Spring Football Is Underway

Ricky Perez

Despite the threat of wintry weather this week, Wake Forest spring football practice is well underway. Two of the 15 allotted practice sessions are already in the books.

The Demon Deacons practiced on Monday and Tuesday afternoons without pads at the campus practice fields. The first two sessions consisted mainly of reviewing the offensive and defensive systems.

"I think the guys are enjoying it and having fun," said WFU head coach Jim Grobe about the Deacs' initial sessions. "They're excited to be back. We didn't have a long break, so there's been a lot of carry over from the fall. We haven't lost a lot mentally with our offensive and defensive schemes."

Several Demon Deacons changed positions going into spring drills. Running backs Nick Burney, a rising senior, and Fred Staton, a junior, have moved to fullback to filled the void left by Ovie Mughelli. Staton, who sat out last fall for academic purposes, is seeing his first action on the field since last year's Spring Game.

A pair of young Deacon defensive backs sophomore Dominic Anderson and redshirt freshman Napoleon Sykes have switched to offense to bolster the WFU running backs unit. Anderson had two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in addition to 20 tackles last season as a reserve DB.

Senior Ricky Perez is another player making the shift from defense to offense. The former cornerback who has also practiced at quarterback during his time at WFU will see action at wide receiver this spring.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Nate Morton has also shifted to receiver, while redshirt freshman offensive lineman Dan Callahan will compete with junior R.D. Montgomery at tight end.

The only shift within the defense was senior Jason Carter, who has moved from cornerback to the bandit position.

Just two players are sitting out spring drills due to injuries. Redshirt freshman Jamil Smith and sophomore Chris Owen remain sidelined while rehabilitating knee injuries. Both expect to be back in action when two-a-days begin in August.

Weather permitting, the Deacs return to the practice fields on Wednesday and expect to don full pads for their session on Thursday. The team has not worked on special teams yet, and Grobe plans to implement that into practice the first day of pads.

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