Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wake Forest class isn't deep, but Deacons' coach likes what he sees

Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe thinks he's come up with a quality-over-quantity kind of recruiting class. He said as much Wednesday, then added, tongue in cheek: "I guess we'll be ranked 13th again out of 12 schools in the ACC."

But the Deacons don't need to sign many players. They graduate 15 from last season's team and expect most of those starting spots to be filled by players by fourth-year juniors and fifth-year seniors. So there isn't much pressure on this year's recruiting class to step right in. But that's always been Grobe's M.O. -- redshirt as many freshmen as possible. Only one true freshman played for the Deacons last season, when they completed a two-year streak of 20 victories, best in school history.

But Grobe likes these new guys. Four of them - offensive linemen Garrick Williams (Columbia, Md.), Chance Raines (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Joe Looney (Lake Worth, Fla.) and tight end J.T. Dixon (Chandler, Ariz.) - are already in school and will participate in spring practice.

Quarterback Ted Stachitas (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) is equally dangerous with his arm and feet. Running back Lovell Jackson (Tampa, Fla.) finished second in the 100-meter dash in the state meet as a junior.

The Deacons also continue to mine Florida, where they won the ACC championship in 2006 (in Jacksonville) and played in that season's Orange Bowl in Miami. Eight of Wednesday's recruits are from Florida.

"These kids come up here from Florida, have a good experience here and tell their buddies about it," said Grobe.

- David Scott