Wake Forest Demon Deacons’ Top 10 Returning Players in 2024 Include DeVonte Gordon, Taylor Morin

    Wake Forest struggled in the transfer portal, but some key injured playmakers are back among the Demon Deacons' top 10 returning players.

    The Wake Forest Demon Deacons took a step back under Dave Clawson last season. After seven straight bowl seasons, the program fell back to 4-8 as the running game struggled. They’ll need to reload in the secondary, where they lose two mid-round picks, but unfortunately, the transfer portal wasn’t kind.

    If the Demon Deacons are to bounce back, it’ll be because of these 10 players who are returning to college football with Wake Forest this fall.

    Wake Forest Demon Deacons’ Top 10 Returners in 2024

    Analyzing the returning players at every school is a difficult task in the transfer portal area. As such, we’ve included transfer-portal athletes that were included on each team’s roster page to open fall camp in addition to the rostered players from last year.

    10) Hank Bachmeier, QB

    Wake Forest will probably go as transfer quarterback Hank Bachmeier goes, as he’s flashed brilliance but has been wildly inconsistent in his five years in college. If he can return to his 2021 form for the Demon Deacons, the offense will hum.

    I think that Clawson will have Bachmeier ready to compete in the ACC and that he’ll give the Demon Deacons a vertical passing threat that they missed last year.

    9) Evan Slocum, DB

    Evan Slocum is one of Wake Forest’s most important players this season. Malik Mustapha was critical to the Demon Deacons defense last season as a box safety with coverage skills. This year, I’d expect Slocum to fill that role.

    Slocum is a senior with 94 career tackles who played his best football down the stretch last year and will look to continue that trend in 2024.

    8) Kendron Wayman, DL

    Kendron Wayman has always performed well against the run, but if the fifth-year senior can improve his pass-rushing ability, he can be an integral part of the Demon Deacon defense. He’s got plenty of experience and brings good size to the edge position.

    Wake Forest has gotten breakout seasons from older defensive linemen several times over the past few seasons. If Wayman is next, the defense should be pretty good in 2024.

    7) DaShawn Jones, DB

    DaShawn Jones has flashed elite traits, but he’s been far too inconsistent in the past. Now a leader in the secondary, if he can improve his down-to-down coverage skills, the Wake Forest back seven has the potential to be excellent.

    Jones led the team with three interceptions last season and put up five pass deflections in each of the last two campaigns. Just a redshirt junior, Jones should be a defensive leader for the next two years.

    6) Jasheen Davis, DL

    Jasheen Davis led the Demon Deacons in sacks last season and will need another solid year to protect an inexperienced secondary. He was an All-ACC Honorable in 2022 and is within striking distance of the program’s career sacks record.

    MORE: 2024 Wake Forest Demon Deacons Football Roster

    Davis needs to consistently get pressure for Wake Forest’s defense to reach its full potential.

    5) Demond Claiborne, RB

    Demond Claiborne is just a true junior, but experienced a breakout year last season, leading the Demon Deacons with 586 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Finding running lanes was often tricky, but Claiborne is a bowling bowl that breaks a lot of tackles.

    At 5’9″ and 200 pounds, he has the acceleration to get downhill quickly and run through tackles. He should feature heavily in the offense in 2024.

    4) Dylan Hazen, LB

    Dylan Hazen was the leading tackler for the Demon Deacons last season, racking up 86 tackles and a sack in 2023. The redshirt junior had his first full-time year as a starter last season and returns to anchor the defense in 2024.

    Hazen is athletic enough to play in coverage and big enough to fill gaps in the running game. He played his best down the stretch last season, making 35 tackles in the final three games of the season.

    3) Donavon Greene, WR

    While the Demon Deacons lost three of their top four receivers from last year, getting Donavon Greene back is huge. The 6’2″, 210-pound WR missed the entire 2023 season following a knee injury sustained on the first day of fall practice, and he’ll look to return to his previous form in 2024.

    Greene is the most explosive receiver in Wake Forest history, averaging nearly 19 yards a reception throughout his career. He gives the Demon Deacons a deep threat they desperately missed last year.

    2) Taylor Morin, WR

    While Greene is the guy who stretches defenses, Taylor Morin is a superb slot receiver who works well underneath. He brings experience as a receiver and punt returner, taking home multiple All-ACC Honors in each phase.

    Morin is a safety blanket that should help the occasionally erratic Bachmeier. Expect a big year from the diminutive receiver, who has gone over 400 yards in each of his four seasons with the program.

    1) DeVonte Gordon, OT

    DeVonte Gordon has quietly been one of the best tackles in the ACC for multiple seasons. A strong pass blocker, he’s a legitimate draft prospect at right tackle.

    KEEP READING: 2024 ACC Power Rankings

    A sixth-year senior, he’s seen action in 42 career games, starting for the last three seasons. So much of Wake Forest’s offensive scheme hinges on the ability to block four defenders with five offensive linemen, so Gordon is monumentally important to the success of the Demon Deacon offense.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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