Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Under the radar Deacs

Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson continues his post-practice interview with Demon Deacon Digest, giving details on special teams, team captain Ryan Janvion, and his evaluation of under-the-radar players in camps.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson continues to talk about the opportunities to improve in the special teams game in the second half of his post-practice interview with Demon Deacon Digest.

On special teams

Clawson: “It helps that we have more depth. That’s where having six or seven receivers, including Jalen Latter — we’ve never been able to use receivers on special teams. Cortez Lewis last year went every play at the X, because we really didn’t have anyone good behind him that we felt good playing. Now we can use Cortez on special teams, because we have Scotty (Washington). But we can also use Scotty on special teams because we have Cortez.”

On the punt team getting first dibs

Clawson: “Yes. The punt team gets anybody they want, then the kickoff team is the second draft pick. There’s no player other than quarterback that we say can’t do special teams. But, I may say, ‘You get Cam Serigne for two units. You get Cameron Glenn for two units. You get Ryan Janvion for three units, as long as all safeties are healthy, but if someone is down, you only get him for two.’ He (special teams coach Adam Scheier) starts prioritizing the depth chart. So everyone on punt is a no. 1 draft pick, because he can have anybody on the team he wants for the punt team. Cortez doesn’t do punts, so he might be on punt block. He’s not going to use him on punt and he’s not going to use him on kickoff.”

On Ryan Janvion

Clawson: “Ryan is one of the most reliable, dependable, consistent, caring good-leadership guys on our team. What’s really interesting is that he’s a three-year starter and now going into his fourth year, he’s probably never been pushed more. It’s certainly not because Ryan has done anything wrong. Ryan is one of our poster boys. I make sure I’m nice to Ryan every day, because in 10-15 years, he needs to be one of our big donors to football here. When he’s done with football, whatever Ryan Janvion does, he’ll be super, ultra successful. That’s the way he’s wired. We’ve recruited well. You’d think three-year starter, three-year captain — he’s competing to start.”

On how he’s responded to that competition

Clawson: “He just goes out and plays and competes. The one thing is that Jessie (Bates) and Cam (Glenn) haven’t played as much. Those guys are more one-position guys, but because Ryan has played more he kind of gets cross trained.”  

On ‘under-the-radar’ players

Clawson: “Sometimes in recruiting, it’s like ‘Geez, what is Wake Forest doing signing Alex Bachman?’ When a kid comes to camp and does what he does and ran what he ran and performs like he does — those are the best evaluations we get. It’s great when you get a four-star guy, but the guys we’ve had at our camp that were under-the-radar guys that were exceptional — I don’t mean good, but exceptional — Alex Bachman, Essang Bassey, Jake Benzinger. We haven’t made a lot of mistakes with those guys. Those guys were on nobody’s recruiting radar, for whatever reason. He comes out and plays every day and you notice him. It’s nice to have classes that are rated high, and it’s nice to have stars, but at the end of the day we have to make sure we’re signing good football players. When they come to camp and perform at a high level for two hours, and it shows up on film — those are probably the most important indicators for us.”

Demon Deacon Digest Top Stories