Love in Close Contact with UNC

CARY, N.C. -- Heading into Wake Forest's opening playoff game on Friday, Bryce Love received game advice from a somewhat unlikely source – Larry Fedora.

"Coach Fedora, talking to him on the phone he said it's always hard to beat an opponent twice in the same year," Love said. "[Panther Creek] definitely got used to playing us. They're a real good team. They have a real bright future."

Wake Forest opened the regular season with a 28-14 victory over Panther Creek. In their first round playoff game on Friday night, Fedora's prediction came true. Panther Creek took a 6-0 lead into the second quarter and did a good job of containing Wake Forest's run-oriented offense.

Midway through the second quarter, Love, a 5-foot-10, 177-pound running back, was able to buck the trend and get Wake Forest on the scoreboard with a 57-yard touchdown run on a reverse.

"They were biting on the buck sweep normally," Love said. "With real good coaching, they were stopping it. We felt the reverse was open. It was a real good play call and good blocking, and I just took it."

The game was knotted at 14 going into halftime, but momentum was obviously turning in Wake Forest's favor. Wake Forest reeled off 21 unanswered, second-half points to win 35-15. Love accounted for one of those second half scores, a five-yarder, and finished the game with 144 yards on 18 carries.

"There's always room for improve me," Love said. "I felt like I did pretty good. I feel like I could always do better. But we won the game, so that all that really matters right now."

Wake Forest will host Southern Pines Pinecrest this Friday in the second round of the NCHSAA 4AA playoffs.

"I feel like if we trust and believe, it's a state championship team," Love said. "I said that in the beginning of the year. It's always been a goal of ours. I don't see a reason why we can't do it."

Love says he speaks to the UNC coaches – namely Blake Anderson, Fedora, Randy Jordan, and Ron West – at least once a week.

"We usually talk Tuesday night, but if I can't talk then we'll talk Wednesday morning," Love said.

Fedora doesn't usually provide Love with game advice, but he'll cover a wide range of topics.

"He always talks about the program as a whole," Love said. "He'll talk about the game from the previous week. He'll talk about his optimism for the future – how my class can really change things down there. We talk about how he's doing [and] he asks how my family is doing. He just seems really interested."

In addition to Love, the '15 class includes his close friend Nyheim Hines, who plays across Wake County at Garner. Love is also very close with teammate Dexter Lawrence, a '16 defensive lineman who has already collected several offers including one from UNC.

"[Playing college ball together] is definitely a thought," Love said. "It's a real good opportunity. I've known Nyheim since I was little. I know we share the same interests. I'd love to go to the same school as him.

"[I've known] Dexter, too. I'm helping him throughout the process. Regardless of where he goes, we're still going to stay friends, though."

Where Love will continue his football career is still yet to be determined. He hasn't even narrowed his pile of 16 scholarship offers to a more manageable number.

"I haven't done my research into all of these schools," Love said. "I'm just paying attention on football right now. After football season, I can start coming up with favorites."

Meanwhile, Love continues to visit schools. He began with Georgia vs. Clemson in Death Valley and then continued with Georgia vs. South Carolina in Athens, Clemson vs. NC State in Raleigh, UNC vs. Miami in Chapel Hill, Ohio State vs. Penn State in Columbus, and finally Duke vs. Miami in Durham last Saturday.

Love doesn't have any definite plans for the remainder for the college football season, but would like to make return visits to Clemson, UNC, South Carolina, and Tennessee in some capacity

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