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Wake Forest 2019-2020 Recruiting Cycle Update

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Holes to fill, good names left

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a whirlwind of a last 7 days for Wake Football scholarship wise. Today I’m going to update the scholarship chart to reflect the scholarships from those who have transferred else where.

As of right now, if all who are in the transfer portal find a new home and those who went through senior day but haven’t announced they will return leave, Wake still has three spots open. I’ll get into where these last spots could go, but lets talk about what we know for sure.

For the 2020 class Wake got a verbal commitment from 2020 ATH Justice Ellison out of Oakton, VA

A 3 star according to 24/7, Ellison projects to be in the slot receiver mold at 5’10, 190. However if needed I could see him having a promising future at CB. One of the biggest attributes he has is his blazing speed, agility and ball skills. According to 24/7 Ellison runs a 4.43 40, a 4.06 shuttle, and a vertical of 35.60 inches. From watching his film, he has an uncanny ability to find the ball and he’s a good addition to this team. Welcome Justice!

In terms of 2021, Wake got their QB recruit as Santino Marucci committed to the Deacs.

Marucci boasts offers Cincinnati, Kentucky, and App State. Marucci goes into his senior year of high school at 6’0, 215lbs and a wrestling background, so he’s a tough competitor, and has shown he can make all of the throws and more and still has an entire year before coming to Wake. I wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up as a 4 star with a “few” more offers by the time he gets to Winston-Salem. With 3 scholarship QBs on the roster, I’m intrigued to see the competition here.

So from here, Wake has 3 scholarships available. What do they do with the last spots?

There are 3 areas of concerns left for the team, in my humble and unverified on twitter opinion, and that are: OT, CB, and Kickoffs. I’d like another LB for depth but I’m not totally upset if we don’t grab one this cycle.

At OT, in my mind this has to be a grad transfer. I’m a big believer in you can’t rush the development of an offensive lineman. Luke Petitbon wont get to campus this semester and projects as the Center of the future for this team. George Sell is going to be really good and Clawson has gone on record saying he wants to get him ready for this year, but that should be the last option on the table. Looking here in the transfer portal there seem to be 2 names that stand out as really good fits for Wake

Devery Hamilton would be at the top of the list for me(and a lot of offensive line coaches.) Hamilton started at both guard and tackle for Stanford, however in 2017 he was a starting LT for the team and boasted a 72.8 Run Block grade. Given Wake’s struggles, getting someone who can open some holes for Walker, Beal-Smith, Flowers, etc is always a good thing.

Devin Cochran also sticks out as a really good fit for this team.

Another stout LT, that projects very well for the draft in 2021. At 6’7 318 pounds, he would immediately come in and start.

With Corner, things get a bit interesting. One name to look at is Gavin Holmes out of Louisiana. The first word that comes to mind when looking at his film is, “fast.”

Coming in just under 6 feet tall and 162 pounds, Holmes seems to fit the bill for what the staff is looking for. Washington State has been presumed the favorite but I’m intrigued now with the departure of one Mike Leach, how this plays out in terms of recruiting. Holmes could easily come in and start/fight alongside Isaiah Essissima/Caelen Carson/JJ Roberts/Tyriq Hardimon for the other 3 spots on the 2 deep. I also wouldn’t be shocked to see Kenneth Dicks III fighting there if he’s not needed at rover like he was when Luke Masterson went down.

For a kickoff specialist, I truly don’t know what they do or if they get one here. If the staff hasn’t seen someone by now they think would be a good fit, I’d be shocked if someone came onto the team minus new revelations. Fixing this issue, without getting a new kicker, perhaps involves Ivan Mora? I know saving his redshirt was crucial last year with Dom Maggio graduating, however coming out of high school he was the #3 kicker and #1 punter according to Kohl’s Kicking camp(much more reliable than 24/7 and rivals for specialists) and his kickoffs were raved about. You don’t want to tire a kids leg out but Wake has got to start kicking it out of the endzone if possible.

The numbers always have a way of working themselves out but it’s hard for coaches at times to really know what their working with. You could think a player like Manny Walker is all but out the door and then come back, and the inverse holds true as well. I have full faith in the numbers working out and perhaps we’ll get a pleasant surprise in the next few weeks.

If you have any questions leave em in the comments or feel free to tweet(yell) them at @CamLemons_ on twitter.

As always,

Go Deacs.