ACC: Frank Souza

ACC's lunchtime links

September, 12, 2013
Wild week of college football ...

Wake Forest season preview

August, 6, 2013
Today we’re looking at the Deacs as they try to get back to a bowl game in 2013:

Wake Forest

Coach: Jim Grobe (106-107-1 overall, 73-74 in 12 years at school)

2012 record: 5-7

Key losses: FB Tommy Bohanon, C Garrick Williams, LB Joey Ehrmann, LB Riley Haynes, CB Kenny Okoro

[+] EnlargeMichael Campanaro
Sam Sharpe/USA TODAY SportsWide receiver Michael Campanaro leads a Deacs team looking to rebound from a 5-7 season in 2012.
Key returnees: QB Tanner Price, WR Michael Campanaro, TB Josh Harris, G Frank Souza, G Antonio Ford, CB Kevin Johnson, CB Merrill Noel, FS A.J. Marshall, LB Justin Jackson, LB Mike Olson, NG Nikita Whitlock, DE Zach Thompson

Newcomer to watch: Cory Helms, center. The Alpharetta, Ga., native was recruited by Jonathan Himebauch and chose the Deacs over offers from North Carolina, Syracuse and Florida. He was rated the No. 74 offensive guard in his class by, but the Deacs plan on using him as a center.

Biggest games in 2013: Oct. 5 vs. NC State; Nov. 23 vs. Duke; Nov. 2 at Syracuse

Biggest question mark heading into 2013: The running backs. Top running back Josh Harris is still awaiting word from the NCAA as to whether he will be academically eligible. Harris led the team with 608 yards and five touchdowns last fall. Deandre Martin (484 yards) would be next in line. "That running back group is probably the biggest disaster we've got right now,” Grobe said at ACC media days. “We don't have a dependable guy right now. We'll see how it sorts out.”

Forecast: Things should be looking up for the Deacs, who haven’t had a winning season since 2008. Wake Forest got to a bowl game in 2011, and the goal is to return to the postseason this fall. With a veteran quarterback in Tanner Price, who is entering his fourth season as a starter, and a stingy defense, it’s a realistic goal.

Wake Forest returns 17 starters -- including eight on defense -- and both specialists. The headliner of the group is receiver Michael Campanaro, who leads all active ACC players with 162 catches. The Deacs will need somebody to complement him, and they’ve got to find some depth up front on the offensive line. The Deacs feel good about their starting five, as long as they can all stay healthy. Guard Antonio Ford broke his leg in three places last fall at Maryland, and he was still recovering this spring. Tackle Steven Chase missed spring practices with a torn ACL. Senior center Whit Barnes, senior right guard Frank Souza and Ford, a junior at left guard, will give the group a veteran look, but a freshman or sophomore will likely have to fill in at right tackle.

Defensively, this could be one of the best groups Grobe has had in recent years. The Deacs have put an emphasis on takeaways this offseason -- a trademark of the most successful years under Grobe. Noseguard Nikita Whitlock (three sacks, 5.5 TFLs) returns, along with cornerback Kevin Johnson, who finished eighth nationally last year in passes defended with 18. Two starters also return at linebacker, including Mike Olson and Justin Jackson.

This year’s schedule is conducive to a six-win season for the Deacs, but there’s no margin for error with Clemson and Florida State both in the Atlantic Division. Wake Forest should come out of its nonconference schedule with at least three wins (Presbyterian, Louisiana-Monroe, at Army, at Vanderbilt), and should find a way to steal a few wins against the likes of Boston College, NC State, Maryland, Syracuse and/or Duke.

Weak and strong: Wake Forest

June, 17, 2013
There’s a weak link on every team, but there is also a strength that could help mask it or overcome it entirely. This series will take a look at the strongest and weakest position groups for each ACC team heading into the fall. We’ll go in reverse alphabetical order, starting today with Wake Forest:

Strongest position: Linebackers

Led by Justin Jackson, the linebackers are a good mix of experience and young talent. Jackson and Mike Olson are two returning starters, but the staff has also been impressed by Teddy Matthews, a redshirt freshman who is a potential starter, and Kevis Jones, another redshirt freshman recruited out of Florida.

Jackson last year led the team with 81 tackles, and 8.5 tackles for loss. He also had four sacks, two pass breakups, four quarterback hurries, one fumble recovery and a blocked kick. In March, Wake Forest announced the hire of Warren Belin, a 1990 Wake Forest graduate, to coach outside linebackers. He was most recently with the Carolina Panthers. With nine starters returning on defense, the entire group should show improvement, but the linebackers were the highlight this past spring.

Weakest position: Offensive line

This is likely the key to Wake’s entire season, as those within they program have said that if they can keep the offensive line healthy and develop some depth, the team should run the ball much more effectively and in different ways than it did last season.

That wasn’t possible this spring, though, as the Deacs barely had a two-deep to practice with.

Guard Antonio Ford broke his leg in three places last fall at Maryland, and he was out this spring, along with tackle Steven Chase, who was out with a torn ACL. The projected lineup includes senior Whit Barnes at center, senior Frank Souza at right guard, and Ford, a junior, at left guard. Wake will likely depend on a freshman or sophomore at right tackle, but the staff was pleased with its recruiting efforts up front.

“We feel pretty good about our starting five, but we said that going into last year,” offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke said. “We said as long as we can stay healthy, we like our starting five. You feel good going in, but depth is always a problem and the depth is still all freshmen and sophomores. We’re not afraid to pull the shirt on a couple of guys there, either. We’ve recruited four that we like. We feel we need to have eight we trust: two centers, three guards, three tackles. We’d like to have 10, but we’ll settle for eight if we can find them."

More in this series here.
If Wake Forest’s offensive line can stay healthy and build some depth between now and the opening kickoff, there’s no reason the Deacs can’t surprise a few teams in the Atlantic Division this year.

In theory, Wake Forest could have a veteran look up front this fall, but if there’s one area that still remains a concern for offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke heading into summer camp, it’s the offensive line.

“It was kind of a long spring on the o-line for those guys, because we only really had eight guys all spring,” Lobotzke said. “We didn’t even have two-deep, so we really had to structure practice around saving those guys, and then we had another guy get dinged up, so we only had seven by the end.”

Guard Antonio Ford broke his leg in three places last fall at Maryland, and he was still recovering this spring. So was tackle Steven Chase, who missed spring practices with a torn ACL. When everyone is healthy, the lineup looks good, with senior Whit Barnes at center, senior Frank Souza at right guard, and Ford, a junior, at left guard. Lobotzke said a freshman or sophomore will likely have to fill in at right tackle.

“We feel pretty good about our starting five, but we said that going into last year,” Lobotzke said. “We said as long as we can stay healthy, we like our starting five. You feel good going in, but depth is always a problem and the depth is still all freshmen and sophomores. We’re not afraid to pull the shirt on a couple of guys there, either. We’ve recruited four that we like. We feel we need to have eight we trust: two centers, three guards, three tackles. We’d like to have 10, but we’ll settle for eight if we can find them.”

Wake Forest spring wrap

May, 7, 2013
2012 record: 5-7

2012 conference record: 3-5 (fourth in the Atlantic Division)

Returning starters: Offense: 8; Defense: 8; Kicker/punter: 2

Top returners:

QB Tanner Price, WR Michael Campanaro, TB Josh Harris, G Frank Souza, G Antonio Ford, CB Kevin Johnson, CB Merrill Noel, FS A.J. Marshall, LB Justin Jackson, LB Mike Olson, NG Nikita Whitlock, DE Zach Thompson

Key losses:

FB Tommy Bohanon, C Garrick Williams, LB Joey Ehrmann, LB Riley Haynes, CB Kenny Okoro

2012 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Harris* (608 yards)

Passing: Price* (2,300)

Receiving: Campanaro* (763 yards)

Tackles: Jackson* (81)

Sacks: Jackson* (4)

Interceptions: Johnson* (3)

Spring answers:

1. Camp’s complement: An ankle injury to Campanaro opened the door for Orville Reynolds to emerge as a dependable No. 2 receiver. Reynolds was voted by his teammates as the most improved player on offense this spring. The staff is trying to get the receivers more involved in the running game, and Reynolds, a converted running back, could be the perfect match for it.

2. Depth on defense: The defensive line found a solid rotation two-deep, and the linebackers emerged as a group that should be the strength of the defense this season. Inside linebacker Brandon Chubb had a particularly good spring and got some first-team reps at the expense of Olson, who had some nagging shoulder issues.

3. Opting for the option: The Deacs have changed their offense to incorporate more option and get Price running more. Offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke said the staff is interested in integrating standard spread-option runs, zone reads and quarterback draws.

Fall questions:

1. The offensive line. It’s the biggest concern on the team, and was the weak link last season. With so many injuries in 2012 that carried into the spring, there was little time for a five-step drop, and Price was constantly making throws under pressure. Until this group is solidified, Lobotzke won’t rest easy.

2. Impact freshmen. The redshirting policy is on hold for now, as the staff has made it clear that they are willing to play whomever is capable of helping the team win now. True freshmen will be given a legitimate chance to contribute immediately, but until they arrive this summer, nobody knows who or how many will contribute.

3. Can running back Josh Harris be consistent? Harris made a name for himself in 2010 when, in his first career start, he ran for 241 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries against Virginia Tech. Since then he has battled injuries and his durability has come into question. Now, as a redshirt senior, he has a chance to lead the Deacs’ ground game, but can he stay healthy enough and be consistent enough to reassert himself as one of the ACC’s best backs?
Wake Forest backup safety Duran Lowe and reserve offensive tackle Devin Bolling have been suspended indefinitely for a violation of athletic department policy, the school announced on Saturday. Six other players -- including four starters -- were suspended for last week's game against Maryland. Coach Jim Grobe could not be immediately reached for comment.

Lowe has 28 tackles this season and one fumble recovery.

Last week, the Deacs suspended cornerback Merrill Noel, safety Daniel Mack, linebacker Mike Olson, guard Frank Souza, running back Deandre Martin and receiver Airyn Willis, but announced they will be eligible to be reinstated for the next game at Virginia on Oct. 20. The Deacs have a bye this week.
Wake Forest knew it would have some major question marks on the offensive line this season, with four new starters up front.

But coach Jim Grobe felt if could keep everybody healthy, his group would be able to hold its own. Unfortunately for the Deacs, that has not been the case, and the prospects for the remainder of the season look bleak. Grobe said this week that starter Antonio Ford is out for the season with a broken leg, an injury sustained in a loss to Maryland last week.

Another starter, Steven Chase, has been playing with a torn ACL. Wake Forest was without starting guard Frank Souza last week because of a suspension, so the injury to Ford really left Grobe's line depleted.

"We've got issues, there's no question," Grobe said. "We went into the season feeling like we'd have five pretty good guys up front. Thought if we could keep guys healthy we would be actually pretty good, even better than competitive. But right away, second practice, Steven Chase tears his ACL, and then Antonio Ford broke his leg. Our senior center (Garrick Williams) is playing pretty good, and we thought he would. But the other four, Steven Chase and Antonio Ford are arguably our two best offensive linemen. Steven is coming back now trying to play with that ACL, and really for a guy with an ACL is hanging in there pretty good.

"But losing Antonio was a problem, and mainly because we had kind of repped five guys all week and really hoped to keep those five on the field, and so as soon as Antonio goes down, now we're putting in, kind of moving guys around, putting young guys back out there again."

Grobe said he has never had a lineman play with a torn ACL, but the Deacs do not have much choice, so long as doctors have Chase cleared to play. During the bye this week, Grobe said he will be looking for the five best players to start at Virginia next week, and then hope they can all stay healthy.

"We have got depth problems and we've got some young guys playing," Grobe said. "We've got one guy, Whit Barnes, that we're really playing out of position. He's a center and we've got him playing guard. I think we'll try to over the next week and a half try to get our best five guys in there and hopefully they can give us the lion's share if not all the snaps when we go up to Virginia."

ACC's lunchtime links

September, 21, 2012
T-minus 32 hours and counting. ...
Wake Forest offensive lineman Frank Souza has been playing right guard for only a handful of months now, so you would expect the typical bumps in the road that come with completely changing positions.

Yet Souza has made a relatively smooth transition, avoiding most of the major roadblocks to win a starting job despite his limited experience playing offense.

Souza made his first career start at right guard against Liberty last week, and will be in the starting lineup again against North Carolina on Saturday. What is truly remarkable about his story is the progress he has made in such a short period of time to go from backup defensive lineman to offensive starter.

[+] EnlargeFrank Souza
Courtesy of Bob HebertThe move from defense to the offensive line by Frank Souza, center, appears to be paying off for Wake Forest.
“What we like about Frank is he's an aggressive guy and he's very coachable,” coach Jim Grobe said. “He's a guy that we think, as we go forward -- I know he's going to have some growing pains early -- but we think athletically he's a guy that can be a really good offensive lineman.”

Souza played in 18 games, with three starts, as a defensive lineman. But coaches thought he could be even better on offense, particularly with depth concerns and a glaring need to replace four starters on the line.

When coaches approached him about moving, spring practice was nearly over. He started out at left tackle. With only a handful of practices under his belt, he played in the spring game without knowing much of anything.

“I basically watched what everyone else was doing,” Souza said in a recent phone interview. “It was tough. I just tried to remember the basic kind of things as to what I was doing and if I had any questions, they told me what to do. Most of the plays were basic. I felt like I handled it well.”

After Souza returned to school for the start of offseason workouts, coaches told him they wanted him to move to right guard.

“Coach walked up to me and said, ‘I figure you don’t know the left tackle spot as it is now,’ so he walked me through everything and told me what to do,” Souza said. “That’s when I started hitting the play book to understand the right guard spot.

“I did a lot of film study, too. It helped coming from a defensive point of view. I already know as a defensive lineman what I have to do to try and beat an offensive lineman so I already have in my head what’s going on. I feel like I know the answers before they’re even there.”

Souza credits offensive line coach Jonathan Himebauch for helping him understand concepts clearly. Center Garrick Williams also has been a huge help, as the lone returning starter on the offensive line and most experienced player up front.

What also has helped is his strength and size. Souza is one of the biggest players on the team at 310 pounds. As a defensive lineman, he often had to worry about his weight. Now, that is the least of his concerns.

Getting better each week -- that is his top priority.

“I feel like everyone’s excited for me,” Souza said. “I feel like I’ve picked up my new position well and my teammates and coaches realize that. I just feel good about everything.”

ACC's lunchtime links

August, 14, 2012
What is going on at Carolina? Better question might be what isn't: AFAM classes ...

Friday mailblog

August, 10, 2012
Not too much longer until we actually have wins and losses to talk about ...

Paul in Atlanta writes: Heather, Will you please pick Virginia Tech to beat Georgia Tech in blowout on labor day? It would really help out a lot. Thanks. Go Jackets.

HD: The season hasn't even started yet and already you're asking for the HD kiss of death on the Hokies. I can tell you right now I'm leaning toward Virginia Tech in that pick, but the only thing I know for sure at this point is I'm not going to predict a blowout on either side. Georgia Tech will get its points, but I don't think Virginia Tech's defense is going to get run over in that game. I expect it to be close.

Scott in kill devil hills, NC writes: Clemson this year reminds me of a team a few years ago with a preseason ranking of 9th that got crushed by Alabama to open the season. That team like this one had stars at the skill positions returning and it was all for not due to a sub-par offensive line. After giving up over 60 points to West Va to end the season one has to question the defense. This team was crushed by NC State and let a 7-6 UNC team score 38 points. How are they ranked 14th?

HD: You're exactly right about those teams being similar in that regard, and it's a comparison Clemson would like to try and avoid. The skill players won't reach their full potential if the Tigers can't get it done up front, and depth is a legitimate concern. They're still a top-25 team, though, based largely on the fact they've got a 1,000-yard receiver, 3,000-yard passer and 1,000 yard rusher all returning. That certainly counts for something. Oh, and they're the defending ACC champs.

Cam in Raleigh NC writes: What do you think is NC States best case scenario, and record? Do they have a shot at beating FSU and Clemson?

HD: First of all, I think they have a good shot at a 4-0 start. If that's the case, they could really be on a roll and be undefeated heading into the Florida State game and a home win against the Noles is a definite possibility. I think they beat one of the two -- Clemson or FSU -- but not both. Best-case scenario is 10 wins. Speaking of FSU ...

Alex Holzbach in Tallahassee, FL writes: Do you think that Greg Reid's dismissal from Florida State will be a big hit? Obviously it's not preferred for 'Noles fans, but will it really be that bad in the big picture?

HD: I think FSU has enough talent on the rest of the roster that it will be fine. The biggest hit will be in the return game, but I think the Noles will find somebody capable of replacing him in the secondary.

Brian in Alexandria, VA writes: HD, With expansion coming next year will you get a partner in crime or continue covering the ACC as a solo act?

HD: Meet Andrea Adelson, my new partner in crime. She will be helping out this year.

Michael in Charlotte, NC writes: HD, there has been a lot talk about replacing Wake's offensive line. Considering the graduated unit's track record (QB protection & running game), is it really that much of a loss? True, it's a big question mark going into the season, but I'm more excited about what this new group can do than I am worried about who isn't here anymore.

HD: You're right, it could be addition by subtraction, and I know Jim Grobe has been particularly excited about Frank Souza. It's the inexperience that's the concern.

Opening camp: Wake Forest

August, 7, 2012
We have come to the end of our preview of every ACC team headed into fall camp. Last, but never least ...

School: Wake Forest.

Started: Monday.

Predicted finish at media days: Fourth, Atlantic Division.

Biggest storyline: Can this team have a winning season? Coach Jim Grobe was asked during ACC media day whether any luster was taken off making a bowl game last season because the team finished 6-7. He answered the right way, saying it is always an accomplishment to make it to a bowl. That is particularly true when your last previous bowl appearance came in 2008. Still, there may have been a sense of falling short of their own expectations, particularly after a 4-1 start gave way to a 2-5 finish. Close losses to Syracuse, Notre Dame and Clemson -- with the Atlantic Division in the balance -- still sting. This year, Wake Forest is going to have to rely on an entirely new set of playmakers on offense, with the departures of leading rusher Brandon Pendergrass and receiver Chris Givens. Plus, only one starter returns on the offensive line. Defensively, Wake will have to do better than allowing an average of 170 yards rushing per game, and the pass rush has got to get better (only 11 sacks the entire season). The defense does return some All-ACC players in Nikita Whitlock and a rising star in Merrill "Bud" Noel, but there is no question this team has to get better everywhere.

Biggest position battle: Offensive line. This is the unit that has the biggest question mark by far is this group, with four starters gone from a year ago. Center Garrick Williams is the only returner, but there could be some good news with the replacements who are coming in. Remember, the offensive line did give up 35 sacks last year to rank No. 100 in the nation. Frank Souza moved over from the defensive line and impressed the coaches right from the outset and is competing for a starting job. Grobe seems happy with Colin Summers, Antonio Ford and Steven Chase. But right guard seems to be up for grabs. Daniel Blitch played there with the first team in the spring, but the competition is open this fall. Grobe has not ruled out moving Souza to the position, if necessary.

Who needs to step up: Michael Campanaro. Givens was a star for the Deacs last season, leading the ACC with 1,330 yards and catching nine touchdown passes. Campanaro did well himself, with 883 yards receiving but he was not really the big-play threat that Givens was. Now all eyes are going to be on him to see whether he will be the hands-down go-to player for quarterback Tanner Price, and whether he has the ability to stretch the field more than he did a year ago.
Week 11: Nov. 17 vs. Wake Forest (at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind.)

Time/TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC

Series: Notre Dame leads all-time, 1-0

2011 record: 6-7 (5-3 ACC; tied second place, Atlantic Division)

Head coach: Jim Grobe (68-67, 11 years)

Returning starters: Offense: 3; defense: 7; kicker/punter: 2

Top returners

QB Tanner Price, WR Michael Campanaro, C Garrick Williams, DE Zach Thompson, NG Nikita Whitlock, OLB Joey Ehrmann, ILB Scott Betros, ILB Riley Haynes, CB Merrill Noel, FS Kenny Okoro

Key losses

RB Brandon Pendergrass, WR Chris Givens, TE Cameron Ford, T Dennis Godfrey, T Doug Weaver, G Joe Looney, G Michael Hoag, DE Tristan Dorty, DE Kyle Wilber, SS Cyhl Quarles, FS Josh Bush

2011 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Brandon Pendergrass (823 yards)

Passing: Tanner Price* (3,017 yards)

Receiving: Chris Givens (1,330 yards)

Tackles: Cyhl Quarles (101)

Sacks: Kyle Wilber/Nikita Whitlock* (3.5)

Interceptions: Josh Bush (6)

Three questions for ... ACC blogger Heather Dinich:

Wake returns plenty of talent at the skill positions, but it is tasked with replacing four starters on the offensive line. What's a realistic timeline for the newcomers to jell and form a cohesive unit?

Heather Dinich: Well, it’s more like three starters at this point, because Steven Chase, who missed the spring for undisclosed reasons, has since returned. The group also got a huge boost from the move of Frank Souza from the defensive line. Chase’s return has allowed the staff a little more flexibility with the depth chart. He or Souza -- whoever develops into the better pass protector — will likely slide into the right guard position. Souza was backup to talented noseguard Nikita Whitlock and saw the writing on the wall: Whitlock wasn’t coming off the field anytime soon. So he jumped at the opportunity to see more snaps on offense. Coach Jim Grobe told me they “hit a home run with Souza.” Right now he’s got five guys he’s comfortable with. Depth? That’s another question.

Head coach Jim Grobe rarely has much staff turnover, but three new assistants are aboard for 2012. What's new, and how will that translate on the field this season?

HD: Yes, the Deacs have long been one of the most stable staffs in the ACC, but there are a few new faces in new positions, and I think overall, it will make Wake Forest a better team. Tim Duffie will be in his first season coaching the secondary, and he has lots of talent to work with back there, particularly at the corner position. Jonathan Himebauch is in his first year coaching the offensive line, and Derrick Jackson is in his first season coaching the outside linebackers. The move of OC Steed Lobotzke to tight ends and fullbacks should help him manage his time better as a coordinator because he won’t have to deal with so many offensive linemen.

The Deacs surprised everyone but themselves last season, falling a field goal short of playing for the ACC title. There are obvious shortcomings (O-line, secondary) on this year's roster, but will they be able to overcome those and make another push at a division crown?

HD: If they did it last year, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be able to make another run at it. They’ve got to be able to win those close games, though. The close losses to Syracuse, Clemson -- and of course Notre Dame -- are still stinging, and just about anyone in that program will tell you they could’ve played better against UNC. Jim Grobe has a very good football team to work with this year, and he has a defense that could be reminiscent of the old days with Aaron Curry and Alphonso Smith. There are some diamonds in that group, they’re just not very experienced. It wouldn’t be wise, though, for Wake Forest opponents to take this year’s team lightly.

Deacs' O-line makes offseason strides

July, 25, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Heading into the spring, Wake Forest’s offensive line was arguably the Deacs’ biggest question mark, but the situation has improved dramatically since then.

Steven Chase, who was held out of spring practices for undisclosed reasons, has since returned, and the move of Frank Souza from nose guard to the offensive line has been particularly beneficial. A group that once had to replace four starters now has players coach Jim Grobe can depend upon.

“I think we’ve got five we can run with,” he said. “We’ve got to keep them healthy.”

Chase’s return has allowed the staff a little more flexibility with the depth chart. He or Souza – whoever develops into the better pass protector – will likely slide into the right guard position. Chase started three games at left tackle last year, but tore his MCL against Maryland on Nov. 19 and missed the final two games of the season. Souza struggled to find playing time last year behind talented veteran nose guard Nikita Whitlock.

“I think he was a little discouraged,” Grobe said of Souza. “He was fine with being there, but he knew we weren’t going to take Nikita off the field very much. We felt like in high school, when we recruited him, he could play offense or defense. When we asked him to move to the offensive line, not many people would be as enthusiastic as he was. Just in a very short amount of time it was obvious he has the talent to be a very good one for us. We hit a home run with Frank.”
Despite its 6-7 overall record in 2011, Wake Forest came within a field goal from playing for the ACC title. With key pieces such as two-year starting quarterback Tanner Price returning, the Demon Deacons are looking to build off that success in 2012. Here, head coach Jim Grobe talks about expectations entering his 12th year leading the program.

The offensive line is replacing four starters. How important was the spring season for them from a developmental standpoint?

Jim Grobe: Well I thought it was really good. I think we've got three kids going forward that we can count on: Garrick Williams, our center, started for us last year so we feel really good about him. I think Colin Summers, our right tackle, is a kid who has the potential to be one of the better offensive linemen in the league, as does Antonio Ford, our left guard. I think all three of those kids really have the ability to get the job done for us. And then the rest of it's gonna be a toss-up. I think we've got some talented kids. I think Dylan Heartsill's a kid that's had some back issues at left tackle but we have great hopes for him and hopefully he'll get healthy. So we moved Frank Souza over to left tackle from nose guard -- he was backing up Nikita Whitlock on defense and we didn't feel like there was much future in that. So we moved Frank over to left tackle. I think that's gonna be a great move for us, he looked really good the last half of the spring.

We need somebody to step up at right guard; I'm hopeful that [Daniel] Blitch or [Dylan] Intemann or one of the younger guys will be that guy, so it's kind of a mixed bag. We don't have a starting five yet but I think three of those guys are really good players. If we can get a couple more guys to step up I think we can at least put a really good starting five on the field at the start of the year.

You know what you have under center in Tanner Price. Going into his third year now, what kind of strides does he need to make to take the next step?

[+] EnlargeJim Grobe
AP Photo/Nick WassJim Grobe says the goal is for Wake Forest to try to get back to a bowl game and to possibly make another run at the ACC title.
JG: Well it's huge when you've got your quarterback coming back, especially if he's a good one. I think Tanner thew for a little over 3,000 [yards] last year, [20] touchdowns, only had six picks. So he's a guy that takes pretty good care of the football. Really smart guy. a lot of Riley Skinner-type intangible stuff with Tanner. Tanner's got a more live arm than Riley had but he doesn't do as good of a job on the underneath stuff, and I think that's where his biggest improvements needs to come and I think we saw that this spring. We really challenged him to be a little more accurate with the touch stuff and I think we saw that this spring. I think he just looked better to me this spring than he did last fall and I thought he did good things last fall. So his biggest deal is just gonna be completion percentage. If we can bump that completion percentage up, we've got a guy that can win games for us.

It's been said that Michael Campanaro be that go-to guy for him, with Chris Givens now gone. Is finding a No. 2 target more pressing right now? Who has stood out in that role for you?

JG: Yeah I think so. I don't think there's any question. That's my concern. I think Campanero, you look at Chris last year, but in reality we had two guys -- Camp, he didn't catch as many balls as Chris, but he was close. They were really a 1-2 punch for us last year, so I think Camp, if he stays healthy, is ready for a big big year. So the key for us is we've gotta find some body else. If Camp's the only guy we've got to go to then defense are gonna make it really tough on us. So a guy like Terence Davis, Matt James, Brandon Terry, Sherman Ragland -- somebody in that group's gotta step up and kind of balance things out so that they can't just double-cover Camp and leave those other guys alone.

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