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  Wake Forest's defense was already going into the season as the more-experienced and deeper unit - at least, on paper - compared to the Deacons' offense. It's a gap that widened this week with star receiver Sage Surratt's decision to opt out. The Deacons' defensive star and other projected first-round pick, Boogie Basham, said he's not thinking about opting out - spearheading a unit that doesn't lack confidence after about two weeks of practices. "I've had people reach out and ask me that question (about opting out)," Basham said Friday morning. "I kind of just shied away, as that's not what I'm thinking about right now. I'm thinking about the first game."

Wake Forest's defense features eight returning starters and seven of its top nine tacklers from a year ago. Coach Dave Clawson said last week that the secondary needs to be figured out, but the Deacons should be able to lean on a deep defensive line and linebacker corps. "Our front seven especially is very experienced," junior linebacker Ryan Smenda Jr. said. "I think once we really find that true rock in our defense, that true leader - once we start to feed off each other and start to play together, I think we're going to be a top-five defense, to be honest." - Winston Salem Journal

(DS#4 DE) rSr/2021 DE Carlos Basham Jr.Wake Forest
News Source: Winston Salem Journal



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