Wake Forest Inks 23 in 2015 Signing Class
Head coach Dave Clawson and staff brought in their ssecond recruiting class at Wake Forest.
Feb. 4, 2015

Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeFB)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson and his staff today announced the addition of 23 newcomers to the Demon Deacon football team.

Wake Forest's signing class includes 13 players on offense and nine on defense with one specialist. The 23 players come from 10 different states and the District of Columbia.

Four recent high school graduates enrolled in January for the start of the spring semester. The early enrollees include tight end Bowman Archibald (6-5, 245) from Dade City, Fla., quarterback Kendall Hinton (6-0, 190) from Durham, N.C., wide receiver Tabari Hines (5-10, 165) from Florence, S.C. and long snapper Garrett Wilson (6-3, 195) from Sanford, N.C.

Clawson and his staff received signed National Letters of Intent from additional 19 high school seniors on Wednesday. All will be freshmen when they arrive on campus in the fall.

Perhaps the most impressive fact is that 20 of Wake Forest's 23 signees served as team captains during their high school career.

Clawson and his staff addressed a number of pressing needs on the offensive side and have signed five wide receivers, a pair of running backs and three offensive linemen to go with a tight end and two quarterbacks.

The wide receivers that will join Wake Forest's freshman class include Alex Bachman (6-0, 175) from Moorpark, Calif., Steven Claude (6-2, 190) from Miami, Fla., Chuck Wade (6-0, 200) from Jacksonville, Fla., and Scotty Washington (6-5, 210) from Washington, D.C. Hines, who enrolled in January, is the fifth receiver. Bachman was an outstanding two-way player and three-sport athlete at Oaks Christian High School. Claude was rated the No. 58 wide receiver in the nation while Wade was a two-time first team all-state selection and a high school teammate of John Wolford's at Jacksonville's Bishop Kenny High. Washington is rated among the top 100 receivers in the nation with Hines having caught 27 touchdown passes over his final two seasons.

 

 

Joining returning starter John Wolford at quarterback will be a pair of freshmen in Hinton and Kyle Kearns (6-2, 190) from San Ramon, Calif. Hinton was a two-time 3-A Big Eight Conference Player of the Year who earned MVP honors in the Spartans' 2013 state championship game. Kearns is regarded as a four-star recruit by Rivals and ESPN.

Along the offensive line, the Deacons added Jake Benzinger (6-7, 275) from Williamston, Mass., Nathan Gilliam (6-5, 280) from Knoxville, Tenn., and T.J. Haney (6-6, 330) from Gaffney, S.C, Benzinger is an athletic lineman who also stars in basketball. Gilliam is the third offensive lineman to sign with the Deacons from Knoxville's Farragut High School, joining former starters Tyson Clabo (2000-03) and Michael Hoag (2008-11). Haney was a first team all-state pick at Gaffney High School last fall.

Wake Forest's coaching staff also earned signatures from running backs Tyler Bell (5-11, 205) from Mobile, Ala. and Rocky Reid (6-0, 220) from Mt. Pleasant, N.C. Bell rushed for nearly 2,300 yards during his prep career and Reid comes to Wake Forest after setting numerous rushing records while collecting over 7,700 career rushing yards and 90 touchdowns at Concord High School.

Wake Forest's lone tight end signee, Archibald, started classes on the Reynolda campus last month. Archibald was rated as the No. 8 tight end in the nation in 2014.

Wake Forest added nine defensive players including four linemen, two linebackers and three defensive backs.

The linemen include Elontae Bateman (6-2, 275) from Memphis, Tenn., Paris Black (6-3, 240) from Fayetteville, N.C., and Khalil Welsh (6-3, 270) from Jacksonville, Fla. Bateman is a two-time Memphis defensive lineman of the year honoree and Black accumulated 146 tackles as a senior at Terry Sanford High School. Welsh, also a standout wrestler, was a four-year starter at Sandalwood High in both football and wrestling.

The newest members of the linebacking corps includes Nate Mays (6-1, 210) from Dalton, Ga. and Justin Strnad (6-2, 205) from Palm Harbor, Fla. Mays made 148 tackles as a senior in earning Dalton High's defensive MVP award. Strnad helped lead East Lake High to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons and two state playoff semi-final appearances.

The Deacons will need to replace three starters in the secondary and have added a trio of talented defenders including Dionte Austin (6-0, 165) from Baltimore, Md., Jessie Bates (6-2, 185) of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Amari Henderson (6-1, 175) from Charlotte, N.C. Austin is a four star recruit by 247Sports who was rated as the No. 33 cornerback in the nation. Bates is a two-time first team all-state pick in Indiana while Henderson helped Mallard Creek win a state title in 2014 at BB&T Field by blocking a pair of field goal attempts and recording an interception in the title game.

The lone specialist is long snapper Garrett Wilson (6-3, 195) from Sanford, N.C.. Wilson was the 12th-ranked long snapper in the nation by 247Sports.

Wake Forest opens the 2015 season on September 3 at BB&T Field against Elon. Spring practice is scheduled to begin on March 2 with the spring game slated for April 11.

Notes
Jessie Bates follows in the Hoosier state footsteps of two former Demon Deacon lettermen. Gerald Huth (Floyd's Knob) was a lineman in 1953-54 who went on to a career in the NFL and is a member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame. Quarterback George Wirtz (1938-39) hailed from Princeton, Ind. and is best known for a no-hitter he threw against Washington & Lee in 1938.

Rocky Reid is the nephew of former Wake Forest running back/receiver Kenneth Moore (2004-07). Moore helped lead the Deacons to the 2006 ACC Championship and the 2007 Orange Bowl. Moore was a first team All-ACC receiver in 2007 when he set the school record with 98 receptions.

2015 Wake Forest Football Signees

Bowman Archibald | TE | 6-5 | 245 | Dade City, FL (Pasco County HS)
Enrolled at Wake Forest in January . . . Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 4 star recruit by ESPN, and a 3-star recruit by 247, Rivals, and Scout . . . Ranked as the No. 8 tight end in the country by ESPN . . . No. 10-ranked player in the area by the Tampa Bay Times . . . First team All-Pasco County selection in 2014 . . . Honorable mention all-state pick as a senior . . . Had 29 tackles and one interception as a linebacker/defensive end for the Pirates . . . Had 22 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries as a junior . . . Coached by Tom McHugh . . . Son of Lisa McCabe.

Dionte Austin | DB | 6-0 | 165 | Baltimore, MD (Calvert Hall College HS)
Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 4 star recruit by 247, and a 3-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals, and Scout . . . Ranked 33rd-best cornerback in the country by ESPN . . . Named first team All-Maryland by American Family Insurance . . . Member of the USA Football U-19 Team . . . Big 33 Honoree . . . Named 1st team All-Metro, 1st team all-state for private schools . . . USA Today first team all-state . . . As a senior, posted 27 tackles, one interception, nine pass break-ups, and one forced fumble on defense . . . Starred on offense and special teams as well, compiling 27 catches for 368 yards, with two receiving touchdowns, two punt return touchdowns and a kick return touchdown . . . Led the Cardinals to a 7-4 record in 2014 . . . Coached by Donald Davis . . . Son of Charles & Teresa Cummings . . . Father played professional basketball in Portugal.

Alex Bachman | WR | 6-0 | 175 | Moorpark, CA (Oaks Christian HS)
Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247 and ESPN . . . Three-sport athlete in football track and basketball . . . Started as a junior at free safety and posted five interceptions and 95 tackles . . . Had 12 catches and one touchdown before an injury cut his senior season short . . . Relay team tied school record in 300 meter hurdles . . . Also was a member of the 4x100 and 4x400 relay team as well as a decathlete . . . Coached by Bill Redell . . . Son of David and Leslie Bachman.

Elontae Bateman | DL 6-2 | 275 | Memphis, TN (Ridgeway HS)
Team captain as a junior and senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247 and ESPN . . . Two-time Memphis defensive lineman of the year recipient . . . Two-time all-region selection . . . First team all-district as a senior . . . Named the MVP of the Mid-South Elite combine . . . Selected to the Liberty Bowl High School all-star game . . . Four-year starter . . . Helped guide the Roadrunners to a 12-2 record and state semi-final appearance in 2014 . . . Played under Coach Deron Sutton . . . Son of Emmanuel and Tracy Bateman.

Jessie Bates | DB | 6-2 | 185 | Fort Wayne, IN (Snider HS)
Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247 and ESPN . . . A two-time first team all-state selection by the Associated Press in 2013 and 2014 . . . Earned first team all-state honors from USA Today in 2014 . . . As a senior, recorded nine interceptions tying the mark of NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson . . . Recognized as All-Northeast Indiana first team by The Journal Gazette . . . Helped lead Snider to a 10-3 record as a senior . . . Also plays point guard for the Snider basketball team . . . Coached in football by Kurt Tippman . . . Son of Theresa Ladd.

Tyler Bell | RB | 5-11 | 205 | Mobile, AL (Faith Academy)
Team captain as a junior and senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by ESPN and Rivals . . . Honorable mention All-Coastal Alabama by AL.com . . . Named player of the week by the 1st-and-10 club on multiple occasions . . . Had 175 carries for 962 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior . . . Played most of his senior season with an ankle sprain . . . Finished his prep career with 2,258 rushing yards, 491 receiving yards, and 26 touchdowns . . . Coached by Rusty Mason . . . Son of April Bell and Michael Williams.

Jake Benzinger | OL | 6-7 | 275 | Williamstown, MA (Mount Greylock HS)
Served as a team captain as a senior . . . A first team All-Berkshire selection as a senior . . . Also named to the All-Western Massachusetts team as a senior . . . Three-year starter on the offensive line . . . A standout basketball and baseball player . . . Led the basketball team to the state quarterfinals as a junior . . . Comes from a program that went undefeated during a 33-game stretch from 2009-2012 and won three consecutive Western Massachusetts Super Bowl titles from 2010-2012 . . . Coached by Shawn Flaherty . . . Son of John and Janice Benzinger . . . Father was an All-Yankee Conference selection at UMass in 1986 and saw time with the New England Patriots.

Paris Black | DL | 6-3 | 240 | Fayetteville, NC (Terry Sanford HS)
Team captain as a sophomore, junior and senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247, ESPN, and Scout . . . Rated as the No. 27 defensive end in the country by 247 . . . As a senior was named first team All-Cape Fear Conference, all-region and all-state . . . Selected to the USA U-19 team . . . Recorded 146 tackles, 18 tackles for a loss, four forced fumbles and an interception in his senior campaign . . . Coached by Bryan Till . . . Son of Louis Black and Cardeliea Rawls.

Chris Calhoun | DL | 6-4 | 240 | Alpharetta, GA (Centennial HS)
Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247, ESPN, Scout, and Rivals . . . Rated as the No. 45 defensive end in the country by 247 . . . Four-year letterman . . . Earned all-region honors in both his junior and senior seasons . . . Defensive MVP as a senior . . . Earned five player of the week honors . . . Had nine sacks and 19 tackles for a loss in 2014 . . . Named to the junior elite squad in 2013 . . . Coached by Jeff Carlberg . . . Son of Vincent and Thema Calhoun.

Steven Claude | WR | 6-2 | 190 | Miami, FL (Champagnat Catholic)
Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247, ESPN, Rivals, and Scout . . . Ranked the No. 58 wide receiver in the country by Rivals . . . Selected all-state twice and All-Dade County twice . . . Selected to play in the Nike North-South All-Star game as well as the O/D All-American Bowl . . . Team finished 14-0 and was crowned state champs in 2013 and district champs in 2012 and 2014 . . . Finished high school career with 80 receptions, 19 touchdowns, and 1,609 yards . . . Coached by Mike Tunsil . . . Son of Latrebah Dixson and Steve Claude.

Nathan Gilliam | OL | 6-5 | 280 | Knoxville, TN (Farragut HS)
Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247, ESPN, Rivals, and Scout . . . Named first team all-state in Class 6A in 2014 by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association . . . Named All-District 4AAA and the district's lineman of the year . . . All-Knoxville Interscholastic League honoree . . . First team All-PrepXtra . . . Played in the Toyota East-West All-Star game following his senior season . . . Coached by Eddie Courtney . . . Son of David and Michelle Gilliam . . . Brother, Jacob, was a starting offensive lineman at Tennessee in 2014 . . . Attended the same high school as former Deacon great and NFL player Tyson Clabo.

T.J. Haney | OL | 6-6 | 330 | Gaffney, SC (Gaffney HS)
Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247, ESPN, Rivals, and Scout . . . First team all-state selection in 2014 . . . Three-year starter at tackle for Gaffney . . . Selected for the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives All-Star Bowl following the 2014 season . . . Named to the all-area team by the Spartanburg Herald-Journal . . . Was a starter on the 2012 Indian team that won both the league and state championships . . . Has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his high school career . . . Coached by Dan Jones . . . Son of Terry and Barbara Haney.

Amari Henderson | DB | 6-1 | 175 | Charlotte, NC (Mallard Creek HS)
Team captain as a junior and senior . . . A 3-star recruit by 247, ESPN, and Scout . . . Named AP first team all-state in 2014 . . . Named Charlotte Observer Defensive Player of the Year . . . Named the Defensive MVP of the state title game . . . Collected 25 tackles, 29 pass break-ups, and nine interceptions as a senior . . . Had 16 interceptions, 58 pass break-ups, five sacks, six blocked field goals, and seven blocked punts during prep career . . . Helped the Mavericks to the North Carolina 4AA state title in 2013 and again in 2014 with a win at BB&T Field . . . Team posted a 15-1 mark in 2014 . . . Coached by Mike Palmieri . . . Son of Dori Scott and Antez Henderson.

Tabari Hines | WR | 5-10 | 165 | Florence, SC (Marlboro County HS)
Enrolled at Wake Forest in January . . . Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247, ESPN, Rivals, and Scout . . . First team all-state pick as a senior . . . Named All-Region 6-3A as a senior . . . Named to the All-Zone team for the Myrtle Beach area . . . Played his first three seasons at South Florence High School and his senior year at Marlboro County . . . Caught 60 passes for 910 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior . . . Added 48 receptions for 673 yards and 10 scores as a senior . . . Led the area in touchdown catches as a junior . . . Helped Marlboro to the Class 3A lower state championship in 2014 . . . Also led the Bulldogs with six interceptions . . . Selected to play in the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl following his senior season . . . Of his 46 career touchdowns, 15 came on kick returns, interception returns or fumble returns . . . Helped South Florence to its first-ever undefeated regular season in 2013 . . . Coached by David Prince at South Florence and Dean Boyd at Marlboro County . . . Son of LaFerris Bethea and Willie Hines.

Kendall Hinton | QB | 6-0 | 190 | Durham, NC (Southern Durham HS)
Enrolled at Wake Forest in January . . . Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247, ESPN, Rivals, and Scout . . . Ranked as the No. 26 dual-threat quarterback in the country by Rivals . . . Named 3-A Big Eight Conference Player of the Year as a junior and senior . . . Named to the Raleigh News & Observer All-Metro team . . . Coming off a senior season in which he led Southern Durham to a 13-1 record and the third round of the state playoffs . . . Passed for 3,258 yards and 30 touchdowns while rushing for 835 yards as a senior . . . Led Southern Durham to the 2013 3A state championship as a junior . . . Earned all-conference honors in basketball as a junior . . . Coached by Darius Robinson as a senior and Adrian Jones as a junior . . . Son of Kevin and Denene Hinton.

Kyle Kearns | QB | 6-2 | 190 | San Ramon, CA (Foothill HS)
Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 4-star recruit by Rivals and ESPN, and a 3-star recruit by 247 and Scout . . . Ranked as the No. 12 pro-style QB by Rivals . . . First team all-conference selection . . . Compiled 70 touchdown passes and 6,300 yards in his prep career . . . As a senior completed 75 percent of his passes . . . Led his team to an 8-3 record and East Bay League championship as a senior . . . Coached by Matt Sweeney . . . Son of Mark and Maryann Kearns . . . Father played linebacker at University of Oregon.

Nate Mays | LB | 6-1 | 210 | Dalton, GA (Dalton HS)
Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247 and ESPN . . . Named first team all-region as both a junior and a senior . . . Selected first team All-Area by the Dalton Citizen . . . Voted as Dalton High School's 2014 defensive player of the year . . . As a senior, recorded 148 tackles, five sacks, and two interceptions while helping his team to a 9-3 record . . . Team advanced into the second round of the Georgia state playoffs and won the sub-region 7A-5A title . . . Member of the National Honor Society . . . Coached by Matt Land . . . Son of Eric Mays and Candy Smith.

Rocky Reid | RB | 6-0 | 220 | Mount Pleasant, NC (Concord HS)
Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247, ESPN, Rivals, and Scout . . . Ranked as the No. 31 running back in the country by 247 . . . All-state and All-American as a junior . . . Concord's all-time leading rusher . . . Named first team all-area by the Charlotte Observer . . . The all-time leading rusher in Cabarrus County . . . Named conference offensive player of the year . . . All-state selection as a junior . . . Carried the ball 300 times for 2,734 yards and 38 touchdowns as a senior . . . Played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas . . . Nephew of former Wake Forest receiver/running back Kenneth Moore (2004-07) . . . Led Concord to a pair of state 3-A championship games in 2012 and 2013 . . . Helped the Spiders to the South Piedmont Conference championship in 2014 . . . Had 24 carries for 363 yards in a win over Cox Mill on the night he set the county rushing record . . . Finished his career with over 7,700 rushing yards and 90 touchdowns . . . Coached by Glen Padgett . . . Son of Jermaine and Kenisha Reid.

Justin Strnad | LB | 6-2 | 205 | Palm Harbor, FL (East Lake HS)
Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247, ESPN, and Scout . . . First team All-Pinellas County selection by The Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Bay Times . . . Finished his senior season with 81 tackles, eight pass break-ups, three tackles for loss, three sacks and three interceptions . . . Helped lead East Lake to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons and two state semifinal appearances . . . Won league and district championships in 2013 and 2014 . . . Coached by Bob Hudson . . . Son of Shawn Mazzoni and Jennifer Strnad.

Chuck Wade | WR | 6-0 | 200 | Jacksonville, FL (Bishop Kenny HS)
Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247 and ESPN . . . A two-time first team all-state selection in Florida's Class 5A . . . Named first team All-First Coast in 2014 by the Florida Times-Union . . . Caught 68 passes for 1,346 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior while rushing for 522 yards and seven scores . . . At safety, had 67 tackles, four sacks, three interceptions and three defensive touchdowns . . . The Crusaders went to state semifinals with a 10-3 record in 2014 . . . Coached by Mark Thorson . . . Son of Tracy Adams . . . High school teammate of John Wolford.

Scotty Washington | WR | 6-5 | 210 | Washington, DC (St. John's College HS)
Team captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by 247, Rivals, and Scout . . . Considered a top 100 wide receiver nationally by Rivals and 247 . . . Ranked as a top 10 player in Washington D.C. . . . Finished the season with 19 receptions for 422 yards and two scores . . . Had a 73-yard kickoff return for a score and four receptions for 73 yards vs. DeMatha . . . Helped the Cadets to the WCAC Championship game in 2013 . . . Coached by Joe Patterson . . . Son of Tony and Lisa Washington . . . Father played basketball at St. Francis (Pa.).

Khalil Welsh | DL | 6-3 | 270 | Jacksonville, FL (Sandalwood HS)
Football and wrestling captain as a senior . . . Rated as a 3-star recruit by ESPN . . . Four-year starter in both football and wrestling . . . All-conference in football in 2014 . . . All-conference in wrestling in 2013 and 2014 . . . Most valuable player in Mobile Outreach All-Star game with seven tackles for a loss and ten overall tackles . . . As a senior made 56 tackles, 12 sacks and nine additional tackles for a loss . . . Coached by Adam Geiss . . . Son of Lillian Patterson, Danny Asberry and Leinaala Patterson.

Garrett Wilson | LS | 6-3 | 195 | Sanford, NC (Southern Lee HS)
Enrolled at Wake Forest in January . . . Ranked as the No. 12 long snapper in the country by 247, and No. 13 in the country by Rubio Long Snapping . . . Second team all-state selection by NC Gridiron . . . Helped the Cavaliers to the state playoffs in 2014 . . . It was Southern Lee's first playoff appearance since 2011 . . . Selected to the Cape Fear Academic All-Conference team . . . Member of the National Honor Society . . . Coached by Don Simon . . . Son of Wallace and Dr. Ellen Wilson.

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