Heading into this season, Wake Forest had spent the entire offseason preparing as if quarterbacks Ted Stachitas and Skylar Jones would be running their offense, but injuries to those players early changed the game plan -- and the entire season.
“A lot of the spring preparation and August preparation to be a gun-option team kind of went out the window," said coach Jim Grobe, "and we ended up scrambling from about the third game of the season on.”
Enter true freshman quarterback Tanner Price.
Price has started six of the past seven games, starting with the Sept. 18 game at Stanford. He’s one of three true freshmen to start for the Deacs this year, the most under Grobe. It’s been an up-and-down season for Price, but one that Grobe is convinced can be built upon heading into the future.
Price set almost every school single-game passing record in his first home start on Oct. 9 against Navy. He completed 37 of 53 passes for 326 yards and two touchdowns. It was the best performance by a true freshman quarterback in Wake Forest history. He now has seven touchdown passes, breaking the previous mark for true freshmen of three set by Anthony Young in 2000.
His 151 passing yards against Clemson brought his season total to 1,276 yards, breaking the previous record of 1,070 held by David Webber. Price also eclipsed Webber’s record for most completions by a true freshman (101) with 127.
Grobe said he is expecting even better things from Price next year and should have a reliable backup with Jones still in the mix.
“Honestly, I feel great about the progress we’ve made with Tanner,” Grobe said. “It’s not showing in wins right now, but I thought against a really tough, physical Clemson defense this past weekend, Tanner really grew up. … Going forward, you’re talking about a kid in Tanner that didn’t have the benefit of spring practice, and being a true freshman, he’s going to improve physically here in the offseason. I couldn’t be happier to be honest with you with Tanner Price’s development.”