Spring Interview: Jim Grobe

Wake Forest Spring football practice is underway in Winston-Salem and on Thursday, DeaconSports spoke with head football coach Jim Grobe at practice to get his thoughts on what he is looking for this Spring.

Just days after releasing the news that Chris DeGeare will be ineligible for the 2008 season, Grobe reemphasized that the loss of one of his top linemen would cause a major stir at that position. "[OL was a concern] even before we lost Chris and so after losing him it is even moreso. But we do have some good young linemen, guys that we felt all along had the potential to be pretty good and they have to mature and get a little tougher, stronger, and a little more physical and stuff like that. I think we have some pretty good athletic kids in the OL and feel pretty good about it."

Asked his biggest position of concern, Grobe chuckled that "all of them" needed help. "Well, we feel pretty good about the one deep right now, the starters are really not a concern," Grobe said. "We could find a young guy who could step up and be a starter for us but we are really looking at the two deep at virtually every position."

As Grobe spoke with DeaconSports, he shared the adage that "if you have 2 ones, then you really have 2 twos." Grobe does not necessarily agree with this statement for this year's team. "You would really like the ones to be significantly better than their backup but I am not sure that will be the case because I think we will have some guys that may share time at a position and I am not concerned about that," he noted. "The thing we tried to base our program on is competition and we always want our number one player to think he is only a step away from being beat out by the guy that is behind him and we want the backup guy coming to practice every day with the mentality that I am going to earn a job."

When I asked him if any freshmen would likely play this year he said that "out of the guys who are true freshmen right now and will be redshirt freshmen this August, I don't think there is any question that some of them will play. They may not start, but they will see a lot of playing time and as for the true freshmen coming in next fall, possible but not likely. Our goal is to play the best players and a couple could play but we would hope our older guys could play well enough to keep the freshmen off the field."

"They would have a better chance if you are looking at guys like Joe Looney and the others of the four guys that came in early. Those [you] would think would have a better chance. J.T. Dixon is a prep school guy who has a chance at tight end and of course Chance Raines the center and Garrick Williams on the OL."

As we concluded our interview, I asked Coach Grobe is we could sit down with him after the Spring to see if he was satisfied with Spring practices. "Absolutely," Grobe said, "but I would be surprised if I am [ever] satisfied." That statement alone is one of the majors reasons Jim Grobe has taken the Wake Forest Football program to heights it has never known.

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