WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — There are position battles across the board this fall at the Doc Martin Football Practice Complex, as Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson has continued to add exciting young talent across the field.
One spot where there is no competition? Tight end.
Junior Cam Serigne has that starting spot secured after two record-setting seasons. Serigne holds the school record for most receptions in a season for a tight end at Wake Forest (54), and has caught a pass in all 24 of his career appearances.
He finished fourth in the media preseason All-ACC balloting at tight end, and hopes to help lead the Deacs to a successful third season of the Dave Clawson era.
Demon Deacon Digest spoke with Serigne after practice Sunday afternoon.
On how the first three days of camp have went
Serigne: “It’s been going great. It’s been some of the most physical practices we’ve had. We’ve been getting after it the last three days. I’m excited going into 2016 that we’re going to be a more physically tough football team.”
On if he feels that physicality more at the tight end position than the other ‘skill’ guys
Serigne: “Definitely. Coach Clawson is really pushing me to be a complete tight end the last few years. I think we’re at the point where he trusts me in the blocking game more and I’m in on the down blocks against the defensive ends and going after it with the offensive linemen. I mean, the first 16 periods of practice we’re getting after it in the running game. I’m basically in the offensive line at that point, and it’s been a real grunt and effort type of days.”
On being in a different position than many of the other skill guys, in that his position is seemingly locked up
Serigne: “We have a great tight end room, with me, (Devin) Pike, (Jack) Freudenthal, Brandon Chapman and all these guys that are here with us now. We always try to push each other to be better. We work like it’s a competition. You don’t want to get complacent. You look around the league and within your team to find competition and push yourself. Then you can set goals and work to accomplish those.”
On Brandon Chapman
Serigne: “Brandon came in during the spring, and he’s gotten so much stronger and better. He got the offense really fast. Brandon is going to be a great player. Same with Thomas Cole — he just got here, and it’s tough for true freshman to learn the whole offense and acclimate to college football. He’s doing a good job and taking it all in stride.”
On if he sees Cole’s head spinning at times
Serigne: “Any freshman. It doesn’t matter who it is. The playbook is a big thing. It takes some time, but he’s handled it as well as anyone.”
On how much responsibility he has to help the new tight ends gets adjusted to football and life at Wake Forest
Serigne: “A lot of that responsibility. Me and Pike and the older guys in the room have to take them and teach them the offense and how to be a tight end at Wake Forest. We have to show them the Demon Deacon Way. It’s our responsibility.”
On if he will be judged on the growth of others this season in addition to how he personally does on the field
Serigne: “Definitely. Coach Clawson has talked to me numerous times about helping the younger guys get developed, and how to help him bring them along. I’ve played a couple years now and being able to share my experiences to help them grow as players has been something I enjoy. He’s looking at me to help them come along.”
On what he’s worked on since spring football to help prepare for the season
Serigne: “Just focusing on staying healthy and flexible. I put in the work during the summer to help ensure I stay healthy all season. I haven’t missed a game - knock on wood, so hopefully I can keep that up.”
On what he believes this team can do this season
Serigne: “I don’t want to put a ceiling on it. It’s all up to us and how hard we work in this camp. It depends on how much work we put in, and the mindset of the players. That will determine our season.”