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Thread: Is it time to start wondering is there a "culture issue" with Wake Forest Football

  1. #1
    Ricky Peral TimmyClutch's Avatar
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    Is it time to start wondering is there a "culture issue" with Wake Forest Football

    I fully expect derision and ridicule concerning this topic, but hear me out and then call me a moron.

    Over the last several years, Wake Forest Football has seen an influx of NFL talented players, however there has been an issue with those players staying with the program for one reason or another. On this list I would include Dortch, Newman, Surratt, and KW3. Each left the program under different circumstances, after remarkable seasons that put them on the NFL radar. Transfers, opt outs and declaring for the draft. Each had the opportunity to stay with the team, improve their stock, help the team improve, win more games etc. etc. but each chose not to for one reason or another.

    Now let me be clear, this is far from the entirety NFL talent over the past couple seasons, but after each of the last several seasons, we have lost a major player. I am left to wonder is this a Wake Forest issue or is this a college football thing?

    Is Wake going to have to deal with losing some of our most talented players to bigger programs each season, because they believe that they will get more exposure. If that is the thing, why are we not seeing this with MAC or Sun Belt players?

    Is it players declaring early for the draft after a good season is the issue. When you see redshirt sophomores declare early and go undrafted that raises a red flag. Thankfully Boogie stayed, but is he going to be the exception not the rule? Is this a problem that Clawson can prevent or is it just the way of college football now. I am comparing this to guys like Aaron Curry, Kevin Johnson, Camp, guys that exhausted their eligibility at Wake, and then went to the draft.

    I do not know the answer and am not even entirely sure if there is a problem, but the thought of Wake Forest football becoming a developmental program for players jump to bigger schools after a good seasons, is not one I relish. Nor do I look forward to continually have to replace starting RS-Sophs and Juniors every season.

    Ok, now you can tell me I am wrong.

  2. #2
    I don't know if you can include Sage here. He chose to stay at Wake in lieu of declaring for the NFL draft. If not for COVID, he would have played.

    I'm also hoping KW3 is just testing the waters. Would make him look pretty hypocritical to announce he's returning and then bolt 3 weeks later. Although plenty of players/coaches have done worse.

  3. #3
    I think this is a little overdramatic.

    My impression of Clawson is that he is a pretty specific and somewhat demanding coach to play for. That is going to appeal to some people and not appeal to others. Sometimes guys don't know if that is what they want until they have been in the program.

    Keep in mind we've pulled in some good transfers too (Terrance Davis, Miles Fox, Jack Crane, Garnes from Navy, the guy from Yale). And lots of our guys opted to come back next year and take advantage of the extra year of eligibility. So it's not like we are bleeding players.

  4. #4
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    You're wrong.

    This is the last season that players can leave and play immediately elsewhere. It is a 2-year COVID exception with next year being the one earmarked for this.

    Newman left because he had graduated and could play immediately. Dortch thought he was going to be a 3rd or 4th rd pick. Surratt was worried about covid while rehabbing his shoulder.

    The only line I can draw between Newman and Walker that could prove troubling has nothing to do with culture, but with our offense which is widely reported by the media to be "gimmicky." I disagree with that assessment, but it is possible that Walker believes the RB system at Wake where he sits and waits at the line for the slow RPO to go pass or run has lead him to believe - like it did Newman - that he would like to prove his NFL value in an NFL system. That seems to be the Achilles heel of our dynamically successful offense. I don't think this should affect WR decisions at all. We run more plays than most schools per game and we sling the ball around.
    le bone

  5. #5
    I think Clawson has built a great culture for players who actually "buy-in." For those who are not with it, then get out. The awkwardness around Clawson and how he announced the KW3 opting out made it seem like KW3 wasn't buying in, so see ya later.

    Bates clearly should have gone to the NFL, Dortch needed another year. I don't think there is anything about those two decisions related to "culture."

    I think Newman may have had a big head, which is common among college athletics.

    Sage's decision is chalked up to COVID. But when Clawson constantly repeats a Boogie quote ("football players play football") it seems like Clawson is saying "no hard feelings against Sage due to global pandemic, but..."

    Overall, I don't think there is anything wrong with WF football culture, Clawson is just a no nonsense guy when it comes to players who doesn't think "buys-in"

  6. #6
    Ricky Peral TimmyClutch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigerswood View Post
    I don't know if you can include Sage here. He chose to stay at Wake in lieu of declaring for the NFL draft. If not for COVID, he would have played.

    I'm also hoping KW3 is just testing the waters. Would make him look pretty hypocritical to announce he's returning and then bolt 3 weeks later. Although plenty of players/coaches have done worse.
    But he did opt out, and then declared for the draft. Which was 100% his prerogative to do so. His brother on the other hand played this season and was named All-Conference for the second year in a row. I am really curious to see which one gets drafted higher. Maybe Chazz thought he needed more tape to be an NFL prospect, while his brother didn't, but its interesting to see that one stayed and played, while the other decided not to.

    Sage was the 2nd RS-Soph WR to not play after a record setting season, so it makes me wonder about a possible trend.

  7. #7
    People really have to stop looking at things through the eyes of a fan and try to look at them through the eyes of the player. There are literally over 1,000 reasons a player might want to transfer. Maybe he doesn't like the academics of the school, maybe he thinks Winston-Salem is boring, maybe he hates Clawson, maybe he doesn't like some of his teammates. Transfers alone are not a sign of a culture problem.

    It also seems ridiculous to point out all these examples and ignore things like Boogie coming back for a fifth year.

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    Ricky Peral TimmyClutch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeachBumDeac View Post
    I think this is a little overdramatic.

    My impression of Clawson is that he is a pretty specific and somewhat demanding coach to play for. That is going to appeal to some people and not appeal to others. Sometimes guys don't know if that is what they want until they have been in the program.

    Keep in mind we've pulled in some good transfers too (Terrance Davis, Miles Fox, Jack Crane, Garnes from Navy, the guy from Yale). And lots of our guys opted to come back next year and take advantage of the extra year of eligibility. So it's not like we are bleeding players.
    But none of those guys were the focal point of their respective teams offense or defense and none were coming off seasons similar to the guys we have lost. I would love if we got a 1000 yard rusher or receiver from Troy or something like that, but that isn't what we are seeing.

    When I look at the transfer portal, I am rarely seeing team's best players, its more often guys who aren't starting. Wake has seen a share of both.

  9. #9
    Ricky Peral TimmyClutch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon14 View Post
    People really have to stop looking at things through the eyes of a fan and try to look at them through the eyes of the player. There are literally over 1,000 reasons a player might want to transfer. Maybe he doesn't like the academics of the school, maybe he thinks Winston-Salem is boring, maybe he hates Clawson, maybe he doesn't like some of his teammates. Transfers alone are not a sign of a culture problem.

    It also seems ridiculous to point out all these examples and ignore things like Boogie coming back for a fifth year.
    Thats exactly what I am asking, what are some of those reason we are not able to see from a fan's perspective? Also I didn't ignore Boogie, I specifically mentioned him.

  10. #10
    is there any data on transfer rate out of the football program vis a vis other P5 or ACC programs?

  11. #11
    I mean if youíre an NFL prospect why stay at Wake and study all day for a meaningless Communications, Religious Studies or whatever degree when you can go to a big state school, still get a degree, and get more exposure and better training towards being a professional athlete?

    Also you donít have to watch the lame ass Slow RPO all fall.

  12. #12
    Ricky Peral TimmyClutch's Avatar
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    Just empirical based on what I see in the Transfer portal on 247. If there are other guys who scored double digit TDs this season and were sure to be a starter on their old team next year in the portal, I very much hope Wake makes a try for them, but those seem to be few and far between.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyClutch View Post
    Thats exactly what I am asking, what are some of those reason we are not able to see from a fan's perspective? Also I didn't ignore Boogie, I specifically mentioned him.
    My bad, missed you mentioning Boogie. I mean having some of our best players leave one way or another sucks, but I think as fans you just have to accept that transfers will happen for reasons we don't know all the details. Until there appears to be widespread player opinion that Clawson is a hard-ass that sucks to play for, I'm going to enjoy the successful football program that I think we have and not worry about culture issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyClutch View Post
    But he did opt out, and then declared for the draft. Which was 100% his prerogative to do so. His brother on the other hand played this season and was named All-Conference for the second year in a row. I am really curious to see which one gets drafted higher. Maybe Chazz thought he needed more tape to be an NFL prospect, while his brother didn't, but its interesting to see that one stayed and played, while the other decided not to.

    Sage was the 2nd RS-Soph WR to not play after a record setting season, so it makes me wonder about a possible trend.

    As I think others have pointed out, opting out of Wake due to COVID was a good decision. We lost several games and practice time and had a mediocre season. Meanwhile, UNC played all their games and went the Orange Bowl.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by BillBrasky View Post
    I mean if youíre an NFL prospect why stay at Wake and study all day for a meaningless Communications, Religious Studies or whatever degree when you can go to a big state school, still get a degree, and get more exposure and better training towards being a professional athlete?

    Also you donít have to watch the lame ass Slow RPO all fall.
    Probably because nobody has transferred away from Wake under Clawson and made the NFL?

  17. #17
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    We always have a mediocre season.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Rafi View Post
    Probably because nobody has transferred away from Wake under Clawson and made the NFL?
    Yet, itís a relatively new phenomenon. Newman will get drafted this spring. Walker will make an NFL squad at some point. College football is headed towards the revolving door open transfer policy thatís killing college basketball. Wake loses in that scenario.

  19. #19
    There's a "culture issue" with big-time college football in general.
    And as another poster mentioned earlier, at some point Wake (and a lot of other FBS schools, in particular the privates not named ND, MIA, SCAL, etc.) will have to decide if they want to continue to swim with the big boys, or that may get decided for them.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyClutch View Post
    But he did opt out, and then declared for the draft. Which was 100% his prerogative to do so. His brother on the other hand played this season and was named All-Conference for the second year in a row. I am really curious to see which one gets drafted higher. Maybe Chazz thought he needed more tape to be an NFL prospect, while his brother didn't, but its interesting to see that one stayed and played, while the other decided not to.

    Sage was the 2nd RS-Soph WR to not play after a record setting season, so it makes me wonder about a possible trend.
    Sage had been a stud WR from day 1 of high school, coming off a season ending injury. Chazz had played 1 season as a LB, with no such injury. While it sucks that Chazz played and Sage didn't, the situations aren't really that similar.

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