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WFU spring football practice begins Wednesday

Posted Monday, March 13, 2006

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Deacons return 48 letterwinners from last year's squad

Winston-Salem, NC - The Wake Forest football team begins spring practice Wednesday at its on-campus practice facility. The first practice is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.

The Demon Deacons will have 15 days of practice, typically on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There will be two Saturday sessions -- March 18 and the Spring Scrimmage on April 8. All weekday practices will run two hours beginning at 4:15 p.m., weather permitting.

Each of Wake Forest's 15 practice sessions, including the Spring Scrimmage, will be held at the team's on-campus practice facility.

Jim Grobe enters his sixth year as head coach and has 81 student-athletes in camp. The only scholarship newcomer this spring is freshman quarterback Zach MacDowall from Harrison High School in Georgia.

The Deacons return 48 letterwinners from last year team that finished 4-7. Wake Forest brings back eight starters on offense, including senior Nate Morton, who has been Wake Forest's leading receiver in each of the past two years; and four starters on the offensive line, including two-time All-ACC selection Steve Vallos; plus junior quarterback Benjamin Mauk, who led the Deacons in passing yards in 2005; and junior Micah Andrews, the ACC's 7th-leading rusher last season.Ten defensive starters return, including Wake Forest's top nine tacklers in 2005. The headlining returners are junior linebacker Jon Abbate, the team's leading tackler in 2004 and 2005; senior safety Josh Gattis, an honorable mention All-American last season; and junior defensive end Matt Robinson, who has led the Deacons in tackles for loss as a freshman and a sophomore; and sophomore cornerback Alphonso Smith, a first team freshman All-American last season.

The Deacons return one specialist, placekicker Sam Swank, who was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award as the nation's best kicker.

Wake Forest also gets an extended look at 21 players that redshirted last season. That group includes six offensive linemen who figure to bolster the depth and quality on the line, and two promising young quarterbacks and a host of young talent at other positions.

Listed below is the schedule for spring practices. Dates and times are subject to change. All practices are open to the public. Times should be confirmed by calling the Wake Forest football office at (336) 758-5633.

Practice #1 Wednesday, March 15 4:15-6:15 pm
Practice #2 Thursday, March 16 4:15-6:15 pm
Practice #3 Saturday, March 18 10:00 am-Noon
Practice #4 Monday, March 20 4:15-6:15 pm
Practice #6 Tuesday, March 21 4:15-6:15 pm
Practice #7 Wednesday, March 22 4:15-6:15 pm
Practice #8 Friday, March 24 4:15-6:15 pm
Practice #9 Monday, March 27 4:15-6:15 pm
Practice #9 Tuesday, March 28 4:15-6:15 pm
Practice #10 Wednesday, March 29 4:15-6:15 pm
Practice #11 Friday, March 31 4:15-6:15 pm
Practice #12 Monday, April 3 4:15-6:15 pm
Practice #13 Tuesday, April 4 4:15-6:15 pm
Practice #14 Wednesday, April 5 4:15-6:15 pm
Spring Scrimmage Saturday, April 8 1:00 pm

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WFU spring football practice begins Wednesday
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