Les Johns

Wake impact freshmen - play, redshirt or red alert?

As the Deacs inch closer to kicking off the regular season one week from tonight against Tulane, Demon Deacon Digest takes a look at which freshmen are most likely to get on the field.

Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson defines the playing status of true freshmen in three categories. 

  1. Definitely Playing - Spots 1-5
  2. Definitely Redshirting - Spots 11-21
  3. Red Alert - Spots 6-10 Players that need to be ready to go, especially if there's injuries at that position

Here's all 21 true freshman ranked in their potential to see the field in 2016. 

  1. Dom Maggio - punter - Surest bet of them all. Maggio has handily won the punter job and is pushing for the opportunity to handle kick offs as well, with Adam Centers nursing a minor thigh injury. Maggio has regularly been booming 50+ yard punts in practice with plenty of hang time. As unlikely as it seems, Maggio seems in line to pull off replacing the prolific Alex Kinal without the punting game missing a beat. Plus, I guess Maggio is a pretty nifty passer. 
  2. Cade Carney - running back - Clawson told us late in camp that Carney was likely to start as long as he stayed healthy, then reiterated the same during his weekly radio show with Stan Cotten. Carney has a terrific spring camp after enrolling early, and continued to impress this fall. His ascent up the depth chart was aided with the absence of Tyler Bell, who has returned to practice just this week. Carney is slated to start against Tulane, and will have an opportunity to show that what he's done on the practice field the last few months isn't a fluke. 
  3. Essang Bassey - cornerback - With corners Dionte Austin and Amari Henderson missing a bunch of time in fall camp, Bassey has earned a ton of reps. He gets beat at times, and makes big plays other times. Clawson said the key for this position is shaking it off and playing the next play, rep the next rep — and Bassey does that well. 
  4. Arkeem Byrd - running back - The staff believes Byrd may be the most electric tailback in the stable, but he's not yet had a chance to prove that, having been hampered all camp with an injury. Once he's back 100 percent, look for Byrd to push for a bulk of the carries. 
  5. Traveon Redd - safety - The Deacs love the trio of players pushing for the top two spots at safety (Cam Glenn, Ryan Janvion and Jessie Bates), but Redd will provide some solid depth this season. Redd had the ability to jump a route and deliver the big hit when needed. He's going to be a fan favorite. 
  6. Greg Dortch - wide receiver - The first player on our "Red Alert" list, Dortch had a tremendous fall camp and under normal circumstances would be a lock to play this season. But the Deacs are deep, young and talented at wide receiver, so it's very likely Dortch stays redshirted, unless injuries pull him into action. 
  7. Luke Masterson - safety - Luke has had a great camp, and played well in both of the scrimmages. The staff would be comfortable with Masterson getting some playing time this season if there's injuries above him on the depth chart, but would probably be happier to save his year of eligibility for down the road as he gets bigger, faster and stronger. 
  8. Brandon Chapman - Chapman enrolled early, which usually is a solid indicator of getting involved early. He did miss most of his senior high school season with an injury, and his redshirt may be saved by the emergence of Jack Freudenthal, a walk on who has proved to have reliable hands. 
  9. Jacquez Williams - linebacker - Still in Red Alert territory with Williams, who flashed at times this fall, but wasn't consistent enough to get in the two-deep mix at linebacker. Depth is an issue for this unit, however, after the loss of Zack Wary, so Williams will have to stay ready. 
  10. Carlos Basham - defensive line - Clawson loves to redshirt all players on the line, but "Boogie" has made enough plays to earn the last spot on my "red alert" list. He's worked hard this fall, but it comes down to depth. If Clawson can afford to redshirt Basham, he most certainly will. 
  11. Zander Zimmer - defensive line - First of my 11 picks to most assuredly redshirt, Zimmer not only has a great name, but put together a good freshman camp. 
  12. Jeremiah Brown - wide receiver - Brown has made some plays, but the depth at WR works against him seeing the field this season. Brown also enrolled early, and that extra experience will surely start to play dividends next year. 
  13. Tyler Watson - offensive line - Watson has had some nice moments this camp, and is the one freshman offensive lineman I would say has the best chance to play this fall, but it's pretty slim. Several linemen would have to go down for Clawson to use his redshirt season. 
  14. Thomas Cole - tight end - A converted wide receiver that's a big target and has great hands. Cole has a great future in the Wake offense, but it just won't be this season. He's one that the staff wants to get bigger to be a better blocker for them down the road. 
  15. Jamie Newman - quarterback - Newman also enrolled early, and is progressing nicely. Great arm and great size. It's going to be fun to watch this group of quarterback progress in the next 3-5 years. 
  16. DeAndre Delaney - safety - Contrary to other's initial reports, he didn't start at safety in the Deacs last scrimmage. He's had flashes during camp, but with the apparent depth at safety will surely redshirt. 
  17. Je'Vionte Nash - offensive line - Clawson tries to redshirt all of his offensive linemen, and for good reason. 
  18. Malik Grate - wide receiver - Malik can get up and get the ball, and is another wide receiver who has had solid flashes this fall camp. What a stacked position for the Deacs. 
  19. Emmanuel Walker - defensive line - Big sack numbers in high school, but desperately in need of a year with Wake strength and conditioning coach Brandon Hourigan. 
  20. Sulaiman Kamara - defensive line - Despite being on the defensive line, Kamara was a guy who had the potential to make a year one impact, but an injury took him out of camp early and he's yet to return. 
  21. Taleni Suhren - offensive line - Not only is he on the offensive line, where Clawson likes to always redshirt, but he's also a little dinged up. Out this year with a redshirt for sure. 
  22. LeRondre Liverpool - tight end - Was originally slated to greyshirt, but a couple scholarship openings allowed him to enroll in the fall. Zero chance he plays this season. 

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