The new season is quickly approaching, so here at BSD we’re going to be running down position by position, a) to quench our thirst for some sort of Wake Forest football, and b) because I gotta get off these hot takes.
So without further ado, lets get into things, and today we kick things off with the all-important quarterback position.
The person we all thought that would be the starter come the first snap against Tulane, Kendall Hinton has, to put it bluntly, left a lot on the table. He burst onto the scene a couple years ago, leading the Deacs to a 17-14 win against Army.
Last year Kendall tried to build on being named the starting QB for the Deacs, but suffered a knee injury against Delaware and John Wolford stepped back into the starting role. That off-season, Clawson had it as Hinton’s job to lose, I had an article about how he was gonna win the Heisman, things were great. Then John Wolford decided to turn the game on easy mode and put up Heisman worthy stats throughout the year, sweeping the job from Hinton from the end of summer and leading the Deacs to their second bowl win in as many years.
Throughout all of this, there’s always been questions about Hinton:
Can he stay healthy?
Can he make the short quick passes?
Can he lower the interceptions?
No one questions his athleticism, nor do they question his ability to throw one of the best deep balls out there and make it seems effortless. However, this off-season, another question has been raised —- can he stay out of trouble and be a leader for this team?
Hinton was suspended for the first 3 games of the season for a violation of the team’s rules. This is not what you wanted to see from your QB that was supposed to keep this winning trend along and help be more than a bridge to the future QB’s and not have to throw them in the fire.
While Hinton is suspended for the first 3 games, that makes him eligible for the tilt against Notre Dame at home.
In my honest opinion, unless Jamie Newman or Sam Hartman decide to absolutely show out within the first 3 games, Hinton slides back into the starting role for that game.
Yes I believe the Deacs should be 3-0 regardless of the QB’s in the first 3 games, but Kendall Hinton gives the team the best chance to win. He’s presents a huge match-up problem with any defense and the game experience he brings, and he honestly didn’t play that bad filling in for the Clemson game last year, which is something the other 2 QB’s vying for the starting position can’t bring to the table.
But the question does remain, can Hinton stay on the field both health-wise, as well as rules-wise and lead this team?
Jamie Newman is a rising Sophomore, who by all accounts had a fantastic spring. He was brought up by Clawson as the number 2 behind Hinton, and this should come as no surprise. He has at least some college experience, compared to Hartman’s zero.
One of the things that should help Newman, and Hartman, is the return of Greg Dortch from injury and Scotty Washington returning to the team after a great year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Newman to already have some sort of chemistry with younger receivers like Sage Surratt as well.
With the couple of years on the bench, he’s had plenty of time of soaking in the playbook, and also learning behind Wolford and Hinton. Now it may be time for him to finally put the practice into action. While we talk about Hinton’s ability to extend the play, Newman has an ability of his own to use his legs to make plays, while maybe not as shifty, his build (a legitimate 6-4, 240), and speed seems to be enough to be more than effective and i’m intrigued to see how the coaches use him.
Everything that I’ve heard paints a “solid” picture for Newman. Solid movement, solid accuracy, etc. Maybe that’s what the Deacs need to get through their first few games, not playmaking, but a solid starter who isn’t going to make mistakes and someone who will make a few plays, but more importantly won’t put the team in a come from behind position.
Sam Hartman comes into this season as an early enrollee freshman. Absolutely raw, no college experience, nothing. Perfect.
With the new rules in place from the NCAA a player can play in up to 4 games and still qualify for a redshirt. This rule couldn’t have come in a better time for the Deacs.
I fully believe that Hartman will start the season as the number 2 QB, but will get significant reps in Wake’s first two games to see what the guy’s got. Not only will he be able to be eased in to the game by the talented wide receivers, but the wonderful stable of running backs will also help Hartman more than anyone else, as he is able to have a lot of the pressure off of him with the focus opponents put on whichever running back is terrorizing them.
He came in at 6’1 185 pounds, so he’s definitely going to keep putting on weight as the summer goes on. He seems to be a very accurate passer with decent arm strength. Getting valuable game time and time to get stronger I think benefits all parties.
Who do you guys think starts when Wake plays Tulane?
How do you think the first few games go?
What do you think is Coach Clawson’s favorite restaurant is?