WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — No player on Dave Clawson’s Wake Forest roster has experienced a winning season of college football, nor have any of them every been to a bowl game.
They’ve secured bowl eligibility this season, but they can clinch a winning season with a win Saturday over Boston College (5-6, 1-6).
The seven four-years Wake Forest seniors experienced a total of 10 wins in their first three years. The six redshirt seniors were additionally a part of a five-win 2012 season.
“Man. Eventually this has to pay off,” Wake senior defensive tackle Josh Banks admitted to thinking during previous seasons.
“It’s amazing. Three more wins later it’s just like ‘wow,” Banks said. “It’s amazing to witness it all. It’s amazing to see the culture we’re establishing. It’s a standard of playing Wake Forest football.”
Banks, who reached a level of consistency desired by both himself and the Wake coaching staff, has likely played himself into the NFL Draft this season. He has 28 tackles, six TFLs, 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery this season.
“I’m never going to forget this. I’ve never had a winning season since I’ve been here,” Banks said. “I’m grateful for all of them. I enjoy it all. It’s an enjoyable experience.”
Senior offensive lineman Tyler Hayworth said this season has been significantly different than his other four on campus.
“This year has flown by. The first four years seemed to take forever, and I feel like I’ve been here forever,” he said. “It feels like yesterday we were in camp.”
There are 25 Deacs going through a pregame ceremony for seniors before the 3 p.m. kickoff Saturday against the Eagles.
“We want to get a win to secure our first winning season since 2008. We want to get the win for us seniors and to win our last game at BB&T Field,” Hayworth said. “And we want to get a win for Big Daddy’s last game - coach Fair. He’s been here a long time, and he said he wants to go out with a win. We have to do it for him too.”
Hayworth also hopes to play in the NFL, but plans to stay involved in football regardless.
“That’s my goal. I really want to be in a camp with a team somewhere. If it doesn’t work out, I want to stay in the football world in coaching. I will try to get my Master’s and be a grad assistant,” he said. “I feel like I’ve got a lot more to learn. I’ve studied a lot of tape. Being in the role I’m in now, I’ve learned so much more from when I first got here and first started playing. It’s all slowed down so much for me, and I love to help people. I love the game of football, so staying around it is the best option for me.”
Full list of Wake players being recognized Saturday: Reid Althoff, Charles Argenzio, John Armstrong, Josh Banks, Sam Beckerman, Thomas Brown, Taylor Chambers, Jared Crump, Rocco Esposito, William Flood, Cameron Gardner, Bryant Gross-Armiento, Josh Harris, Ty Hayworth, Ryan Janvion, Julian Jackson, Ali Lamot, Jalen Latter, Marquel Lee, Shelldon Lewinson, Nick Luedke, Chris Pappayliou, Brad Watson, Chase Wilson and Dezmond Wortham.