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Not long after Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe had been wooed by Arkansas, linebacker Aaron Curry tried calling his coach on his cell phone and noticed Grobe had to click over from another conversation.
|Jim Grobe has found the recipe for success at Wake Forest.|
Is this the season the ACC regains some of its swagger? Is Clemson the team to bring the conference some BCS glory? Get ready for the 2008 ACC season:
• Schlabach: Clemson craving title
• Dinich: In the Wake of success
• Dinich: Coast toast for Hokies?
• ACC needs Canes, Noles to win
• Skill threat: Jacoby Ford
• Schlabach: Five ACC predictions
• SportsNation: Vote on ACC
Last year's nine-win season proved the 2006 ACC title wasn't a fluke, and for the first time in school history, Wake Forest will enter a season ranked among the nation's top 25 teams, as the Demon Deacons were No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll released earlier this month. For the program to truly make a statement at the national level, though, Grobe said it needs to continue winning well beyond three seasons."I'm still at Wake Forest," said Grobe, who is 20-7 over the past two seasons. "I feel pretty good about the place right now. I like our players, I like the way we've been patient with our players. We're kind of lined up where we really don't have an empty class right now. There's not any class you look at that you don't see 15-18 pretty good football players. I really like where we are right now. Potential means you haven't done it yet, but I like our potential to be a pretty good football team year in and year out." When Grobe took over the program in 2001, he inherited just enough talent to scrape together back-to-back winning seasons the first two years, but the program was in dire need of a major overhaul, and Grobe was adamant about redshirting players as part of the plan. His philosophy has been to redshirt all freshmen unless they are difference-makers who can contribute 20-40 snaps a game on offense or defense -- not just on special teams. Wake Forest struggled through three straight losing seasons while it searched for athletes who had a passion for football and could balance academics. "Our goal in recruiting has always been to find the developmental player," Wake Forest recruiting coordinator Ray McCartney said. "Many schools with their national reputation and great tradition are able to go and compete for the four- and five-star athletes. We have to find the diamond in the rough. We have to find the kid that we think is being somewhat underrecruited but has growth potential, excellent speed a player who if we have for two, three, four years, he's going to really blossom into a player who can win games for us."