Wake Forest's Sousa hopes to stick at QB

June, 3, 2014
6/03/14
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Kevin Sousa came to Wake Forest as one of the most heralded recruits in its 2011 class, a dual-threat quarterback who settled on the Deacs after initially committing to Michigan.

But his career has not exactly gone the way he had planned. After getting hurt and redshirting his freshman season, Sousa saw limited playing time in 2012. Frustrated that he was not able to contribute on the field, he asked to move to receiver last fall. But he ended the season with a sprained ankle and zero receptions, unable to find his niche in an offense that badly needed playmakers.

A new coaching staff has brought a new opportunity. Sousa moved back to quarterback this spring and is in the mix to win the starting job. Coach Dave Clawson said the competition will continue into the fall after neither Sousa nor Tyler Cameron separated during practice.

Sousa is just happy to be relevant after a career spent mostly on the bench.

"I am willing to play whatever they need me to play," Sousa said in a recent phone interview. "I just want to help the team as much as I can. My first position was quarterback, and that was really all I knew how to play. I’m willing to learn as much as I can and put in the time I need to do everything I need to do."

The juggling between positions has not necessarily been all bad. Sousa is now in an offensive system that should take advantage of his athleticism. Both he and Cameron had to start all over again, learning a new offense. So Sousa was not in a race to play catch-up.

Plus, he now is able to understand routes better as well as progressions, having all that experience as a receiver. That is a valuable education for a player without much experience playing quarterback in college. Sousa chalked up the move to receiver as a "learning process." He was more than happy to move back to quarterback when offensive coordinator Warren Ruggiero asked last January.

Ruggiero asked Sousa to move because Cameron was the only scholarship player at the position when Clawson arrived. Sousa obviously had the background and knowledge of the position, too, so it all made sense. But there is plenty of work left to be done. Especially since more competition arrives in the fall, with several freshmen entering the competition.

"I am still working on my progression as a quarterback and becoming more comfortable in the pocket, being in the system," Sousa said. "I just have to continue throwing and becoming more consistent as a quarterback and becoming a better leader and more vocal."

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