Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Deacs not afraid to play Tanner Price
By ESPN.com staff
Ted Stachitas is the new starting quarterback at Wake Forest -- he won the job by being the most consistent this summer.
But don't be surprised to see true freshman Tanner Price at some point this season -- possibly as early as the season opener Thursday evening against Presbyterian.
"You might see Tanner," coach Jim Grobe said at his weekly press conference. "We won't be afraid to play him, but we will have to have a need to play him. If Ted plays really well, we might be a little more hesitant to play Tanner and instead look at Skylar Jones or Brendan Cross. He's right there and is very competitive to play. Ted might be No. 1, but Tanner is a close second."
Grobe has a reputation for redshirting the majority of his players, but Price has been as good as advertised this summer. The last time Grobe used a freshman quarterback -- albeit a redshirt freshman -- Riley Skinner led the Deacs to the 2006 ACC championship.
Still, Price is listed as No. 2 on this week's depth chart, and it's Stachitas' job to lose. He was 14-of-22 for 302 yards in three preseason scrimmages, but as he said, "I haven't played a football game in about three years."
He's not alone. Nobody on Wake's roster has thrown a collegiate pass yet.
The good news for the Deacs is that they open with an unheralded opponent that should provide an opportunity to work the kinks out. Entering its fourth season at the FCS level, Presbyterian went 0-11 overall and 0-6 in the Big South Conference last season.
Wake Forest doesn't have much additional time for a learning curve, as the Deacs face Duke in Week 2 in a game that will help determine their bowl possibilities.
"It's certainly better that we start with a nonconference opponent -- there is no question," Grobe said. "You really don't want to start with a conference team. This is a good game for us to start with since we have an inexperienced quarterback. I'd be really concerned if we were starting with an ACC opponent right out of the blocks. We have a good football team coming to town the very next week from the ACC, so it will be good to get a game under our belt against a nonconference team."