Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

A key recruiting spot for Wake Forest? Florida

TALLAHASSEE — As soon as coach Jim Grobe arrived at Wake Forest eight years ago, he circled North Carolina as the logical place to start recruiting. But a key to his success has been where he and his staff have headed next.

"We typically work south," Grobe said.

Georgia has been good to the Demon Deacons.

Florida has been very good to the Demon Deacons.

This year, there are 26 Florida natives on the roster, which is the most among Division I-A teams that aren't found in Florida. That includes three starters from Pahokee High, CB Alphonso Smith, DE Antonio Wilson and WR D.J. Boldin.

"At Wake Forest, we've not only got to find good football players, but we've got to find kids who can come to Wake Forest and do okay academically," Grobe said.

"And we've been able to do that in Florida. We started looking down there our first year at Wake Forest, and when we found out how good it can be for us, it's just expanded. As we get more kids out of Florida, it kind of snowballs. When you get a good kid, if he's happy, he tells other kids and parents tell parents. That's kind of what's happening."

Familiar faces: FSU's Antone Smith was a prep teammate of Alphonso Smith, Wilson and Boldin, but there are other high school ties between the two teams — FSU DT Everette Dawkins and Wake C Trey Bailey went to Byrnes (S.C.) High; FSU OL Rhonne Sanderson and Wake RB Lovell Jackson are Plant grads; FSU C Ryan McMahon and P Shawn Powell as well as Wake LB Chantz McClinic and DE Derricus Ellis all went to the Darlington (Ga.) School; and FSU DE Kevin McNeil and Wake S Kevin Patterson are alumni of Camden County (Ga.) High.

Gano returns: FSU senior Graham Gano, who was slated to handle all the kicking duties but had surgery on the medial collateral ligament in his right knee Aug. 22, returned and attempted his first collegiate field goal, a 52-yarder, midway through the second quarter that was long enough but wide left.

Zeroes on board: By not scoring in the first half, the Seminoles hadn't mustered a point against Wake Forest in six straight quarters at home. They did notch a field goal in the third quarter.

Rankings streak snapped: The Seminoles are now 14-1 when they have been ranked and their ACC opponent has come to Tallahassee sporting a spot in the Top 25. (Wake Forest was No. 18 and FSU No. 24.)

Stat chat: The Seminoles are 13-4 in ACC openers after Saturday's loss to Wake Forest. The other losses: at North Carolina State in 1998, at Miami in 2004 and at Clemson last year.

A vocal fan: FSU coach Bobby Bowden has long admired what Grobe has done at Wake Forest. So much so that he has recommended him for other jobs. "Last year, Nebraska called me and somebody else called me and I said, 'Get that Jim Grobe,' " he said, adding that he wanted someone to get him "quick" before he had to play his team again.

Brian Landman can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3347.

A key recruiting spot for Wake Forest? Florida 09/20/08 [Last modified: Saturday, September 20, 2008 11:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs: Quick and easy fixes for what ails Tampa Bay?


    The Bucs are 2-4 and have lost five straight road games, so there's plenty to fix. What's the quickest and easiest fix for coach Dirk Koetter and Tampa Bay? The Times' Bucs coverage team weighs in:


    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, seen during the first half, had a heck of a day calling plays, Tom Jones writes. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  3. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play


    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  4. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  5. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170