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WFU Deacons add 15 on national signing day

Posted Thursday, February 2, 2006

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Recruiting class includes six North Carolina natives

Winston-Salem, NC - Fifteen student-athletes have signed to attend Wake Forest University and play football next season for head coach Jim Grobe and his staff. The balanced recruiting class includes eight players on offense, six players on defense and one specialist.

Wake Forest stayed relatively close to home with this class. All 15 individuals attended high school in the southeast, including six from North Carolina. The staff also plucked three players from Florida, two from Georgia and Tennessee and one each from Alabama and Virginia.

On offense, the Deacons received commitments from three running backs, two offensive linemen, one quarterback, one tight end and one receiver. Defensively, Wake Forest picked up three linebackers, two defensive linemen and a defensive back. The Deacons also signed a punter to address the team's most immediate need.

The list of North Carolina natives includes Josh Adams, a highly-ranked recruit from Cary High School in North Carolina. He was rated by as the 10th-best running back nationally and chose the Deacons over a number of ACC and BCS schools. Safety Alex Frye will come to Wake Forest from Jack Britt High School where he was teammates with current Deacon Brandon Ghee. Dennis Godfrey, out of Sanford's Lee County, was widely regarded to be one of the best tight end prospects in the southeast and had offers from several ACC schools. Matt Woodlief, from Bandys High School in Catawba, was ranked by as the 41st-best linebacker prospect nationally. He was the Charlotte Observer's Defensive Player of the Year. Adams, Frye, Godfrey and Woodlief all participated in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and ranked among the top 25 players in the state.

Wake Forest also landed Marshall Williams from Durham's Riverside High School, where he was ranked as the fourth-best wide receiver in North Carolina by PrepStars. The Deacons also plucked linebacker Tripp Russell out of their own backyard. Russell, rated by as the 88th-best defensive end prospect in America, was an all-state selection at Mount Tabor High School.

The Deacons grabbed three highly-touted players from Florida. Hunter Haynes hails from Ponte Vedra Beach and attends Nease High School. Haynes was listed by as the 19th-best inside linebacker prospect in the nation and was recruited by schools nationally, from the ACC to the Pac-10. Wake Forest tapped The Bolles School in Jacksonville for a second straight year, inking offensive lineman Cannon Gaskin. Gaskin joins former Bolles teammates John Russell and Riley Skinner at Wake Forest. Another example of the Florida pipeline is the addition of defensive lineman Teddy Tomlin of Lake City's Columbia High School. Former Deacon quarterback Cory Randolph also attended Columbia. Tomlin was a third team All-Florida selection in 4-A.

Georgia continues to be fertile recruiting ground for Wake Forest. Quarterback Zach MacDowall, the 57th-best prep quarterback, according to, is enrolled at Wake Forest this spring. He comes to Winston-Salem from Harrison High School, the same program that produced Wake Forest's All-ACC linebacker Jon Abbate. Marcus Williams was a dangerous running quarterback and defensive back at Eagle's Landing High School in Stockbridge, Ga., but will move to tailback position at Wake Forest.

For the second straight year, the Wake Forest coaching staff went into Memphis, Tenn., to find future Demon Deacons. Russell Nenon was rated as the 7th-best center prospect by and helped lead the Memphis University School to consecutive state championships. The Deacons also signed Michael Carter, a defensive lineman from Melrose High School, who was a first team All-Tennessee selection on a defense that allowed 4.2 points per game.

Running back Lucas Caparelli will become the second graduate of Robinson Secondary High School in Virginia to become a Demon Deacon in recent seasons, joining former teammate Chip Vaughn. Caparelli scored 66 touchdowns in his prep career with more than 5,000 all-purpose yards. He turned down offers from other ACC and Big East schools.

The class is rounded out by punter Dan Caldwell from Oxford, Ala., who was rated by Street & Smith Magazine as the nation's top prep punter in 2004. The left-footed Caldwell, who stands 6-foot-2, 235 pounds, once uncorked a 73-yard punt which ranks as the third-longest punt in Alabama High School history.

These 15 signees will join 48 returning lettermen, including 19 starters, from last year's team. The 2006 season begins for Wake Forest on Saturday, September 2 against Syracuse at Groves Stadium. Wake Forest's spring practices begin Wednesday, March 15 at the team's on-campus practice facility.

Wake Forest's Class of 2006

NLI Arrived Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown High School
Spring Enrollee Zach MacDowall QB 6-2 200 Acworth, Ga. Harrison HS
7:08 am Cannon Gaskin OL 6-4 265 Jacksonville, Fla. Bolles School
7:25 am Marcus Williams RB 5-9 170 Stockbridge, Ga. Eagle's Landing HS
7:54 am Matt Woodlief LB 5-11 240 Catawba, N.C. Bandys HS
8:30 am Hunter Haynes LB 6-2 218 Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Nease HS
8:37 am Michael Carter DL 6-3 290 Memphis, Tenn. Melrose HS
9:35 am Alex Frye S 6-3 195 Fayetteville, N.C. Jack Britt HS
9:37 am Russell Nenon OL 6-4 300 Memphis, Tenn. Memphis University School
10:01 am Teddy Tomlin DL 6-3 275 Lake City, Fla. Columbia HS
11:53 am Josh Adams RB 6-0 170 Cary, N.C. Cary HS
12:46 pm Tripp Russell LB 6-3 230 Winston-Salem, N.C. Mount Tabor HS
1:12 pm Dan Caldwell P 6-2 235 Oxford, Ala. Oxford HS
1:22 pm Lucas Caparelli RB 5-11 180 Fairfax, Va. Robinson Secondary HS
1:51 pm Marshall Williams WR 6-1 165 Durham, N.C. Riverside HS
2:14 pm Dennis Godfrey TE 6-3 265 Sanford, N.C. Lee County HS

Signees By Side Of The Ball:
Offense (8): Josh Adams, Lucas Caparelli, Cannon Gaskin, Dennis Godfrey, Zach MacDowall, Russell Nenon, Marcus Williams, Marshall Williams
Defense (6): Michael Carter, Alex Frye, Hunter Haynes, Tripp Russell, Teddy Tomlin, Matt Woodlief
Specialist (1): Dan Caldwell

Signees By Position:
Linebackers (3): Hunter Haynes, Tripp Russell, Matt Woodlief
Running Backs (3): Josh Adams, Lucas Caparelli, Marcus Williams
Defensive Linemen (2): Michael Carter, Teddy Tomlin
Offensive Linemen (2): Cannon Gaskin, Russell Nenon
Defensive Backs (1): Alex Frye
Quarterbacks (1): Zach MacDowall
Punter (1): Dan Caldwell
Tight End (1): Dennis Godfrey
Wide Receiver (1): Marshall Williams

Signees By State:
North Carolina (6): Josh Adams, Alex Frye, Dennis Godfrey, Tripp Russell, Matt Woodlief, Marshall Williams
Florida (3): Cannon Gaskin, Hunter Haynes, Teddy Tomlin
Georgia (2): Zach MacDowall, Marcus Williams
Tennessee (2): Michael Carter, Russell Nenon
Alabama (1): Dan Caldwell

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