WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Explosive sophomore quarterback Kendall Hinton practiced Tuesday, but all indications are that he’s not as explosive right now as he needs to be to be able to play against Virginia Saturday.
“He’s not cleared to play yet. We’re trying to bring him along. I’d love to tell you, ‘He’s good to go and ready to play.’ He’s better this week than a week ago,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said during his weekly press conference. “He still has to be able to protect himself, and to me he’s not where he was.”
Clawson said Hinton isn’t definitively ruled out for Saturday, but that more than likely John Wolford will get the start for the Deacs.
“We’re going to keep working him and see where we are. At this point, John (Wolford) is going to be the starter and we’ll keep trying to bring Kendall (Hinton) along and we’re going to keep repping Kyle Kearns,” Clawson said. “Every week you hope he’s a little further along, and we think he is, but he’s not there yet.
“The way Kendall plays, and has to play, it’s not like he’s a 6-foot-4, 230 pound quarterback who’s going to sit in the pocket. His game is pressing the edge, the zone read game and running him. That involves making full-speed cuts against good defenders. If I don’t think he can make those cuts full-speed and protect himself, I don’t want to put him as risk — it’s not fair to him. And I don’t think that helps our football team.”
Clawson said Hinton is under constant observation.
“During practice, the trainers are watching him the whole time. ‘It’s closer. We’re not there yet, though.’ We know what Kendall can do when he’s totally healthy, and when he’s not doing that he’s not healthy,” he said.
Since Hinton played in just the first three games of the season, injuring himself in the first quarter of game No. 3 against Delaware, he’s technically eligible for a hardship medical redshirt.
“We may get to that point, but right now there’s still a lot of football to play,” Clawson said. “There’s four more ACC game, and we’re battling like crazy for a fifth game. That’s a lot of football, so I think it’s premature to make any decision like that.”