It’s been a crazy and productive couple weeks for Wake Forest athletics. Spring football camp has started, and coach Dave Clawson and his staff are making incredible inroads on the recruiting trail — Scout regional recruiting analyst Michael Clark feels the 2018 class could end up being Clawson’s best yet.
The Diamond Deacs have seemingly righted the ship from their injury-plagued opening West Coast weekend, and have won seven in a row and nine of the last ten.
Danny Manning’s basketball Deacs earned a pair of much-needed quality wins a week ago, knocking off No. 8 Louisville and following it up with a road win at Virginia Tech. They avoided a bad loss with an opening-round ACC Tournament win over Boston College before falling to the Hokies in the second round. Now they await their NCAA Tournament fate. Will they be in or out, and if in, will they begin their journey in Dayton as part of the First Four.
To recap, reset and move the discussion forward, here’s a special edition of Demon Deacon Digits.
There are 121 mock brackets included in the practically all-encompassing site named Bracket Matrix. Wake Forest is included in 120 of them, with an average seed of 10.84. Teams up for at-large consideration that are ranked below them include Southern Cal, Vanderbilt, Syracuse, Rhode Island, Kansas State, Illinois, Iowa, Illinois State and Georgia. Looking at the consensus of opinions out there, it sure looks good for the Deacs.
The number five figures prominently in describing the worst weekend of Wake Forest baseball last season. The Deacs led No. 13 North Carolina State 5-0 after scoring a run in the top of the 5th and had Friday-night ace Parker Dunshee on the mound.
The Deacs flat-out just fell apart from there, completely self-destructing. They committed FIVE errors in the game and allowed FIVE Wolfpack to cross the plate in the bottom of the FIFTH inning and then FIVE more in the bottom of the 6th, eventually losing 11-7 after being in complete control of game one of the series.
NC State swept the series, which actually ended up being a huge turning point for the Deacs. A players-only meeting late in the series brought the team together, and Wake coach Tom Walter put the onus of Dunshee to carry the Deacs the rest of the season on the mound — and he did, embracing the Friday-night mindset that allowed the Deacs to make their run to the NCAA Tournament.
The Deacs won their next four Friday-night ACC games, as they earned a series win over Florida State then a series sweep over North Carolina — a sweep that likely was the difference in Wake making the NCAA Tournament while the Tar Heels stayed home.
It was a terrible night and a terrible weekend in Raleigh for the Deacs, but may have been the impetus for their late-season surge.
Wake Forest offensive line commit Mike Edwards is a massive 6-foot-6, 325 pounds. Not only that, he reportedly moves like a linebacker. Clawson is fairly adamant about redshirting everyone on both sides of the line, but Edwards may break that mold, according to Scout regional recruiting analyst Michael Clark. Clark thinks Edwards has both the size and skill to contribute right away. I know I’m looking forward to seeing him in person later this fall.