Wake Forest wraps a successful Pro Day
The 2021 Pro Day at Wake Forest was noticeably smaller than head coach Dave Clawson would've expected a year ago as much of his senior class has opted to stay and enjoy the extra year of eligibility. With that being the case only four Deacs worked out on Wednesday led by star Carlos Boogie Basham and a pair of players who did not suit up in 2020 in former receiver Sage Surratt and quarterback Jamie Newman. Newman transferred to UGA but opted out of the season over the summer while Surratt opted to skip his junior season at Wake Forest due to covid. Specialist Jack Crane rounded out the quartet.
"It was another good day for our program to have, upwards of 20-30 NFL teams represented, I think we had 35, scouts, personnel, people, coaches," Clawson said. Congratulations to Boogie, Sage, Jamie, and Jack. To participate in a Pro Day is a dream that everybody has and I think all these guys handled themselves well. And we certainly expect that of them."
Basham performed well running and testing well on Wednesday. Clawson said he thought Basham performed well enough to be on the first-round bubble for NFL teams. Clawson said that the developmental piece of the Deacs program has really helped guys like Basham turn into early-round draft picks.
"I think we've had like 24 players signed NFL contracts in the last three years. And very few of them came here ready-made, you know, and again, those are three great examples. And hopefully, Boogie becomes a first-round pick. That would be certainly a great achievement for him and our program. But either way that we've put these guys in a position to go chase their dreams. And that's one of our goals. And that's one of the things we share in recruiting," Clawson said.
During 2020, Basham made the rare choice to play at Wake despite being a likely early-round NFL draft pick. Covid even cost Basham his senior day as he missed the final games of the season and contracting the virus. He showed on Wednesday that he was back to normal putting up a 4.65 40 time at 274-pounds.
"Boogie so I guess he ran really well and you know it's not like I'm surprised I mean he has been here for five years at our program I thought he'd run a great 40 time. We've worked with him for five years and we've been timing in the 40 for five years so people are surprised, but we're not. I thought he'd run a great time and he did and again we're just we're really proud of him just decided to come back for the fifth year dealing with COVID."
Basham said pre-draft workouts had been going well and he expected to post a good time in the 40.
"I thought my process has been pretty well you know he's heading out to begin to train he knows a lot of things I definitely want to work on my 40 time and there's a lot of fluidness in my hips that's enough for today I really showcase that what I worked on this past three or four months," he said.
Surratt hadn't played in a live game down that counted in almost 16 months, so he said without the normal NFL Combine, Wake Forest's Pro Day was his best chance since the Senior Bowl two months ago.
"I didn't play last season, so I just come out here and show how I move. You know, show a guy that I know can come in and catch the ball and do whatever you need to do," Surratt said. "I feel like I'm a versatile player. I'll be able to play wherever you need me to be. So I felt like you know, just coming out here showing them you know how I catch how I move."
Earlier in the week, Chazz Surratt got to show his skill at North Carolina's Pro Day. Sage said going through the process with his brother has helped him a lot, but he has also had a lot of help from the trainers he is working with.
"Besides my brother, just I mean, just talking to my trainers, you know, talking to former guys, you know, that went to the draft went through this process. Like you said, Scotty (Washington), all those guys talking to them, you'll ask them for advice. I mean, the last thing they just tell you is to be yourself and that's all you can do," Surratt said. "I can't try to be somebody else. You just go out there and be you and you know, the rest will take care of itself so appreciative, you know, be able to have guys ahead of me that's been before this, you know, I feel I feel like the testament to Wake Forest, Coach Clawson and the culture we have here to be able to do that."
Clawson said that Jamie Newman will be an interesting target for NFL teams because he requires a certain type of offense to excel in.
"Jamie did a great job his four years here. he came in really as a developmental project for us and he got better every year and then you know the second half of 2018 played really well and was having a great year in 2019 so we appreciate everything Jamie did for our program you know he spent four years at wake forest how to degree and helped us win a lot of football games you know the skill set that's what they evaluate the film for and that's why they have the live workouts I mean he's a big kid that can throw the ball and he can run he's strong he can make every throw and I think people just got to evaluate him and feel if he fits into their scheme or not," Clawson said.
Newman had the benefit of throwing to Surratt his good friend who has stayed in his inner circle even after Jamie left Winston-Salem. Overall, Newman gave himself okay marks for his performance on Wednesday.
"I felt like I had an okay day always feel like I can get better with the tempo we were going at, you know, guys were kind of gas on some of the deep stuff. But just throwing to Sage you know, and just being in the indoor, it was a great feeling," Newman said of his return to campus. "Me and sage, you know, our relationship is way bigger than deep and deeper than football. Just knowing him, you know, since I met his brother, during the Elite 11 Semifinals process and just been introduced to him too, as well. And I was also the guy who took him on his first official here, wait, so our relationship on and off the field, even being 10,000 miles away is always gonna be the same. He always calls me at least once a week. We just chop it up at night. You know, this, talking about anything from you know, who can beat each other and one on one or the last 2k game we played."