Unquestionably, one of the top football players on the Demon Deacon squad for 1999 and potentially a real key to the success of this year's team ? was prepared to enjoy an outstanding senior season 12 months ago as a Butkus Award candidate, but had to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in August ? saw brief action (12 total plays) in two midseason games (App State & Duke) but never recovered fully and missed the remainder of the schedule ? best news of 1998 came in late-November when the NCAA granted his appeal for a medical redshirt year, clearing his return this fall ? if healthy, he's as good as there is in the ACC ? physically and mentally, he brings together the total package ? runs exceptionally well (has been timed at 4.4 in the 40) ? extremely strong, ranking second on the team in both the benchpress (470 lbs) and the incline (405 lbs) ? had ranked #1 on the squad in the vertical jump a year ago with a 42" effort (did not participate in testing this past spring) ? actually played briefly as a true freshman at the outset of the 1994 campaign, seeing action in two games (starting one vs App State) before being sidelined for the year with a knee injury (a different problem than that of last fall) ? did qualify for redshirt status on that occasions, too ? moved into a starting role as a redshirt freshman in '95 and now has the most career starts (33) of any current Deacons ? already among the Top Ten tacklers in Wake Forest history, ranking ninth with 321 total stops during his splendid WFU career ? also 12th on the career chart with 195 solo stops ? could well become just the fifth Deacon ever to total more than 400 tackles ? also stands fifth on the school career list in tackles-for-loss ? led the squad in hits as a sophomore and was second as a junior, narrowly missing a third straight 100-tackle season ? has recorded 15 double-figure tackle games ? hopes to add to that impressive figure this fall, although most of all just wants to be back out on the field doing what he loves -- playing football and playing it extremely well.
1997: Started every game and rarely took a break from the action ? on the field for 50-or-more plays in every contest except Rutgers ? extremely consistent, making six-or-more stops in nine dates ? twice reached double digits with a high of 14 stops versus Georgia Tech and a team-high 10 hits in the win over NC State ? also contributed a pass breakup and a blocked field goal against the Wolfpack ? other highlight contests included Northwestern (9 tackles, sack), Maryland (7 tackles, sack, 3 PBUs) and Duke (9 tackles and an interception) ? adjustment in the overall defensive scheme affected his final tackle total somewhat, but he still ranked second on the team with 85 (behind linebacker partner Dustin Lyman) ? tied for second in sacks with four, was fourth in pass breakups with five, and fifth in tackles-for-loss with eight.
1996: An outstanding season that included eight contests with double-figures in tackles ? opened with a tremendous performance in win over App State, playing all 67 snaps on defense and leading the Deacs with 15 tackles (12 solo) ? caused a fumble with one of those stops and recovered another while playing on punt coverage ? central figure in victory over Northwestern as well with 11 hits and an interception ? season-high of 17 tackles (10 solo) came at Georgia Tech ? other double-digit efforts included 14 (vs Navy), 13 (at NC State), 12 (vs North Carolina), and 11 (vs Clemson & Maryland) ? final total of 128 tackles was 47 more than any teammate ? also led the Deacons in tackles-for-loss with 10 ? contributed to seven opposition turnovers, too, with three fumbles caused, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions ? ranked fourth in the ACC in total tackles for the season.
1995: A starter in all 11 games, the first two at outside linebacker, the other nine at an inside slot ? he was productive wherever he lined up ? in the opener vs App State he contributed 10 tackles, the first of five double-figure tackle performances on the year ? matched that 10-stop figure in the win at Navy while having an impact on special teams with a fumble recovery ? on the field for 71 snaps at North Carolina and totaled a dozen tackles (8 solo) ? registered double digits in stops the next two weeks as well with 10 at Duke and a season-high 14 versus Georgia Tech ? finished the season second to Tucker Grace in total tackles.
BACKGROUND: Highly regarded two-way star at strong safety and tight end for Hartsville High and coach Lewis Lineberger in 1993 ? earned second team all-state recognition from the Greenville News and numerous regional and conference honors ? named his team's MVP for the '93 season and was selected to the North-South all-star contest ? totaled 77 tackles and six interceptions as a senior while also catching 19 passes for 377 yards and eight TDs ? earned three varsity letters as a prep while establishing school records for receptions in a game, season and career ?received his degree in communication from Wake Forest last May and is now enrolled in graduate school (Arts & Liberal Sciences) ? will celebrate his 23rd birthday eight days prior to this year's opening game at Army (born 9/3/76).
UT AT TOTAL TFL SACK FR/FC INT 1994 (2 games)0 3 3 0 0 0 0 1995 71 30 101 11/-38 0 2/2 0 1996 72 56 128 10/-36 2/-16 2/3 2 1997 49 36 85 8/-48 4/-38 0 1 1998 (2 games)3 1 4 0 0 0 0 TOTALS 195 126 321 29/-122 6/-54 4/5 2
MOST UNASSISTED TACKLES
DOUBLE FIGURE TACKLE GAMES