Deacs' o-line still a concern

If Wake Forest’s offensive line can stay healthy and build some depth between now and the opening kickoff, there’s no reason the Deacs can’t surprise a few teams in the Atlantic Division this year.

In theory, Wake Forest could have a veteran look up front this fall, but if there’s one area that still remains a concern for offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke heading into summer camp, it’s the offensive line.

“It was kind of a long spring on the o-line for those guys, because we only really had eight guys all spring,” Lobotzke said. “We didn’t even have two-deep, so we really had to structure practice around saving those guys, and then we had another guy get dinged up, so we only had seven by the end.”

Guard Antonio Ford broke his leg in three places last fall at Maryland, and he was still recovering this spring. So was tackle Steven Chase, who missed spring practices with a torn ACL. When everyone is healthy, the lineup looks good, with senior Whit Barnes at center, senior Frank Souza at right guard, and Ford, a junior, at left guard. Lobotzke said a freshman or sophomore will likely have to fill in at right tackle.

“We feel pretty good about our starting five, but we said that going into last year,” Lobotzke said. “We said as long as we can stay healthy, we like our starting five. You feel good going in, but depth is always a problem and the depth is still all freshmen and sophomores. We’re not afraid to pull the shirt on a couple of guys there, either. We’ve recruited four that we like. We feel we need to have eight we trust: two centers, three guards, three tackles. We’d like to have 10, but we’ll settle for eight if we can find them.”