Friday, February 3, 2017

Wake Forest Adds 20 Newcomers in Football

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest head football coach Dave Clawson today announced the addition of 20 newcomers to the Demon Deacon football team.

Wake Forest’s signing class includes 10 offensive players and 10 defensive players. The 20 players come from 10 states including six from Georgia and four from North Carolina. The six signees from Georgia marks the most by the Deacons from the Peach State since signing seven Georgians in 2003.

Sixteen of the 20 signees served as team captain of their high school team.

Running back Christian Beal, a 5-10, 175-pound freshman from Kernersville, N.C, is the lone early enrollee. Beal started classes at the start of the spring semester and will take part in spring football which begins later this month. Beal was rated as the No. 2 running back in the state after a standout prep career at East Forsyth.

On defense, the Deacons have a pair of linemen signed. Mike Allen, a 6-5, 245-pound defensive end from Sugar Hill, Ga. (Lanier) is the highest-rated signee according to Allen is a 4-star prospect and the No. 169 rated player in the country. The other defensive lineman is Tyler Williams, a 6-1, 310-pound tackle from West Palm Beach, Fla. (Oxbridge Academy). Williams was the Palm Beach County Player of the Year in 2016.

Wake Forest signed four linebackers in this class. Chase Monroe, a 6-2, 220-pound linebacker from Huntersville, N.C. (Davidson Day), was the state defensive player of the year in 2016 by both USA Today and the Charlotte Observer. Jeff Burley, a 6-2, 225-pound linebacker from Jackson, Ga. (Jackson), is rated the No. 31 inside linebacker in the nation by 247Sports. He was a first team all-state pick as a senior. Jake Simpson is a 6-0, 210-pound linebacker from Buford, Ga. (Buford) who helped the Wolves to three straight state championship games. D.J. Taylor, a 6-1, 225-pounder from Belvidere, Tenn. (Huntland) rounds out the linebacking corps. Taylor was a first team all-state selection and an outstanding running back who finished as Huntland’s all-time rushing leader with over 5,100 career yards.

Wake Forest is adding a quartet of defensive backs. Coby Davis is a 5-11, 185-pound cornerback from Upper Marlboro, Md. (Maret School) who was a second team All-Met pick by the Washington Post in 2016. Ja’Sir Taylor, a 5-10, 165-pound cornerback from Asbury Park, N.J. (Brick Township) has excellent speed and was ranked among the top recruits along the Jersey Shore in 2016. Two other defensive backs will be looked as nickel backs and/or safeties. Troy Simon, a 6-0, 190-pounder from Alpharetta, Ga. (Milton), was ranked as the No. 75 safety nationally by ESPN. Tyriq Hardimon, a 6-0, 190-pounder from Marietta, Ga. (Lassiter), is rated the No. 60 safety in the nation by

On offense, the Deacons are adding one quarterback in 6-1, 220-pound Tayvone Bowers of Harrisburg, Pa. (Bishop McDevitt). Bowers was rated the No. 1 quarterback in Pennsylvania by Scout and was a first team all-state pick as a junior.

Three wide receivers will join the Deacons in the fall. Sage Surratt (6-3, 200) is a multi-sport star from Lincolnton, N.C. (Lincolnton) who was a Parade All-American in football and the state’s offensive player of the year. He is also a standout in basketball where he has three games in which he has scored 50 or more points this season. Waydale Jones (6-4, 185) is a big receiver from Beeville, Texas (A.C. Jones) who was among the national leaders with 120 receptions for 1,979 yards and 30 touchdown catches in 2016. Jaquarii Roberson (6-1, 165) from Murfreesboro, N.C. (Hertford County) is another good-sized receiver who was an all-state selection and had 76 catches for 1,370 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior.

The 2017 class includes five offensive linemen, all at 6-3 or taller. Spencer Clapp (6-6, 250) was an all-state pick at Eastern Guilford (N.C.) High who helped the Wildcats to the state championship game in 2016. Sean Maginn (6-3, 260) was a four-year letterman from Suwanee, Ga. (North Gwinnett) who was an all-region selection in 2016. Loic Nya (6-3, 290) from Silver Spring, Md. (Springbrook) is a youngster originally from Cameroon who has shown great promise on both sides of the line. Allan Rappleyea (6-5, 275), from Millbrook, N.Y. (Milton, Mass. Academy) is considered the No. 1 guard in Massachusetts by Scout and was named to the USA Today All-USA team for Massachusetts. Zach Tom (6-4, 280) from Prairieville, La. (Catholic) is the No. 3 tackle in Louisiana according to Scout.

Wake Forest opens the season Aug. 31 at BB&T Field against Presbyterian. Spring practice begins Feb. 28 and concludes on April 8 with the annual Spring Game at BB&T Field.