Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Preview 2007 - Offense
2007 Wake Forest Preview
2007 Wake Defense Preview
2007 Wake Forest Depth Chart
2006 CFN Wake Forest
What you need to know: Wake
Forest will never come out and outbomb anyone, but it'll run
effectively behind a veteran offensive line, get the timely
passes when needed, and won't screw up. The attack only averaged
21.6 points per game and was 96th in the nation in offense, but
there were only 15 giveaways. QB Riley Skinner is back after
helping the offense lead the ACC in passing efficiency, but
everything will revolve around the ground game with several good
runners and four starters returning up front. The receiving
corps will be an issue needing to move 2006's leading rusher,
Kenneth Moore, back to his natural receiver position.
Passing: Riley Skinner
171-260, 2,051 yds, 9 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: Kenneth Moore
105 carries, 507 yds, 2 TD
Receiving: Kenneth Moore
32 catches, 314 yds, 1 TD
Star of the offense: Senior RB Micah Andrews
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior WR
Unsung star on the rise: Redshirt freshman RB Josh Adams
Best pro prospect: Senior C Steve Justice
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Justice, 2) Andrews, 3)
WR Kenneth Moore
Strength of the offense: Offensive line, running back
Weakness of the offense:
Wide receiver, offensive line depth
Projected Starter: All sophomore Riley Skinner
did was come in off the bench for an injured Ben Mauk and
complete 66% of his passes for 2,051 yards and nine touchdowns
with five interceptions while leading the team to the ACC championship. Fine, so he doesn't have the best arm
around, and yeah, he's not exactly Vince Young when it comes to
running the ball, but he's the epitome of quarterback who can
(bad cliché time) manage a game. He doesn't make mistakes and
he's great at keeping the chains moving and taking what the
defense gives him. An afterthought as a recruit, now he'll be
the face of the program for the next three years.
Projected Top Reserves: Sophomore Brett Hodges
is Skinner with 4.65 speed and mobility. He also has a live
and active arm able to throw well on the move. While he doesn't
have a shot of contending for the starting job, he'll be an
interesting change-of-pace option to add a rushing element to
Redshirt freshman Zach MacDowall has good speed
and a big-time arm. A top recruit for the program a few years
ago, he hasn't had much of a chance to show what he can do
suffering through a strained shoulder muscle this spring.
Watch Out For ... Hodges to get a little bit more
work here and there. The season was saved when Skinner was able
to come in cold and perform like a seasoned veteran, but hoping
for lightning to strike twice won't be wise if the offense loses
the starting quarterback two years in a row; Hodges needs game
Strength: Accuracy. There might not be any bombers
on the roster, but everyone is smart (this is Wake
Forest) and everyone is accurate. All the offense needs is
someone who can make the right reads and not make big mistakes.
Weakness: Experienced depth and Skinner's lack of
mobility. Grobe's offense usually utilizes a quarterback who can
run, but that's not Skinner. Until Hodges and MacDowall get
their chance to play a little bit, everyone will be holding
their breath every time Skinner takes a shot.
Outlook: The optimal word here is serviceable.
With the loss of Ben Mauk to injury, and then to the University
of Cincinnati, any threat of a quarterback competition is gone;
Skinner has the gig. He's able to come up with the occasional
clutch deep throw and he's a gamer who makes plays even when the
offense appears to have bogged down, but he's not going to have
the same time to operate he had last year.
Projected Starters: For now, 230-pound sophomore
Kevin Harris will be the number one running back as long
as he can hold up. He's very big, very fast with 4.5 speed, and
ridiculously strong, he can be the type of runner the offense
can revolve around. He played a big role early last year before
being dinged up over the second half of the season only getting
one big game, a 42-yard, two touchdown game against Maryland
thanks to a knee problem and a concussion. He finished the year
with 393 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns.
set with the return of 259-pound junior Rich Belton, who
ran for 227 yards and three touchdowns and caught 12 passes for
80 yards. While he's a hard short-yardage runner, his real worth
is as a blocker.
Projected Top Reserves: While Harris is likely
going to be the starter going into the season, that'll change
once senior Micah Andrews is back from a knee injury that
knocked him out in the third game of the year. Rushing skills
aren't an issue with excellent speed and an elusiveness once he
gets through the hole, but he hasn't stayed healthy getting
banged up with an ankle injury two years ago. Even so, he ran
for 256 yards and two touchdowns in limited work last year, tore
off a 254-yard day in the 2005 opener against Vanderbilt, and
ran for 142 yards against East Carolina.
The number two man in
the mix until Andrews is 100% this fall will be redshirt
freshman Josh Adams, who worked his way up the depth
chart this spring thanks to his tremendous speed. Arguably the
team's best athlete, he's a potential game-changer when he gets
the ball in the open field.
239-pound senior DeAngelo Bryant
has had his moments in the spotlight with four starters and
336 yards and three touchdowns last season. The issue is his
weight; he needs to keep it down. With good speed and the
powerful body, he has the tools to be a workhorse back if need
be, but he might not be the type of runner to count on for a
Redshirt freshman Lucas Caparelli is another
speedy option with 4.4 speed and a tremendous high-school
résumé. Has hasn't been able to break through and do much in
practices yet, but he'll be a contributor sooner than later.
Backing up Belton at fullback will be 6-3, 260-pound sophomore
Mike Rinfrette, who saw a little bit of action throughout
last year and even caught an 18-yard pass in the ACC title game.
Mostly a blocker because of his tremendous strength, he'll also
see the ball come his way when he's in.
Watch Out For ... Andrews to take back the starting
job the second he's ready, and then get hurt at some point in
the season making Harris the main man.
Strength: Options. There are thumpers, speedsters,
and backs who do a little of everything. It's not fair to say
the tailback in the Wake Forest offense is simply a cog in the
system, but for the most part, the tailback in the Wake Forest
offense is a cog in the system. Several backs on the roster are
capable of cranking out a 100-yard day if needed.
Weakness: Does the team have any one back it can
truly count on? While it's great to have depth and several
players who can shine, it would also be nice to have a back to
count on week in and week out. Someone has to emerge from the
pack if it's not going to be Andrews.
Outlook: Wake Forest will have few problems
running the ball. The offense can succeed with Harris or Bryant
if Andrews isn't back to his old self, but things can take a big
turn forwards if Adams and Caparelli use their speed to turn
into major factors. As a group they'll combine for over 2,000
Projected Starters: Last year's leading rusher,
senior Kenneth Moore, has moved to wide receiver to take
advantage of his size and speed after finishing third on the
team with 32 catches for 314 yards and a touchdown coming mostly
as a running back. He ran for 507 yards and two touchdowns after
starting off the year as a receiver, and he also turned into a
whale of a punt returner averaging 13 yards a try. Even when he
was running 27 times for 165 yards and a score against Maryland,
he was still being used as a receiver out of the backfield.
Senior Kevin Marion will take over the number two spot
after catching ten passes for 117 yards while making his biggest
mark as a kick returner averaging 22.3 yards a try. A great
athlete with sub-4.4 speed, he needs to become a game-breaker
right off the bat.
Senior tight end John Tereshinski is
back after catching 16 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns.
A decent blocker, he has great hands to go along with enough
speed to make him a bigger part of the passing game.
Projected Top Reserves: 5-11, 220-pound junior
Demic Boldin is back after missing all of last year working
on his studies. He should provide a big boost if he builds off
his promising freshman season when he caught 15 passes for 224
yards averaging a team-high 14.9 yards per catch. He'll start
off behind Marion.
6-1, 210-pound junior Chip Brinkman
will get the backup job behind Moore, but he's untested with
only one catch last season. He has the speed and the athleticism
to make an impact right away; he'll need to.
At 6-2 and 220
pounds, senior Delon Lowe is the biggest receiver in the
mix, but he's never been able to step out and do anything other
than on special teams.
Behind Tereshinski at tight end is
veteran Zac Selmon, a starter for most of last year
catching 11 passes for 134 yards.
He's the son of former Oklahoma star lineman Dewey Selmon. Lee Roy and
Lucious Selmon are his uncles.
Watch Out For ... this to be a problem all season
long. There aren't any proven gamebreakers, so it might take a
full season to find steady starters who can crank out the big
plays to open things up for the running game.
Strength: Tight end. Tereshinski and Selmon are
more than just decent veterans, they could be the leaders of the
passing attack as the main men on third downs. They have the
ability to be far more involved on short to midrange patterns,
which is what Riley Skinner is best at.
Weakness: A proven number two receiver. Once he's
done with the hamstring problem from spring ball, Moore will a
good number one target. Marion has the speed, but is he a true
second receiver Skinner can consistently rely on? He hasn't been
Outlook: Wake Forest will be at or near the bottom
of the ACC in passing again, so it's about how effective
everyone can be. Nate Morton and Willie Idlette were great when
they had to be. It's not just about making catches for the
newcomers, it's about making them in key moments. Morton and
Idlette always seemed to make the big grab after disappearing
from the offense for a while. If Moore isn't a star, there will
be big problems.
Projected Starters: The line is all set with the
exception of replacing All-Everything tackle Steve Vallos, the key cog
in the ACC champion attack. 6-3, 298-pound sophomore Jeff Griffin,
who started half of the year on the right side when Vallos moved to the
left to replace an injured Arby Jones. Griffin was terrific playing like
a seasoned veteran and looking like the Vallos of the future.
left side will be 6-4, 315-pound Louis Frazier after spending all
of last year at left guard after coming off a knee injury. He's the
team's best run blocker, but he has to prove he can be consistent in
Staying put at right guard will be massive 6-4, 362-pound junior
Chris DeGeare, who's one of the team's strongest players and also
one of the most durable. He's been an integral past of the line for the
last two years and should be in the same spot for the next two; he's not
quite mobile enough to move to tackle.
The one new starter to the line
is Matthew Brim, a 6-4, 294-pound senior who saw time in every
game as a top reserve and now will hold down the left guard spot.
Originally expected to be a starter at the beginning of the year, he
suffered a broken hand, which he was able to play through, but allowed
Frazier to step in take over.
The star of the show is senior Steve
Justice, a 6-4, 294-pound technician who'll be in the hunt for
All-America honors as well as the Rimington Award. The perfect
quarterback for the veteran line, he'll start to get the recognition
Vallos earned last year.
Projected Top Reserves: Arguably the team's most
talented lineman, all 6-4, 290-pound sophomore Joe Birdsong needs
is a little bit more playing time. He stepped in when needed at tackle
and on special teams, and now he'll be a key reserve behind Frazier on
the left side before he takes over the job next year.
Getting work at
left guard behind Brim will be sophomore Barrett McMillin after
seeing more and more time as last season went on. He's not huge at 288
pounds, but he's tough and should be a starter next year.
Watch Out For ... the line to be the strength of the
team once again, even without Vallos. No, Frazier won't be the same
tackle, but he'll be decent, while Brim will shine at left guard.
Strength: Experience. With four starters returning
and Brim like a starter, this should be one of the tightest, most
cohesive lines in the ACC.
Weakness: Depth. There are several good prospects,
and Birdsong and McMillin can certainly play, but there's not a whole
bunch else to count on. That'll have to change quickly to get some
quality returning experience before next year.
Outlook: The line wasn't always great in pass
protection considering the offense only threw the ball 287 times, but it
did enough to get by. Running the ball was never a problem, and it
shouldn't be again with a big, veteran, talented line that should
dominate at times. The loss of Vallos will be offset by the improvement