September 13, 2012

The War Room

Wake Forest (2-0, 1-0 ACC) is hopeful the combination of a strong start to the season and a big recruiting weekend (Sept. 8-9) will lead to more commitments.

The Demon Deacons experienced great success on the recruiting trail in June and July, building the foundation of their incoming class with 12 commitments.

List of 2013 Football Commitments

--- Taylor Chambers, Irmo (SC), Offensive Tackle, 6-foot-8 and 305 pounds. Rivals.com rates him as a three-star recruit and as the No. 17 overall prospect in South Carolina.

--- Cameron Gardner, Bailey (NC) Southern Nash, Offensive Tackle, 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds. Rivals.com rates him as a two-star recruit.

--- Josh Harris, Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton, Offensive Guard, 6-foot-4 and 299 pounds. Rivals.com rates him as a three-star recruit, the nation's No. 38 offensive guard and the No. 63 overall prospect in Georgia.

--- Tyree Harris, Marietta (Ga.), Wide Receiver, 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds. Rivals.com rates him as a three-star recruit.

--- Cory Helms, Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton, Center, 6-foot-4 and 288 pounds. Rivals.com rates him as a three-star recruit, the nation's No. 9 center and the No. 69 overall prospect in Georgia.
--- Ford Howell, Memphis (Tenn.) University School, Inside Linebacker, 6-foot-2 and 226 pounds. Rivals.com rates him as a three-star recruit and the No. 20 overall prospect in Tennessee.

--- Ali Lamot, Mebane (NC) Eastern Alamance, Outside Linebacker, 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds.

--- Alex Montgomery, Weston (Fla.) Cypress Bay, Wide Receiver, 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds. Rivals.com rates him as a three-star recruit.

--- Brendan O'Neil, Cambridge (Mass.) Buckingham Browne & Nichols, Tight End, 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds. Rivals.com rates him as a three-star recruit, the nation's No. 39 pound tight end and the No. 5 overall prospect in Massachusetts.

--- Michael Radford, Charlotte (NC) Country Day, Dual-threat quarterback, 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds. Rivals.com rates him as a two-star recruit.

--- Cameron Serigne, Ashburn (Va.) Briar Woods, Tight End, 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. Rivals.com rates him as a two-star recruit.

--- Brad Watson, Round Rock (Texas) Westwood, Cornerback, 5-foot-11 and 161 pounds. Rivals.com rates him as a two-star recruit.

In this edition of the "The War Room" Deacons Illustrated addresses the most glaring needs left on Wake's recruiting board.

1) Defensive Line

Wake Forest was forced to play true freshman defensive end Tylor Harris at nose guard Saturday, Sept. 8 against North Carolina when starter Nikita Whitlock left the game with a sprained right ankle.

Jim Grobe and his coaching staff do not think that redshirt freshman Godspower Offor and true freshman Shelldon Lewinson are ready for the rigors of the ACC. Both play with a high pad-level, and are very raw. Wake wants to keep from burning Lewinson's redshirt status, so he can use this year to learn and develop as a student athlete.

However, the lack of game-ready bodies, especially in the interior has made life difficult for an already lean Wake Forest defensive front.

The Deacs are working diligently to remedy this problem for the future. Loxahatchee (Fla.) Seminole Ridge defensive tackle Kyle Shortridge made the trek to Winston-Salem for an official visit Saturday, Sept. 8.

Shortride, who committed to Wake Forest Monday, July 9 before de-committing five days later (Tuesday, July 15), is rated as a three-star recruit, the nation's No. 39 defensive tackle and the No. 95 overall prospect in Florida by Rivals.com. Nebraska is the only other school Shortridge has been to.

Gaffney (SC) defensive end Jaylen Miller is another top target for Wake.

The 6-foot-2 and 255-pound Miller, who is rated as a three-star recruit and the No. 13 overall prospect in South Carolina by Rivals.com, claims scholarship offers from Alabama State, Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, LSU, Marshall, Maryland, NC State, North Carolina and Wake Forest.

Lonnie Galloway and Ray McCartney are pursuing Miller for the Demon Deacons.

2) Running Back

Nothing is official until a recruit signs with a school, but most of the running backs Wake offered have verbally committed to other programs.

However, Marquez Grayson, who is rated as a three-star recruit, the nation's No. 29 running back and the No. 18 overall prospect in North Carolina by Rivals.com remains on the board. The Lexington (NC) running back made an unofficial visit to Wake Saturday, Sept. 8. NC State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest are the 6-foot-1 and 200-pounder's top choices.

Cincinnati-commitment Marcus Levy was also in Winston-Salem over the weekend for an official visit to Wake. The Fort Pierce (Fla.) Central 5-foot-10 and 187-pound running back is rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com.

3) Secondary

The Demon Deacons will likely remain strong at safety for 2013, but the departure of cornerback Chibuikem Okoro following the end of this season will leave a void at cornerback.

Wake is looking for another cornerback or two and a safety to join Watson. The Deacs entertained defensive backs Marcus Davis, Aneas Henricks, Will Likely and Sean Paul, who were all on official visits to Wake Forest Sept. 8-9.

4) Offensive Line

The last month and a half have not been easy for Wake's, as the Deacs have battled injuries and growing pains in the trenches.
Wake Forest has already snagged four commitments to join the fight up front for the future, but offensive line coach Jonathan Himebauch still has his sights set on Eric Tetlow.

Rivals.com's Justin Rowland reported the Richmond (Va.) Mills E. Godwin offensive tackle is hearing from Boston College, Maryland, South Florida, Arizona State, Purdue, Wake Forest and many other programs. The 6-foot-6 and 294-pound Tetlow, who is rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, is waiting to see if Florida State and Vanderbilt offer him a scholarship.

5) Linebacker

Wake will soon lose inside linebackers Scott Betros and Riley Haynes and outside linebacker Joey Ehrmann to graduation. In anticipation of their departures the Demon Deacons snagged Howell, but have room for two to three more linebackers in this recruiting class.

Hollywood (Fla.) McArthur inside linebacker Jeremy Benjamin has the Demon Deacons in his top five along with Florida International, Tennessee, Texas A&M and West Virginia. Benjamin, who is 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, is rated by Rivals.com as a three-star recruit and the nation's No. 35 inside linebacker.

The Deacs are also in hot pursuit after Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School outside linebacker Skai Moore, who is rated as a three-star recruit, the nation's No. 40 outside linebacker and the No. 81 overall prospect in Florida.

Rutgers and Vanderbilt appear to be leading in the 6-foot-2 and 210-pounder's sweepstakes.

Shortridge's teammate Rayfield Dixon is also considering Wake Forest. The 6-foot-3 and 197-pound Loxahatchee (Fla.) Seminole Ridge outside linebacker is rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com.

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