Clawson's 3rd class at Wake Forest rated as his best

BY foxsports • February 3, 2016

Dave Clawson's third signing day at Wake Forest was relatively free of drama.

He said he sent out 16 letters of intent - and by shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday, they'd all been signed and returned to him.

Those players, plus six early enrollees, make up a 22-man class that shapes up as the best of his three years at the school. rates the Demon Deacons' class as No. 63 nationally but in the bottom third of the Atlantic Coast Conference. That's still progress for Wake Forest, which since 2008 has ranked better than 60th nationally only once - in 2009, when it was 56th and still riding the momentum of that Orange Bowl berth in 2006.

Hired after the 2013 season to rebuild the program, Clawson focused his first recruiting class on linemen and his second on skill players. He said this year's class ''really addresses needs'' and ''represents more battles won than ever before, for more guys that had power-five, ACC, SEC offers.''

The most notable of those is running back Arkeem Byrd, who chose Wake Forest over offers from more than 20 schools including Missouri, Tennessee, Minnesota and Georgia Tech.

Clawson said improved facilities are a big part of the draw, the centerpiece of which is the school's $21 million indoor practice facility that recently opened.


Other things to know:

Top 25 Class: No.

Best in class: Sulaiman Kamara, DT, Richmond, Virginia.

Best of the rest: Byrd; Taleni Suhren, OT, Charlotte; Emmanuel Walker, DE, Holly Hill, South Carolina.

Late addition: None. All but a few players have been committed since last September.

One that got away: LB Riley Cole, who decommitted late from Alabama and signed late in the afternoon with South Alabama.

How they'll fit in: For Wake Forest, the better question is WHEN they'll fit in. The Demon Deacons are at their best when they're patiently redshirting players and allowing them to develop. But during the past few years, they simply didn't have enough bodies to do that, a big reason why they were one of the nation's most inexperienced teams in 2015. Clawson says he would prefer to redshirt 80 percent of the incoming freshmen.


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