LB Aaron Curry

2007 Statistics

Coach: Jim Grobe
46-39, 7 years
2007 Record: 9-4
at Boston College LOST 28-38
ARMY WON 21-10
at Duke WON 41-36
at Navy WON 44-24
at Virginia LOST 16-17
at Clemson LOST 10-44
at Vanderbilt WON 31-17
Connecticut WON 24-10

2007 Final Rankings
AP-29, Coaches-28, BCS-UR

2008 Outlook

There is no telling how many people wrote Wake Forest off after they went out 0-2 in 2007. “One and done” was the mantra heard around the college football landscape. To be fair, those first two foes were Boston College (11-3) and perennial power Nebraska, but excuses soon weren’t needed as the six-game winning streak, which then ensued, disproved the skeptics. With essentially the same team leaders and primary position players, Wake looks like they can continue arguably the greatest era of Demon Deacon football ever.

At no time in its history has this program ever won 20 games in two seasons. Head coach Jim Grobe runs his program like a “family”, sustaining the same assistants over most of his last two stops (Ohio U. before Winston-Salem) to form a strong core of loyal friends. It is through this sense of community that his program has found its successes, and players like QB Riley Skinner and RB Josh Adams assure these close-knit successes will continue for at least the next two years (Skinner will not likely make the NFL ranks.) With so many new faces on both lines, we think foes will ostensibly attack WF directly up front until (1) Skinner proves he can still beat DBs over the top and (2) Demon Deacon run stopping similarly forces their opponents to the air. Defensively, the back seven is mostly seniors, all returning starters who will handle passing attacks if the DL can initially hold up its end of things. New coordinator Brad Lambert knows these kids already, so picking up where this quality defense left off should be a smooth transition.

The schedule offers a quality mix of good-but-not-great non-conference foes, with the Vandy game pitting two of the South’s top/smallest BCS-aligned learning posts. Traveling to the two struggling powerhouses in the Sunshine State should elicit at least one win, so Clemson and BC – both at home - look like the biggest games of ’08. The mediocre mix of opponents allows WF its best shot at to get its record back to the 2006 level. It isn’t always pretty, but Wake Forest wins games in this modern time, and if you think they are still just a flash in the ACC pan, just watch this season as they keep their momentum and impress yet again.

Projected 2008 record: 9-3
QB - 3.5 DL - 3
RB - 3.5 LB - 4
WR - 2 DB - 4
OL - 2.5 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Riley Skinner, 236-326-13, 2204 yds., 12 TD

Rushing: Josh Adams, 219 att., 953 yds., 11 TD

Receiving: Josh Adams, 34 rec., 123 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Sam Swank, 18-21 FG, 44-44 PAT, 98 pts.

Punting: Sam Swank, 76 punts, 39.8 avg.

Kicking: Sam Swank, 18-21 FG, 44-44 PAT, 98 pts.

Tackles: Chip Vaughn, 105 tot., 62 solo

Sacks: Boo Robinson, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Alphonso Smith, 8 for 166 yds., 3 TD

Kickoff Returns: Alphonso Smith, 6 ret., 18.7 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: None


K/P Sam Swank
OFFENSE: De'Angelo Bryant-FB, Micah Andrews-TB, Kenny Moore-WR, Kevin Marion-WR, Zac Selmon-TE, John Tereshinski-TE, Louis Frazier-OT, Matthew Brim-OG, Steve Justice-C, Chris DeGeare-OG
DEFENSE: Zach Stukes-DT, Jeremy Thompson-DE, Aaron Mason-SS

Huge production isn’t what Wake Forest boast on offense…it’s excellent management of the modest resource they possess. What else can you say about a team that ranked 93rd in offense but 58th in scoring? Similarly, the Demon Deacon’s 84th-ranked passing game panned out at 51st for efficiency.
The guy who has steadily won games during his two-year tenure here has been junior QB Riley Skinner, a Jacksonville native who was the 2006 ACC Freshman of the Year. Brett Hodges offers an undeveloped alternative, but Skinner’s 72.4% completion rate is impressive enough to keep in the pocket. Many will point to Skinner’s 13 INTs in 2007 (compared to only five in 2006), but if you realize he threw the ball 30% more, and that, if you take away his three-INT games (two) to uncover how he threw picks at the same rate, you see he is still the best man for the job in Winston-Salem.

Sophomore Josh Adams finished his first season here as the nation’s sixth-best freshman rusher. The Cary-product also finished second on the team in receptions, but he was a dump-off option rather than used as a serious weapon (longest catch was 15 yards). Rich Belton looks like a sure return to form after knee problems hampered his hulking efforts. His major contributions in 2006 were a huge reason for the team’s breakout season, and we have to believe his limitations last year also factored into the team’s (offensive) results. Behind them, it looks like big Kevin Harris, with 4.48 speed before his knee troubles, is the next option, though, untested Brandon Pendergrass will get his chances, too.

NHS member Ben Wooster looks like a decent target, as does Cameron Ford. But neither TE has much size for pushing, so the two incoming froshes will likely get an early opportunity to make the two-deep in blocking situations. Wake uses lots of multiple-TE sets, so too many TEs is OK. Senior receiver Demir Bolden’s size makes him a tough load when he goes underneath. Bolden joins Chip Brinkman, a sophomore with decent speed who has yet to be tapped as a deep option. Jordan Williams should be the newest deep target, and his 6’3 frame says he gets jump balls often. Even more weapons are here…that is, if Skinner can get the time to find them.

Losing All-ACC center Steve Justice will be the main focus as the line gets revamped. The prognosis doesn't get any better here as returning starter and senior-to-be Chris DeGeare has been lost as an academic casualty. Moreover, 32 of the 60 total OL starts in 2007 were by departees. Luckily, South Carolina’s Red Zone Player of the Year is ready to step in - Trey Bailey has graded out so far as a smashing replacement for Justice. Junior tackles Jeff Griffin (Freshman All-ACC) and Joe Birdsong have both toughness and mobility. Junior pulling-specialist Barrett McMillin on the inside will be the foundation of how the OL is constructed. Ergo, running between the tackles will be September’s flavor until foes load the box to stop them. Depth will be an issue up front if injuries are common.

Coordinator Steed Lobotzke has to be commended for getting so much from his two- and three-star recruits, but there has to be more up his sleeve for ’08 if WF is going to again challenge for the conference crown.


RB Josh Adams


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Riley Skinner-Jr (6-1, 200) Brett Hodges-Jr (6-2, 175)
FB Mike Rinfrette-Jr (6-3, 260) Richard Belton-Sr (6-1, 259)
RB Josh Adams-So (6-0, 170) Brandon Pendergrass-Fr (5-9, 196)
Kevin Harris-Jr (6-1, 225)
WR Demir Boldin-Sr (5-11, 220) Marshall Williams-So (6-1, 165)
WR Chip Brinkman-Sr (6-2, 210) Jordan Williams-So (6-3, 180)
TE Ben Wooster-Jr (6-5, 210) Cameron Ford-Fr (6-4, 212)
OT Boomer Peterson-Jr (6-5, 303) Joe Birdsong-Jr (6-6, 270)
OG Russell Nenon-So (6-4, 304) Cannon Gaskin-So (6-4, 282)
C Trey Bailey-Jr (6-2, 260) Ryan Britt-Fr (6-4, 290)
OG Barrett McMillin-Jr (6-3, 288) Gage Crews-Jr (6-4, 305)
OT Jeff Griffin-Jr (6-3, 280) Doug Weaver-Fr (6-8, 290)
K Sam Swank-Sr (6-1, 180) ..



The consistency seen on defense from the group that allowed an average of 15 points per game in 2006 to last year’s group that allowed 22 ppg gives promise that worthwhile results like these can be seen again. It’s pretty obvious that seven senior starters – six are returning starters and there are three more junior starters, too – assure they can get back to giving up closer to 15 a game again.

The biggest concern is replacing three of the front four big men, guys who allowed a mere 3.2 yards per carry for two straight years. Huge tackle Boo Robinson stays, and he is a great foundation with which to begin constructing the new DL. As a backup, then- sophomore John Russell finished ahead of starter Zach Stukes in tackles, so Russell appears ready for the permanent start (he’s had three starts already). Senior Anthony Davis is the most experienced DE on the roster. Others, like Wilson and Lockett, will vie for the two open starting outside spots, but we are suspect that they can keep the rushing numbers down as well as their predecessors were able to do.

The three starting LBs are back, and they will have their hands full helping out the new-look DL in September. All-American Aaron Curry (third team) is everywhere all the time. Speed and size make him the team’s top in TFLs and second in INTs (four). No matter how good he is, backup Dominique Midgett will have to find another position if he wants the amount of reps he deserves. Stan Arnoux has started for two years straight in the middle, and Chantz McClinic rounds out this all-senior corps with his LB-SS hybrid abilities. The two-deep is strong, and depending on the developments at DE, we could see more 3-4 employments against spread teams.

The secondary can lean on Alphonso Smith to lockdown his side – this former consensus Freshman All-American was one of five DBs in all of FSB with eight INTs last year, and his three returned for TDs also tied for most in the nation. We think he’s a First Team All-American. Brandon Ghee also does a superior job, making this possibly the top pair of corners in the league. Ex-WR Chip Vaughn has brought his size/speed to bear at FS, earning him a team leading 109 total tackles (66 solo). Mr. Everything Kevin Patterson can play bump-and-run well since he was a corner here until last year. The depth at safety isn’t quite as experienced as it is at corner, but Alex Frye can step into either deep role and hold the line if given the chance.

This defense finds Brad Lambert, the excellent LBs coach, stepping up at coordinator. Grobe likes to keep the same assistants from year to year, so this shuffle is no surprise in response to the departure of Dean Hood. Keeping things internal should assure results carry over as much as they can from the steady groups of the past two years. This D plays smart and with a cohesive, group mentality that led to their 35 takeaways (19 INTs, 16 fumble recoveries; only three teams had more in ‘07). At this advanced learning institution, strategy is as much a part of the stopping solutions as physicality. What they lack in superior individual talent they make up for in smart play and solid results.


CB Alphonso Smith


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Matthew Robinson-Sr (6-2, 230) Anthony Davis-Sr (6-6, 235)
NT Boo Robinson-Jr (6-2, 295) Michael Carter-So (6-3, 290)
DT John Russell-Jr (6-2, 250) Dennis Godfrey-Fr (6-3, 265)
DE Antonio Wilson-Sr (6-3, 215) Kyle Wilber-Fr (6-5, 230)
SLB Aaron Curry-Sr (6-3, 210) Jonathan Jones-Jr (6-3,218)
MLB Stanley Arnoux-Sr (6-2, 218) Matt Woodlief-So (5-11, 254)
WLB Chantz McClinic-Sr (5-10, 190) Hunter Haynes-So (6-2, 218)
CB Alphonso Smith-Sr (5-10, 180) Channing Schofield-Jr (5-11, 193)
CB Brandon Ghee-Jr (6-1, 185) Kerry Major-Sr (6-1, 170)
SS Kevin Patterson-Sr (5-11, 175) Cyhl Quarles-Fr (6-3, 215)
FS Chip Vaughn-Sr (6-2, 190) Alex Frye-So (6-3, 190)
P Sam Swank-Sr (6-1, 180) ..




Senior All-American ( Sam Swank is a kicking machine – a third of his punts were fair-caught while he went 18-for-21 in FGAs. Punt coverage could use some help, and the backlog at DB/LB should help find able bodies who can then find better results. Return men will be picked during upcoming practices, and we will let you know when/if something develops.