WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — After watching a solid day of work from Kendall Hinton last Tuesday, Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson wanted to see one more thing before moving forward the sophomore quarterback’s return to the field.
“I need to see you go against Duke Ejiofor, Josh Banks and Marquel Lee and make those guys miss in space,” Clawson told Hinton. “I need to see you be Kendall Hinton.”
Hinton looked good for the first couple reps Wednesday morning, but then he tweaked his knee yet again, aggravating the existing PCL strain.
Hinton is now done for the year, Clawson announced Tuesday in his weekly press conference.
“The first play he did it, and we got excited,” Clawson said about the edict of wanting to see Kendall Hinton be ‘Kendall Hinton.’ “Then two plays later, he sidestepped a rush and pulled up on it again. He had the look of frustration and told us he still felt it. He can’t protect himself and it’s still not healthy, so it would be a couple more weeks. It was a minor setback, he didn’t re-tear it or anything, but it’s not healed.”
Had Hinton continued to progress, it was likely he would have returned to the field Saturday against Virginia, a game the Deacs won 27-20 with John Wolford under center to become bowl eligible.
“Our plan was to play Kendall last week. Kendall has a really good Tuesday practice, that had us very optimistic. He looked fast and he looked good,” Clawson said. “Then I said I needed to see him in a one-on-one situation, and he re-tweaked it. He’s not going to play again this year. He tweaked his knee again. He tweaked the ligament and it doesn’t feel right.”
Hinton finishes the season 11-for-19 passing for 174 yards, with 125 rushing yards and a pair of scores on the ground. Hinton came off the bench at Duke to lead Wake to a 24-14 win, earning the starting job based on that performance. He then sprained his PCL in the first quarter of the next game, a 38-21 Wake win over Delaware.
Hinton was at practice, in uniform Tuesday morning, but only participated in stretching and individual workouts.
“He’s out there doing rehab stuff. He isn’t doing any reps,” Clawson said. He tweaked it again, which will set him back a couple of weeks. He’d one and will not play again this year. He can’t protect himself. It’s one of those things with the knee. We hoped he would come back.
“This hasn’t been a cat and mouse game of if he’s going to play to try to throw off other people. As of last Wednesday, we gave him the first reps in two-minute drill.”
Hinton will apply for a medical hardship waiver after his fourth year at Wake is complete.
“He would meet all the criteria, but you apply for the medical after the fourth year,” Clawson said. ”He would meet all the criteria and it will be an open-and-shut case when we apply for it, but you don’t apply for it until after the fourth year.”
Hinton will continue to workout with the team, and travel for away games.
Kyle Kearns, who is 2-for-5 passing for 20 yards, will be the second-string quarterback, behind John Wolford.
Walk on Kyle Driscoll is third on the depth chart, and there is no discussion of taking a redshirt off freshman Jamie Newman this late into the season.