Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Scrimmage running game impresses Wake coach Dave Clawson

Just a little over a week before the Deacs kick off the season against Tulane, coach Dave Clawson talked with the media about jobs won and other positions still up in the air.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson buried the lede today, giving us the information about John Wolford getting the starting quarterback slot against Tulane as we were winding up our interviews and about to head to the parking lot.

But we spoke with him about his thoughts on the scrimmage and other topics before that.

On reviewing tape of the scrimmage

Clawson: “I watch it live when it goes, then I watch it at home that night. Then I come in and watch it with one side of the ball, then I watch it with the kids. So it’s four goes at it. I’d say, again for the most part the general impressions were good. Right now, and I’ve said this to our football team, for the first two years our defense was better than our offense. So at times, our defense might not fit something correctly or might be misaligned, but they wouldn’t pay for it. I think now our offense is to the point where our defense misaligns or misassigns, the offense makes them pay. That’s what happened. We had a few breakdowns on defense, and every time the offense got a big play. I think there were a lot more good 3-5 yard plays, and the offense made some more explosives. The other thing that was really good, probably for the first time since we’ve been here we had a consistent run game. You constantly saw 2nd-and-6, 2nd-and-5. It put the offense into a lot of 3rd-and-mediums, and the offense converted 75 percent of those. You’d much rather be playing football 3rd-and-4 than 3rd-and-12. That’s a down and distance you’re going to convert more of.”

On getting Phil Haynes and Cam Serigne back

Clawson: “I’d like to get 53 (Duke Ejiofor) and 2 (Cam Glenn) back. With young guys, you try to push them through practice and see what they can do. With older guys that have established themselves, you want to get them back healthy. Today, we had Cam do individual and skelly. Tomorrow he’ll do some team reps. Phil was fully cleared today and was in there. That certainly helps us. We’ve got really two more days of camp, we’ll give them Thursday off, then start our game prep Friday.”

On Jack Freudenthal making catch after catch

Clawson: “He’s really. . . I really thought going into camp that Jack would be battling Brandon Chapman for the no. 3 tight end. Chapman has been hurt and Freudenthal has played really well. We go into the season saying Cam is no. 1, (Devin) Pike is no. 2 and Jack is no. 3, but Jack is a playable no. 3. There’s a difference between being a no. 3 and being a playable no. 3”

On not really knowing that until fall camp

Clawson: “He was probably one of those guys that I was hoping that maybe by October he’d be there. What happened was when Cam and Pike went down, he got all those reps and he took advantage of them.”

On how many times it would have rained them out if they didn’t have McCreary Indoor

Clawson: “I think we’ve ended up going inside once or twice because of rain, and there were three walk-throughs that we would have missed. More than anything, it’s just the additional field space. One of the things we’ve struggled to do here is throw deep balls or defend deep balls. Because we only had one practice field, we could never throw the ball deep.”

On Adam Centers not kicking in the scrimmage

Clawson: “He had a little bit of a hip issue. I’d say the kickoff job is up for grab right now. There’s a good chance (Mike) Weaver or (Dom) Maggio will do double duty. We’ll play it out. We might have them both go at it, but if either one of them is wearing out, we’ll have two options there. At some point, you’d like to get Centers back.”

On the roster turnover since he’s taken over the program

Clawson: “Last year, we only had 6-8 seniors and this year we only have 11. These are really small senior classes. Part of it, as you all know, is that there was a lot of attrition before I got here and then once we got here there was more.”

On what they’ve built so far, and where it’s going

Clawson: “I think we’ve built depth on all our offensive skill positions — quarterback, running back, tight end and receiver. The offensive line is probably still a year away from having that depth. We have depth at safety, and thought we had depth at linebacker until we lost Zack (Wary). I think we’re starting to see depth on the defensive line. Right now, we’re down five people we thought we’d have on the defensive line — Duke Ejiofor, Josh Banks, Zeek Rodney is not here, Sulaiman (Kamara) has been out, and Shelldon Lewinson. And we’re still putting out a competitive defensive line.”

On what the added depth does for the program

Clawson: “Number one, I think we can play more players. I think guys like Cam Serigne and Cortez Lewis would like to play 85 snaps a game. Are we a better team if the play 55, 65 or split the game? The other thing that does is fuel internal competition in practice. I just think, last year Cortez did something foolish in the Notre Dame game and we pulled him. We made a move that sent a message but hurt our football team. This year, I don’t know that it necessarily hurts our team if we do something like that.”


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