line, but these guys are on scholarship for a reason. I believe that Newman has the tools to lead the Deacs in these final three games and gives us the best shot at getting to that six win threshold to go bowling.