Wake Forest Adds 22 Newcomers in Football
The 2016 signing class is Dave Clawson's third since joining Wake Forest.
Feb. 3, 2016

Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeFB)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson and his staff today announced the addition of 22 newcomers to the Demon Deacon football team.

Wake Forest’s signing class includes nine players on defense, 12 on offense with one specialist. The 22 players come from nine different states.

Six recent high school graduates enrolled in January for the start of the spring semester. The early enrollees include defensive back Traveon Redd (6-0, 190) from Martinsville, Va., quarterback Jamie Newman (6-4, 220) from Graham N.C., wide receiver Jeremiah Brown (6-2, 175) from High Point, N.C., running back Cade Carney (5-11, 213) from Advance, N.C., and tight end Brandon Chapman (6-5, 250) from Grove City, Ohio. In addition, punter/placekicker Dom Maggio (6-3, 165) from Monkton, Md. has already enrolled.

Clawson and his staff received signed National Letters of Intent from an additional 16 high school seniors on Wednesday. All will be freshmen when they arrive on campus in the fall.

Perhaps the most impressive fact is that all 22 of Wake Forest’s signees served as team captains during their high school career.

Clawson and his staff were able to recruit to all positions, signing at least one player for each position on the field. The 2016 class includes four defensive backs, four defensive linemen and a linebacker. On offense, the Demon Deacons are adding three linemen, three wide receivers, three tight ends, a quarterback and two running backs. Punter/placekicker Dom Maggio will fill the punting role left by the graduation of Alex Kinal.



Among the wide receivers, the Deacons recruited great speed in Jeremiah Brown and Malik Grate and a proven playmaker in Greg Dortch. Grate was all-state in both football and track at Pendleton High while earning six state championships in track including repeat titles in the 200 and 400 meters. On the gridiron, Grate was a member of the South Carolina team in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. Brown was all-state in track as well and holds school records in the 300 and 400 meters. He added 52 receptions for 780 yards and six touchdowns as a senior at Southwest Guilford. Dortch was the Virginia 5-A Player of the Year after leading Highland Springs to the state championship. He caught 55 passes for 1,029 yards and 10 touchdowns, many of them electrifying.

On the offensive line, all three signees bring plenty of promise to the Demon Deacons. Taleni Suhren of Charlotte Ardrey Kell was a Shrine Bowl pick and considered one of the top 50 offensive tackles in the nation. Je’Vionte’ Nash from Oak Leaf High in Orange Park, Fla. was a first team all-state pick in Florida’s 7-A classification and Tyler Watson was a three-year starter and All-Metro pick at Milton High School outside of Atlanta.

Quarterback Jamie Newman from Graham, N.C., who enrolled at Wake Forest in January, has great size at 6-4 and 220 pounds and was rated the No. 16 dual threat quarterback in the nation by ESPN.

Running back Cade Carney earned Charlotte Player of the Year honors in 2015 after leading Davidson Day to the state championship last fall. He rushed for nearly 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns while averaging 30 yards per kickoff return. He will be joined in the backfield by Arkeem Byrd, the offensive player of the year in Savannah last fall. Byrd rushed for 1,220 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior at Jenkins High School.

During Clawson’s two seasons, the Deacons have shown a propensity for throwing to the tight ends and Wake Forest has added a trio in this year’s class. Brandon Chapman, an early enrollee, was a three-year starter at Grove City High School and considered a great receiving talent as well as an outstanding blocker. Thomas Cole, from Brooke High School in Wellsburg, W.Va., will convert from wide receiver to tight end when he arrives on campus in the fall. An all-state pick in both football and basketball, Cole caught 77 passes for 936 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior. LaRonde’ Liverpool was outstanding on both sides of the ball at Virginia Beach Landstown High where he earned all-conference honors at tight end.

On defense, the Deacons signed four defensive backs including three safeties and a cornerback. Essang Bassey of Columbus, Ga. is the lone corner. An all-state pick in Class 5-A, Bassey was the Bi-City Athlete of the Year in 2015 after making 50 tackles, three fumble recoveries and an interception last fall. Among the three safeties, Lukas Masterson of Naples, Fla. intercepted six passes for Gulf Coast High last fall while earning second team all-state honors. Traveon Redd was a first team all-state 3-A pick in Virginia last fall and the Piedmont District Defensive Player of the Year while leading Magna Vista High to the state championship. DeAndre’ Delaney will convert to safety from running back after a stellar career at Morristown West High in Tennessee. A first team all-state pick, Delaney set the school record for career rushing yards at 4,260 while earning All-Lakeway Area Player of the Year honors.

The Deacons will add four defensive lineman to the roster in the fall. Carlos Basham, Jr. was Virginia’s 3-A State Player of the Year last fall after making 76 solo tackles, 21 tackles for loss and seven sacks at Roanoke Northside. Sulaiman Kamara was a rare four-year starter at Richmond’s Hermitage High School. He had 85 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and four sacks in earning first team all-state honors in Class 5-A and his conference’s defensive player of the year award. Emmanuel Walker from Lake Marion High School in South Carolina led all Palmetto State defenders with 27 sacks as a senior. He was the Orangeburg area Defensive Player of the Year with 93 tackles in 2015. Zander Zimmer, from Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Orlando, helped lead the Hornets to the state 5-A championship in 2015. A two-time second team all-state pick, Zimmer was the Orlando Touchdown Club’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.

Wake Forest has signed one linebacker for the coming season. Jacquez Williams from Hinesville, Ga. (Liberty County) was an outstanding running back who earned second team all-state honors and was his region’s offensive player of the year. His speed and agility will help him become a stellar defender.

The lone specialist is punter/placekicker Dom Maggio. As an early enrollee, Maggio will benefit from taking part in spring practice next month. A graduate of the Boys’ Latin School in Baltimore, Maggio was a 5-star kicker by Kohl’s and the No. 1 rated high school punter after averaging 45.1 yards per punt as a senior. He set the Maryland state record with 34 career field goals including a long of 55 yards.

Wake Forest opens the 2016 season on September 1 at BB&T Field against Tulane. Spring practice is scheduled to begin on March 1 with the spring game slated for April 9 at BB&T Field.

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