What a stretch it’s been.
Two weeks ago I wrote an article detailing a few notes on the 2019 recruiting class, including how quickly it seemed to have been filling up compared to recent years. There was plenty of momentum behind the class, with the staff doing well to build on the program’s recent on-field success and landing top talent from typical pipeline states.
The class was already in a great spot... and then the Deacs went out and had two of the best weeks in program history on the recruiting trail to get to where it is today.
Last 8 days for Wake Forest football have featured FIVE major additions to the 2019 class:— Les Johns (@Les_Johns) June 25, 2018
WR Nolan Groulx @nolan_groulx
K Ivan Mora @ivan_mora11
QB Michael Kern @MichaelKern2019
LB Jaylen Hudson @jhudszn
and NOW WR Donavon Greene @Donny22864222
Dave Clawson & staff=
Top 35 in the nation, plenty of local talent inbound, and a whole lot of prospects thrilled to be wearing the Old Gold and Black. Let’s break down a few more notes from this 2019 group that has all the makings of a game-changing class.
Keeping Local Talent Home
I mentioned yesterday on Twitter that the staff was doing an excellent job at recruiting the Carolinas this cycle, and simply put the numbers don’t lie. 7 of the 15 players (47%) currently committed to the Deacs are from NC/SC so far, tied for the most Carolina commits since Clawson took over back in 2013. In previous classes, the highest percentage of the class from the Carolinas ever was just 32%, with the 4-year Avg coming in at 28%.
Two of those seven local commits happen to be the #1 and #2 WRs in North Carolina in Nolan Groulx and Donavon Greene, both talented 4* prospects that chose the Deacs over a plethora of other Power 5 offers within the last week. The two are currently the top rated commits for the class and for good reason, with Groulx well recognized as being one of the top route runners in the country and Greene being a dominant outside presence with his athleticism and playmaking ability.
Stat of the Day: The @WakeFB staff is landing plenty of top local talent this year. The 2019 class already has 7 commits from the Carolinas, Tied for the most in the Clawson Era #KeepBuilding pic.twitter.com/GSLnZLUcVp— WFU Sports Stats (@DeacFan3) June 25, 2018
Jaylen Hudson is another talented NC product that chose WF over the weekend after receiving interest from multiple ACC rivals, particularly NC State. At 6’3, 225 and a 4.65 40-time, the measurables are absolutely there for Hudson to be a key piece at the next level in Jay Sawvel’s defense.
The fact of the matter is when you put together back-to-back ring-winning seasons like Wake Forest has that show progress and upside, the pitch pairs really well with the ability to receive an elite education and stay close to home to these talented Carolina prospects.
Quarterbacks Lock-In with Wake
Wake Forest landed not one but two Quarterback commits in the last 7 days with the additions of 2019 3* Michael Kern and 2020 3* Mitch Griffis. Kern has been a player on the staff’s radar since last summer after attending a camp in Winston and having a breakout Junior year. He led the entire state of Florida with 3,383 Passing Yards last season, and tallied 39 Touchdowns for Lake Nona in Class 7A.
I distinctly remember watching 2018 WR commit and Lake Nona teammate Anthony Manning’s Hudl highlights shortly after his decision last winter and coming away beyond impressed by Kern’s ability to make a variety of throws out of the pocket and on the run. His film checks all the boxes, and on top of that here’s a stat you may like: Kern attempted more passes than any other player in the state of Florida last year and still completed 64% of them. No one else in Florida’s Top 25 Passers eclipsed that Completion % mark last season.
Just a few days after Kern made his decision, Virginia QB Mitch Griffis decided to join the Demon Deacon family as well and became the pioneer for the 2020 recruiting class. Wake has been recruiting Griffis since mid-2017 and the early interest clearly paid off as the talented Dual-Threat QB decided to tweet his commitment to the program Monday evening.
It’s hard not to make a quick comparison to John Wolford when watching his Hudl highlights simply based on how similarly they play the game and their creativity on the fly. It won’t take long for you to view the clips below and get excited about what’s to come with Griffis in B&G. He also happens to come from Ashburn, VA, and the last Wake player from the area you may have heard of: Former All-ACC TE Cam Serigne.
With the majority of the class already filled, the staff can really afford to be selective on who they take to fill out the group with 5 months before National Signing Day. Offensive Line will likely be an area of priority (Only 1 commit so far with 4 players graduating) as well as Linebacker and Tight End where the Deacs are looking at a couple prospects hard. Here are a few names to look out for:
Mohamed Toure, 3* New Jersey LB- Wake made Toure’s Top 9 last week with a host of other Power 5 schools including Georgia Tech, Pitt, Virginia, and Rutgers. Rutgers has the local connection given that he’s from New Jersey, but hopefully Wake can get him on campus in the coming months. The expected decision timeline here is August.
Chase Jones, 3* New Jersey LB- Jones, another New Jersey Linebacker prospect, released a Top 5 of Duke, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Rutgers, and Wake Forest the other day as his recruiting process begins to become more focused. 247sports has him listed as a Top 50 ILB in the country and he has picked up seven Power 5 offers over the course of the cycle. My guess is we can probably expect a decision at some point in July.
Get 3-star LB Chase Jones' thoughts on Wake Forest, as he drops a final five that includes the Deacs. https://t.co/1P2bCi4Obw— Les Johns (@Les_Johns) June 25, 2018
Trey Rucker, 3* Virginia S- Rucker is a 3* Safety from Virginia that has recently picked up plenty of interest from Power 5 schools. Wake first offered back in May, but Purdue, Maryland, Temple, and UNC have all jumped in the mix in recent weeks to add some competition for his services. Local UVA is certainly going to be a contender in this as well, and I expect a few more schools to get involved when it’s all said and done. I’ll set a tentative timeline here for August.
That’s all I have for these Wake Forest recruiting notes on the back-end of a historical week for the program. For more Wake Forest recruiting news and updates, you can follow me on Twitter @DeacFan3 and be sure to stay tuned to Blogger So Dear for all the latest info.