Scouting Wake Forest breaks down Wake Forest in preparation of Saturday's matchup with the Orange.

Syracuse and Wake Forest square off in a battle of 2-4 teams looking to get their seasons back on track. Here is a detailed look at the Demon Deacons.

Scouting the Offense

The best way to describe Wake Forest’s offense is “ineffective.” This is one of the worst offensive units in the country and almost certainly the worst offensive line in a Power 5 conference. That combined with a true freshman quarterback under center has led to impressive ineptitude. Put bluntly, Wake lacks enough offensive talent to compete anytime soon.

Projected Starters


John Wolford

Running Back

Orville Reynolds

Full back

Jordan Garside

Wide Receiver

Jonathan Williams

Wide Receiver

Jared Crump

Tight End

Cam Serigne

Left Tackle

Antonio Ford

Left Guard

Cory Helms


A'lique Terry

Right Guard

Josh Harris

Right Tackle

Dylan Intemann

Key Players

QB John Wolford: True freshman Wolford beat out veteran Tyler Cameron for the job in the fall, as new head coach Dave Clawson is going with the player he recruited over guys who have been in the Wake program three or four years. Wolford was a three star recruit and the 63rd rated quarterback last season and has struggled both to stay upright and to throw with efficiency, as he has almost twice as many interceptions (11) as touchdowns (6).

OT Antonio Ford: Ford is a Pahokee, FL, product and a good athlete who spent last season at guard after a catastrophic leg injury in 2012. He’s probably the one potential NFL prospect currently on this offensive roster, though he has struggled in his transition to left tackle.


Nearly everything. The running game struggled mightily last season (116th nationally) and has turned to RB Orville Reynolds, who averages 2.42 yards per carry on the year.

The Receivers: Wake had one real weapon last year in receiver Michael Campanaro, and his departure was a big blow to this unit, which returned only two receivers who had caught a touchdown before the season. No remaining receiver had over 250 yards receiving last year. They haven’t done much this year, either.


Wake Forest had the worst F/+ offensive rating in the ACC last season at 112th and they seem to have gotten worse. They will struggle to score against anyone they play this year, plain and simple.

Scouting the Defense

Wake plays a 4-2-5 defense and has a good secondary. Unfortunately, they get so little help from their offense that it hasn’t mattered much this year. They do cause turnovers and have set up short fields for the offense all year, however, so opposing quarterbacks should be especially cautious


Defensive End

Zachary Allen

Defensive Tackle

Taylor Harris

Defensive Tackle

Josh Banks

Defensive End

Wendell Dunn

Buck Linebacker

Brandon Chubb

Middle Linebacker

Marquel Lee


Hunter Williams


Merrill Noel

Strong Safety

Ryan Janvion

Free Safety

Anthony Wooding Jr.


Kevin Johnson

Key Players

CB Merrill Noel: Noel was a one-time Florida State commitment from Pahokee, FL. Now he is the Demon Deacons’ top corner and led the team in interceptions last season with three. He also forced a team high three fumbles last season. Noel is definitely the best athlete on the defense and projects as a second or third round draft pick.

SS Ryan Janvion: As a freshman last season Janvion led the team in tackles with 95 and had an interception. He got better as the season went on and finished last season with a 14-tackle performance against Vanderbilt. He and the rest of the Wake Forest secondary have actually been remarkably good this season.

The Defensive tackles: After what seemed like a decade, Nikita Whitlock moved on to the NFL leaving an undersized hole at the defensive tackle position. Whitlock had 9 sacks last season—more than the entire returning roster didn’t have that combined. Banks and Harris have filled that role nicely, however, though they’re so often playing from behind that it hasn’t made much difference.


The defense actually wasn’t that bad in 2013, finishing the season ranked 41st in the F/+ defensive rankings—ahead of teams like North Carolina, Georgia, and Miami. They’re around the same area this year, thanks to a very good secondary and an average to above-average defensive front. Combine the overall lack of talent with a new head coach and defensive coordinator and it’s a clear rebuilding situation in Winston-Salem.

Breaking Down the Special Teams

Projected Starters


Mike Weaver


Alexander Kinal

Punt Returner

Jared Crump

Kick returners

Tyree Harris

Orville Reynolds

Question Marks

K Mike Weaver: Freshman Weaver is 8-8 on field goals for the year and has been the one reliable offensive weapon.

P Alexander Kinal: Kinal has averaged 43.33 yards per punt and has had plenty of practice all season.

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