WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Kendall Hinton enters spring practice as the No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said Tuesday afternoon.
"Kendall is going to go in as 1, John (Wolford) is 2, and I think it's a battle for 3 and 4 between Kyle (Kearns) and Jamie Newman," Clawson said at a media availability in the Miller Center at Wake Forest. "Kendall was the starter when he got hurt, and I don't think you lose your job because of an injury."
Hinton earned the starting position last season after leading the Deacs to a come-from-behind victory in the second game of the season at Duke. He suffered an injury in the first half of his first game as a starter, in a 38-21 home win over Delaware. He missed the rest of the season.
"The position will continue to be competitive. We're going to continue to give John and Kendall reps. Right now, if we played a game Saturday Kendall would start, John would be the backup," Clawson said. "We'd like to have a one-quarterback system, but their health — we feel we have to get three ready. Those two have not showed the ability to stay healthy for more than two-or-three games at a time in their careers here."
Graham (Graham, N.C) High School product Jamie Newman was redshirted last season, and started to have standout performances in rookie ball games on Sunday nights.
"Very improved. Early last spring, I thought we might have a tight end on our hands or a linebacker," Clawson said. "He got so much better last fall that we said we're not moving him. He's big, strong, physical and has picked up the offense. He's learned to throw the football with a little more touch. He's still learning all the intricacies of playing, but Jamie has a chance to be a really good quarterback."
Hinton and Wolford will split the first-team reps, with Kearns and Newman splitting the second team reps during spring game.
Clawson said Hinton is ready to go physically.
"I don't know that we'll say he's 100 percent until we see him make people miss," he said. "Kendall has to be Kendall."