Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest University head football coach Jim Grobe on Wednesday announced the signing of 21 prospective student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to attend Wake Forest.
The signing class consists of players from eight states and the District of Columbia and includes seven from Florida and five from North Carolina. The Demon Deacons also gained commitments from players in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Texas and Virginia.
Offensively, Wake Forest added 11 players including three running backs, a quarterback, two tight ends, three lineman and a pair of wide receivers. On defense, the Deacons signed nine players including three defensive linemen, two linebackers and four defensive backs. Wake Forest also added a specialist in long snapper Logan Feimster of Statesville, NC.
â€œThis is a fairly balanced class with nine on defense and 11 offensive players,â€ said Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe. â€œWe added a long snapper to replace Greg Bechtel after next year. An emphasis was on the secondary where we recruited four defensive backs. The class has some really good players who are also outstanding citizens. Some of these guys may have a chance to contribute in a hurry based on our needs at their position. I like the attitude of these players and expect all of them to help us compete for bowl games and championships.â€
Wake Forest will lose nine starters off the 2009 squad including five on offense and four on defense. The Deacons will return 48 lettermen from last yearâ€™s team.
Defensively, the Deacons signed four players projected to play in the secondary including three cornerbacks and a safety. The safety is Desmond Cooper, a 6-2, 200-pound product of The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla. Cooper will join former Bolles teammates Scott Betros, Chance Raines and Alex Wulfeck on the 2010 Deacon squad.
The three incoming cornerbacks include Merrill Noel (5-10, 180) of Pahokee, Fla., A.J. Marshall (5-11, 180) of Southern Durham in Durham, NC and Kevin Johnson (6-0, 160) of Clarksville, MD River Hill. Johnson hails from the same high school as current Deacon Michael Campanaro.
Two linebackers signed with Wake Forest on Wednesday. Zachary Allen (6-2, 210) hails from Pahokee, Fla. while Patrick Thompson (6-2, 200) joins the program from Ashburn, Va. Stone Bridge High School. Thompsonâ€™s twin brother, Zach, redshirted on the defensive front this past fall. Wake Forest will now have four Stone Bridge graduates on the team including WR Devon Brown and LB Mike Olson who redshirted last fall.
Along the front lines, Wake Forest will be seeking to replace a pair of outstanding defensive tackles in John Russell and Boo Robinson. The Deacons signed two tackles in Duke Mosby (6-2, 290) from the Woodberry Forest School in Virginia and Antonio Ford (6-3, 280) from Pahokee, Fla. Lexington, Ky. Catholic graduate Daniel Vogelsang (6-3, 235) will join the Deacons as a defensive end candidate.
On offense, the Deacons landed a pair of 6-5 wide receivers in Matt James of Raleigh Sanderson and Brandon Terry from Alpharetta, Ga.
Two tight end signees will have a chance to compete for playing time in the fall. Jonathan Garcia (6-4, 230) of Cape Coral, Fla. Ida Baker and Neil Basford (6-5, 240) from Jacksonville, Fla. Bishop Kenny will join returning tight ends Cameron Ford and Andrew Parker.
Wake Forest signed three offensive linemen, all of whom are at least 6-4 and weigh 300 pounds. Colin Summers (6-4, 310) from Raleigh Broughton is projected as a guard. Dylan Heartsill (6-5, 310) from Prattville, AL Christian Academy and Daniel Blitch (6-6, 305) from Gainesville, Ga. North Hall are candidates to play tackle.
The Deacons will also welcome three new running backs including two tailbacks and a fullback. Tailback Joseph Byrd (5-10, 170) joins the Wake program from Cape Coral, Fla. Ida Baker while Nick Knott (5-10, 170) hails from Wylie, Texas. Knott is the brother of current Deacon wide receiver Chris Givens and also a high school teammate of Wake linebacker Nikita Whitlock. Fullback Ben Emert (6-1, 225) will come to Wake Forest in the fall after having graduated from West Forsyth High in Cumming, Ga.
The lone quarterback in the group is Tanner Price (6-2, 190) of Austin, Texas Westlake High School.
The Deacons, who had 26 Florida natives on the 2009 team, will take the field next fall with 29 including the seven new additions from the Sunshine State.
Six members of this signing class are already enrolled at Wake Forest: Vogelsang, Feimster and Thompson all graduated from high school in the spring of 2009 and delayed their enrollment until last month. Ford, Allen and Garcia all graduated from high school early and came to campus in January. All six are expected to participate in spring practice.
Notes: Four players became the first from their high school to sign a National Letter of Intent with a Bowl Championship Subdivision team. Heartsill is the first from Prattville Christian Academy and Emert is the first from West Forsyth. Garcia and Byrd, teammates at Ida Baker High in Cape Coral, Fla., share the honor.
Tight end Neil Basfordâ€™s brother is an offensive lineman at the U.S. Naval Academy. Wake Forest and Navy have played four times in the last three seasons and are scheduled to play again in 2010.
Tanner Price comes from a high school that has produced a number of prominent quarterbacks. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is an Austin Westlake graduate as is University of Arizona QB Nick Foles. Colorado Rockies closer Huston Street is also a Westlake grad.
Merrill Noel, Antonio Ford and Zachary Allen were all teammates at Pahokee High School. Wake Forest also had three Pahokee grads in its 2004 recruiting class: Alphonso Smith, Demir â€œD.J.â€ Boldin and Antonio Wilson.
2010 Wake Forest Football Signees
Name Pos Ht Wt Hometown High School
Zachary Allen LB 6-2 210 Pahokee, FL Pahokee
Neil Basford TE 6-5 240 Jacksonville, FL Bishop Kenny
Daniel Blitch OL 6-6 305 Gainesville, GA North Hall
Joseph Byrd RB 5-10 170 Cape Coral, FL Ida Baker
Desmond Cooper S 6-2 200 Jacksonville, FL The Bolles School
Ben Emert RB 6-1 225 Ball Ground, GA West Forsyth
Logan Feimster LS 6-5 230 Statesville, NC Statesville
Antonio Ford DT 6-3 280 Pahokee, FL Pahokee
Jonathan Garcia TE 6-4 230 Cape Coral, FL Ida Baker
Dylan Heartsill OT 6-5 310 Prattville, AL Prattville Christian
Matt James WR 6-5 205 Raleigh, NC Sanderson
Kevin Johnson CB 6-0 160 Clarksville, MD River Hill
Nick Knott RB 5-10 170 Wylie, TX Wylie
A.J. Marshall CB 5-11 180 Durham, NC Southern
Duke Mosby DT 6-2 290 Washington, DC Woodberry Forest
Merrill Noel CB 5-10 180 Pahokee, FL Pahokee
Tanner Price QB 6-2 190 Austin, TX Westlake
Colin Summers OG 6-4 310 Raleigh, NC Broughton
Brandon Terry WR 6-5 210 Alpharetta, GA Alpharetta
Patrick Thompson LB 6-2 200 Ashburn, VA Stone Bridge
Daniel Vogelsang DE 6-3 235 Versailles, KY Lexington Catholic