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Why Greg Dortch will be an All-American this Year

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Dortch has the chance to be one of the best receivers in Wake Forest history

Louisville v Wake Forest Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

Wake Forest football has many questions going into this year, including how freshman quarterback Sam Hartman will do after being named the starter this past Thursday.

But one thing that will not be a question is how explosive redshirt sophomore receiver Greg Dortch can be.

In fact, I will argue that Dortch could be in line for an All-American season. Here’s why:

1) The entire offense is based around Dortch

When asked by Les Johns and Conor O’Neill about Greg Dortch returning punts and kicks, Coach Dave Clawson had the following to say: “I mean, everything we do on offense is to try to get him the ball in space, and punt returns and kick returns you start with the ball in space. I’d rather rest him for a rep of offense than have miss a chance to get a punt return or a kick return.”

If everything is designed to get Dortch the ball in space, he should have numerous opportunities for big-time yardage.

2) Dortch will be on special teams doing returns, giving him extra all-purpose opportunities

Looking at the quote from Coach Clawson in reason number one, Dortch will probably be on every kickoff and punt return, and given his explosiveness we could see some long returns, which will add to his yardage totals.

3) The record-breaking numbers from his freshman year can only go up

In his redshirt freshman season last year, Dortch was named a Freshman All-American by USA Today, was named Second Team All-ACC as an all-purpose back and honorable mention as a return specialist, was runner-up to Boston College’s A.J. Dillon as the ACC Rookie of the Year, earned three ACC Player of the Week awards, two as the Rookie of the Week and one as Receiver of the Week, tied for the team lead in receptions with 53 (despite playing only eight games), was the team leader in receiving yards (722) and touchdown receptions (9), led the team with 18 kickoff returns, 20 punt returns and 1,290 all-purpose yards, set the school freshman record for most punt return yards in a game with 76 vs. Presbyterian, set school records for TD receptions in a game with four vs. Louisville, all-purpose yards per game with 161.6, and punt returns in a season by a redshirt freshman (20), set school redshirt freshman records for all-purpose yards (1,290), receiving yards (722) and touchdown receptions (9), owns freshman records for receptions (10) and touchdown receptions in a game (4) vs. Louisville, most all-purpose yards (258) vs. Georgia Tech and most punt return yards (76) vs. Presbyterian. His 1,270 total offense yards were the seventh-most in the ACC. His 161.2 yards per game would have led the league but he was not eligible because he didn’t play in enough games. He had 100 or more all-purpose yards in six of eight games including the last four, topped 200 yards of APR vs. Georgia Tech (258) and Louisville (216), caught two TD passes in the season-opener against Presbyterian returned four punts for 76 yards, marking the most punt returns by a freshman in school history, became the first player in school history with two TD receptions in their first game, and became the first freshman in school history with a touchdown reception in each of his first four career games. Dortch was one of only four players nationally to catch four TD passes in a game in 2017, and was the only freshman to accomplish this feat. Greg also became the first Wake Forest player with 200 or more all-purpose yards in consecutive games since Billy Ray Barnes in 1956, and was the first Demon Deacon to eclipse 1,000 all-purpose yards since Chris Givens in 2011.

With a full season healthy (knock on wood), Greg Dortch should put up record-breaking numbers that rival some of the greatest players in Wake Forest and ACC history.

Stats and quotes in this article are courtesy of wakeforestsports.com, Les Johns, and Conor O’Neill.

What do you think? Do you think Dortch will be an All-American? Comment below.