With Early Signing Day behind us and the bowl game only a few days away, the idea of where we are at with scholarships has popped up from time to time, so I figured it’d be a good idea to take a stab at an updated chart to see where we stand, and where we could go.
So you’ll notice here a couple of things:
1. We have 2 open scholarships available for the 2020 season
2. This will probably change in 3 days
We are 3 scholarships over right now
I included all of the players who are in the transfer portal, them being Manny Walker , Waydale Jones , Courtney McKinney , and Orlando Heggs II The reasoning for #2 is that I am on the wavelength that while they are in the transfer portal, players like McKinney and Jones aren’t even on the roster at this point and time, for the purpose of the chart, I will not be counting my chickens before they hatch and count that scholarship spot open as we’ve seen examples in the past of players coming back even when we thought they’d be long gone.
Time to count my chickens before they hatch on this analysis part!
With all of that said, I’d be shocked if I saw any of the 4 return to Wake Forest next year. Waydale seems just long gone, Manny Walker is in a very crowded DE group especially with Boogie announcing his return yesterday, and McKinney is in a crowded RB group that just added 2 really good backs. Heggs is the one that stuck out to me as a possibility as I thought he’d be in line to battle for a spot on the 2 Deep but there could be other factors there.
If all 4 are gone, that would put Wake with 1 available scholarship
During Clawson’s last press conference, he was very explicit in saying that they are not done recruiting for this year. I take Dave Clawson at his word, but also Clawson is not a coach to recruit a player for months and then when it comes to a few hours before signing day, call the player up to say something has changed. But where would those spots come from you ask?
Senior Day honorees for Wake Forest: pic.twitter.com/6B6YoaqkIF— Conor O'Neill (@ConorONeillWSJ) November 19, 2019
With Boogie and Kamara confirmed coming back, there are 2 names on here that stick out: Tyler Watson and DeAndre’ Delaney.
Delaney is in the same boat that McKinney is in. Neither have really seemed to carve out a role for themselves and have seemingly been getting passed by the younger guys with the exception that Delaney has found a spot on special teams to the tune of 8 tackles this year(which with the amount we score and missing a few games is actually a plus.) However, would that role be large enough for him to continue playing here for another year? I wouldn’t be shocked if the bowl game wasn’t his last game. With Watson, Clawson was very explicit that he wants to get George Sell up to speed to help with depth this year. To me that screams that both Watson and Heggs would be gone after this year. Nothing set in stone but this feels like where a couple of spots will be opening up.
There is an obvious follow up question: What would Clawson want to do with those spots? There are 4 positions that seem plausible. A grad transfer kickoff specialist feels very high on the list given the struggles of this year and defending them. A grad transfer CB also makes a lot of sense given they lose Essang Bassey and Amari Henderson after the bowl game. Ja’Sir Taylor is a good player but the rest of the position is young and finding someone to plug and play there while easing in the rest could prove to be beneficial. Linebacker is something I’ve gone back and forth with. Both a grad transfer as well as one still in high school do make some sense. Depth has always been an issue there, so the more the merrier. I’d prefer a grad transfer if they went this route but wouldn’t be the end of the world. Lastly an OL grad transfer makes a bit of sense, preferably one at RG. Replacing Nate Gilliam is a hard task. Having someone that can immediately come in and play would pay dividends as it gives the younger guys more leeway to grow and adapt without throwing them in the fire right away, but it also gives more stability to the LG position as you can just keep Maginn and Nya at LG to fight it out.
Did I miss anything? Feel free to let me know in the comments or yell at me on twitter @CamLemons_