Les Johns

Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson introduces 2017 signing class

Dave Clawson spoke with the media today about the 2017 signing class. This is the first half of his comments about the 20 new Deacs.

The Wake Forest coaching staff sent out 19 National Letters of Intent to be signed and received all 19 back before 8:30 a.m., ending any potential National Signing Day drama before a second cup of coffee could be ingested. 

Clawson was pleased with the makeup of the class, and feels they addressed several specific needs. He discussed all 20 players signed during a press conference on campus Wednesday afternoon. 

The information to follow is the Wake Forest media relations bios of these players, followed with Clawson's statements about the student athletes. 

Mike Allen DE 6-5 245 Sugar Hill, GA (Lanier)

Considered a 4-star prospect and the No. 169 player in the nation according to Rivals.com . . . Ranked as the No. 23 defensive end in the South by Scout.com . . . The No. 27 prospect in Georgia by Rivals . . . Had offers from over 30 schools . . . First team All-Region 8-6A . . . First team All-Gwinnett County by the Atlanta Journal Constitution . . . Selected to the Gwinnett County All-Star game and the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association state North-South All-Star game . . . Played for Coach Korey Mobbs . . . As a senior, had 35 total tackles including six sacks and an interception . . . Had 67 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, eight sacks and two interceptions as a junior . . . Helped the Longhorns to regional titles in 2014 and 2015 . . . Son of Bridgette Garnier . . . Father is Michael Allen and stepfather is Lionel Garnier . . . Born May 16, 1999.

Clawson on Allen: "Michael might have been the highest ranked recruit that we've signed in a long, long time. We beat half the country to get Mike Allen. He was an ESPN top-50 recruit. I always think it funny when we get a player like that and he commits to us, he automatically drops. In my mind, this was a big-time get for us. He's tall and athletic. He's got a great upside. He's just a great kid. We spent a lot of time with him. He probably took seven or eight trips here. Fortunately, he fell in love with us as much as we fell in love with him. He committed early and never wavered. We're excited to get Big Mike here."

Christian Beal RB 5-10 175 Kernersville, NC (East Forsyth)

Team captain . . . Enrolled at Wake Forest in January, 2017 . . . Ranked as the No. 2 running back in the state by Scout and is a consensus three-star prospect by Scout, Rivals and 247 . . . Rated the No. 34 running back in the South by Scout . . . Ranked as the 27th best prospect in North Carolina by the Fayetteville Observer . . . Ranked by 247Sports as the No. 17 all-purpose back in the country . . . Represented North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in December, 2016 . . . Three-time All-Northwest selection by the Winston-Salem Journal . . . Named the Piedmont Triad 4-A Conference Offensive Player of the Year . . . Three-time all-conference pick . . . Rushed for 1,525 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior . . . Averaged 6.7 yards per carry on 227 attempts . . . Ran for six touchdowns in a 2016 win over Northwest Guilford . . . Helped the Eagles to three consecutive conference championships . . . Four-year letterman . . . A versatile playmaker who saw action at six different positions while playing for Coach Todd Willert at East Forsyth . . . Helped lead the Eagles deep into the state playoffs in each of the past two seasons . . . Broke onto the varsity team as a freshman as he compiled 657 rushing yards on 97 carries and five touchdowns . . . Add 25 receptions for 365 yards and three scores . . . Rushed for 1,269 yards as a sophomore on 144 carries . . . Add 37 receptions for 614 yards and three touchdowns . . . Had 2,223 all-purpose yards and 23 total touchdowns . . . Had 261 kickoff return yards and 79 yards on punt returns . . . As a junior, carried 186 times for 1,659 yards and 23 scores . . . Add 338 yards on receptions, 121 kickoff return yards and 69 punt return yards . . . Competes in all the dash events at 400 yards and shorter in track . . . Son of Nikia Beal and Robbin Smith . . . Born March 6, 1999.

Clawson on Beal: "From our backyard. We offered him in camp, between his freshman and sophomore year. He was the best running back in our camp. We called his coach later and said, 'We want Christian at Wake Forest.' This was awesome, because this kid grew up a Wake Forest fan his whole life. During his home visit, his room was painted black and gold. He had posters from the last 10 years of Wake Forest football and basketball. I truly believe Christian is a player that could have had 128 offers and he'd still be coming to Wake Forest. He was a Wake Forest guy. I have great respect for the job (coach) Todd (Willert) does at East Forsyth. We're thrilled to get a player from his program here. He's already enrolled. He's lifting and running. He's one of the very best running backs in North Carolina."

Tayvone Bowers QB 6-1 220 Harrisburg, PA (Bishop McDevitt)

Team captain . . . Rated as the No. 1 quarterback in Pennsylvania by Scout . . . Ranked as the No. 21 dual-threat quarterback by ESPN.com and No. 24 by 247Sports . . . Three-star prospect from ESPN, 247 and Scout . . . First team all-state pick as a junior . . . Threw for 1,545 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior while rushing for six scores. . . Completed 233 passes for 3,576 yards and 42 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as a junior . . . Rushed 93 times for 395 yards and three touchdowns . . .Played for Coach Jeff Weachter . . . Son of Jennifer Wilkerson . . . Born Dec. 3, 1998 . . . Member of the National Honor Society . . . QB coach at Bishop McDevitt was Matt Johnson, a Bowling Green QB who excelled under the direction of offensive coordinator Warren Ruggiero . . . Nephew of Troy Drayton who played at Penn State in and in the NFL.

Clawson on Bowers: "Tayvone Bowers is the quarterback of the class. He was coached this year by Matt Johnson, who played quarterback for us at Bowling Green. We watched him practice and have seen film. The guy can throw it and he can run. He's got great leadership skills. We're really excited that he's the quarterback of the class. He's coming off an ACL, so I don't know yet if he will be healthy enough for camp. Hopefully he will be. Again, we'd like to take a quarterback every class, and he's the quarterback of the class."

Jeff Burley LB 6-2 225 Jackson, GA (Jackson)

Team captain . . . Consensus 3-star ranking for all major recruiting services . . . Considered the No. 31 inside linebacker in the nation by 247 . . . The No. 11 LB in Georgia and a top 100 recruit in the state by Scout . . . First team all-state Class 3-A by the Atlanta Journal Constitution . . . Region 4-3A Defensive Player of the Year and overall Player of the Year in 2016 . . . Named to the Georgia Southeast Bowl All-Star game . . . Named team MVP and earned the Red Devils’ Leadership Award as both a junior and senior . . . The Red Devils finished the year 8-4 and were listed in the state final Top 10 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution . . . Helped the team to a 9-3 record and a regional championship in 2015 . . . Named all-region in 2015 . . . Picked for the Georgia Junior Elite All-Star game in 2015 . . . Team Rising Star award in 2014 as a sophomore . . . . Four-year letterman for Coach Dary Myricks . . . Also participates in basketball . . . Son of Debra and Luther Burley . . . Born Aug. 21, 1998 . . . Two-year member of the honor roll.

Clawson on Burley: "We were his first offer, and that might be why we got him. He was in camp, and we fell in love with him. He's tall, rangy and athletic. If he and Marquel Lee walked in the door side-by-side, they would look very similar. He has that run-hit factor. We're excited to get Jeff. We had to hold off a lot of schools at the end, but he stayed true to his word. We're excited he signed with us today."

Spencer Clapp OL 6-6 250 Gibsonville, NC (Eastern Guilford)

First team all-state on the 3-A NCPreps.com team . . . Named to the All-Area team by the Greensboro News-Record as a defensive tackle . . . Also a dominating blocker on the offensive side . . . Played for Coach Doug Robertson . . . Two-time All-Mid State 3A selection . . . Helped the Wildcats win their first Mid State 3A Conference championship and reach the Class 3AA state championship game in 2016 at BB&T Field . . . Team went 15-1 and finished runner-up in the state playoffs . . . Finished his senior year with 106 tackles and 16.5 sacks . . . Recorded four sacks in a win over Western Alamance . . . Son of Lisa and Andy Clapp . . . Born Jan. 9, 1999.

Clawson on Clapp: "Spencer was a late addition. At the end, if we were going to take another scholarship, we wanted to take it with a developmental lineman. To me, this is very much the same model as a Ryan Anderson or Phil Haynes. When we take offensive linemen, we're probably not going to get ready-made guys. We're not going to get the 6-foot-6, 310 guy. We don't want to sacrifice height. We don't want to sacrifice athleticism. If we're going to sacrifice something, it's going to be weight. This guy is an unbelievable athlete. He's a great baseball player. He made play on offense and defense, and has a great upside. He's another multi-sport guy. We've done well with multi-sport guys — guys that have wrestled, played basketball, played baseball. He's probably be a redshirt. I think you put him in an incubator for a year or two, and if he puts the work in the weight room, athletically we could have something really special in a couple years."

Coby Davis DB 5-11 185 Upper Marlboro, MD (Maret School)

Team captain . . . A 3-start prospect by 247 . . . Considered the No. 11 recruit in D.C. in 2016 . . . Four-time All-Mid-Atlantic Conference selection at defensive back . . . First team All-USA Today for the District of Columbia . . . Second team All-Met pick in 2016 by the Washington Post . . . Member of the Elite 100 and a finalist for Team Maryland . . . Four-year letterman for Coach Mike Engelberg . . . Helped the Frogs win one Mid-Atlantic Conference championship and one DCSAA title (2016) . . . Returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown in the DC State Athletic Association Class A championship game . . . Team finished the year 12-0 . . . Had six interceptions and totaled 15 touchdowns as a two-way player in 2015 . . . Also a double-digit scorer in basketball and high jumper in track . . . Son of Niki and Ross Allen . . . Born Dec. 19, 1998.

Clawson on Davis: "This was a guy that absolutely tore it up in our camp. We probably had more than 1,200 people that we got live evaluations on last summer. Coby was one of them, and had the very best camp performance of any corner we had. We worked him. His work ethic, ability to sustain it, and his competitiveness set him apart. He's a great basketball player, averaging 18 or 19 points a game. I watched him play hoops, and he's got great short-area quickness. This is a guy that starts as a corner, but could play nickel, could play safety. He's a high jumper in track. He's just another multi-sport guy with great upside."

Tyriq Hardimon DB 6-0 190 Marietta, GA (Lassiter)

Team captain . . . Consensus 3-star recruit . . . Rated the No. 60 safety in the nation by Rivals . . . Considered the No. 13 safety in Georgia by Scout . . . Member of the Marietta Daily Journal Dynamite Dozen college prospects . . . Earned first team all-region, first team all-county honors as a senior . . . Had 50 tackles and one interception for the Trojans who went 6-5 and reached the first round of the 6-A state playoffs . . .  Had 60 tackles and an interception as a junior . . . Four-year letterman for Coach Jep Irwin . . . Son of Cassandra and Edmund Hardimon . . . Born Oct. 23, 1998.

Clawson on Hardimon: "We got six players out of Georgia, five of them on defense. Tyriq was a late addition. He was committed to another school that went through a coaching change. We were in his school on Thursday, had him visit on Friday, and he was committed by Monday. this was one of those. . . we're in Vegas, and Elvis got us married. But this marriage will last well. We're very excited about him. We liked him a lot last spring and summer, but because of the limited amount of scholarships, we filled up quickly. As we had some attrition, and there was a coaching change where he committed, we got him up here. Tall, rangy, athletic, physical — exactly what we're looking for in a safety. This was a great pickup."

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