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Pahokee pipeline still paying off for Wake

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Former Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith continues to have an impact on the Demon Deacons. Smith, former wide receiver D.J. Boldin, and former defensive end Antonio Wilson are all products of Pahokee High, and despite Wake's 4-6 record heading into Saturday's game against Florida State, the program hasn't become any less attractive to the players from Muck City.

Wake has received three commitments from Pahokee, including linebacker Zachary Allen, athlete Merrill Noel, and defensive tackle Antonio Ford. Allen is the top prospect of the group, and was also recruited by Pitt, Auburn, Rutgers, Vandy and Purdue to name a few. Noel is the No. 36-rated athlete by ESPN.com's Scouts Inc. and decommited from Florida State. He should take a particular interest in this week's game. And Ford chose the Deacs over West Virginia and Oklahoma State.

Wake currently has more than 30 players from the state of Florida on its roster, including Riley Skinner and John Russell. Right now, it's the program's No. 1 recruiting area. What's interesting about Wake's approach to the state is that unlike many other programs who pilfer the recruiting hotbed, the Deacs don't just go there for skill players like wide receivers, defensive backs and running backs. They go for linemen, and kickers like Sam Swank.

The challenge now, though, with a bowl game still an uncertainty, is to keep those Pahokee recruits committed.