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Clawson hits the ground running at Wake

By Dan Collins
Winston-Salem Journal

WINSTON-SALEM On Dec. 9, the day he was introduced as Wake Forest’s football coach, Dave Clawson hit the ground running.

As of early Sunday afternoon, he had not stopped.

Asked if he planned to watch the Super Bowl that evening, Clawson said he might catch a play or two.

Or that he might not.

“We’ve got people on campus, and if I need to spend time with the kid, I’m going to spend time with the recruit,” Clawson said. “It has a lot more bearing on Wake Forest football.”

Feeling like the man with too much to do and not enough time to do it, Clawson has spent his first 2½ months at Wake Forest stocking his staff with assistant coaches and his roster with the recruits he hopes will sign with the Deacons on Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA signing period for football.

NCAA rules preclude a coach from discussing any potential recruit until he signs, but various recruiting sites have reported that 24 players have committed to Wake Forest. Half committed when Jim Grobe was still head coach but had to be persuaded by Clawson and his staff to remain in the fold.

“The thing that’s tough about recruiting when you take a new job, the timing of the job happens in the middle of the recruiting cycle,” Clawson said. “We’re looking to Wednesday and hopefully finishing strong.

“But I’m also anxious to get to know the team here. I feel like I know the recruits more than our own team.”

Of the 12 players who have committed since Clawson took over, two have created significant buzz among those who closely follow recruiting. John Wolford, a 6-foot-1½, 208-pound quarterback from Jacksonville, Fla., has a three-star rating from Scout.com and Rivals.com, and last week was named honorable mention to the 2014 Parade All-America team. Kameron Uter, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound wide receiver from Atlanta, also has a three-star rating from Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Two other quarterbacks have committed, Lemar Harris of Raleigh and Travis Smith of Ithaca, Miss. Harris (6-2, 185) committed to Grobe’s staff; Smith (6-2, 190) committed after Clawson took over.

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