Twenty-two recruits commit to Wake Forest football

Early National Signing Day Class headlined by MaxPreps National Player of the Year finalist
Sixteen players are planning to enroll early, starting classes at Wake Forest this upcoming spring semester. (Photo courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics)
Sixteen players are planning to enroll early, starting classes at Wake Forest this upcoming spring semester. (Photo courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics)

Head Coach Dave Clawson received some early Christmas gifts on Wednesday morning as 22 players signed their National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play football for Wake Forest. The Early National Signing Day Class consists of 19 high schoolers and three transfer portal players. 

“We are very excited about the collection of young men who decided today to continue their athletic and academic futures at Wake Forest University,” Clawson said. “This group represents 11 states and a combination of skill sets that will help elevate our program. As always, we value not just their athletic talents but their commitment to high level academics and strong character. I appreciate all the hard work that our staff put in over the past two years to assemble this outstanding class.” 

Sixteen players are planning to enroll early, starting classes at Wake Forest this upcoming spring semester. Jacob Cosby-Mosley, Ben Grice, Andrew Hines III, Kendal Howard, Luca Puccanelli and Whittman Whaley will be enrolling in Summer 2024.

This does not mark the end of recruitment for the 2024 season, as transfer portal acquisitions are still in full swing and National Signing Day is set for Feb. 7, 2024. 

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“We’re continuing to look at players in the portal,” Clawson said. “I don’t think we’re necessarily done. There’s certainly going to be an opportunity to add one or two more people before we get back in January.”

With the departures of defensive backs Caelen Carson and Malik Mustapha to the NFL Draft and wide receivers Wesley Grimes (NC State) and Jahmal Banks to the transfer portal, Wake Forest will be looking for someone in the secondary and an outside receiver with size to add to the roster.


2024 Early National Signing Day Class (sorted alphabetically)


Hank Bachmeier, QB — Louisiana Tech University & Boise State University (Murrieta, Calif.) — 6-foot-1, 221 pounds

  • Saw action in nine games with eight starts during the 2023 season for Louisiana Tech, completing 182 of his 269 passing attempts for 2,058 yards with 10 touchdowns and 5 interceptions
  • Best season for Boise State was 2021; led the team with 3,079 passing yards and 20 touchdowns going 252-for-401 (62.8 pct.)
  • Career stats: 63% completion percentage, 8,663 passing yards, 51 touchdowns and 24 interceptions
  • Four-star high school prospect according to ESPN, 247Sports and Rivals

Tayshaun Burney, DB — Carrollwood Day School (Tampa, Fla.) — 5-foot-9, 165 pounds

  • Totaled 120 tackles, 93 solo tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 8 pass breakups, 3.0 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and 1 forced fumble for Carrollwood Day High School
  • Runs track with 100-meter dash times of 11.06 (3.3), 11.17 and 11.27 as a junior

Branson Combs, LB — Southern Illinois University (Evansville, Ind.) — 6-foot-3, 222 pounds

  • Played five seasons at Southern Illinois, recording 176 tackles, 12 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 6 INT, 18 PBU and 2 FR
  • Named Second Team All-MVFC in 2022
  • Began collegiate career as a wide receiver but switched to linebacker in 2021

Devin Cook, DB — Western Branch High School (Chesapeake, Va.) — 5-foot-11, 165 pounds

  • Earned VHSL Second Team All-State and 6A All-Region First Team honors as defensive back in his senior year in 2023
  • Named All-State Honorable Mention and Second Team All-Region in 2022
  • Competed in track, running the 100m, 200m and 400m.

Jacob Cosby-Mosley, DB, — The Benjamin School (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) — 6-foot, 183 pounds 

  • Named as a finalist for the Lou Groza Palm Beach County Player of the Year as a senior
  • Recorded 122 tackles, 85 solo tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, 7 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries and 3 forced fumbles during his time at The Benjamin School
  • Multi-sport athlete who also competes in track and field events and plays basketball
  • High school teammates with Wake Forest wide receiver Micah Mays

Dominic DeLuca, TE —  Hun School of Princeton (Greenwich, Conn.) — 6-foot-6, 250 pounds

  • Recorded 21 receptions for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns during his senior season at Greenwich High School
  • On defense at Greenwich, he recorded 36 tackles, 11 tackles-for-loss, 5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery during his senior season
  • Two-time captain
  • 2021 First Team All-FCIAC performer, 2022 All-FCIAC honoree and Walter Camp All-Connecticut First Team High School, 2023 First Team All New Jersey Prep A Team and All-MAPL Team

Ameir Glenn, DL — Langston Hughes High School (Fairburn, Ga.) — 6-foot,  310 pounds

  • Posted 98 tackles including 42 solo tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, 2 pass deflections and 1 hurry during his senior season at Langston Hughes
  • Recorded 125 tackles, 3.0 sacks and 2 quarterback hurries during junior season at Langston Hughes High School after transferring from Milledgeville
  • Helped lead Langston Hughes to a 15-0 record and a Peach State 6A title in 2022 during his junior season and a 9-3 record in 2023 during his senior season
  • Competed in field events for the track and field team, throwing 47’1” in the shot put along with 103’11” in the discus in Spring 2023

Ben Grice, WR — Woodward Academy (College Park, Ga.) — 6-foot, 180 pounds

  • Recorded 116 receptions for 2,083 receiving yards with 26 touchdowns during his career at Woodward Academy
  • 2022 All-State Honorable Mention by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2022 All-Region by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Team captain, leading Woodward to the Georgia 6A State Playoff Championship as a senior
  • Played lacrosse and was at one point committed to play at Delaware as a short-stick defensive midfielder, earning all-state honors in lacrosse as a junior.

Camden Hardy, DL — Atlantic Coast High School (Jacksonville, Fla.) —  6-foot-3, 223 pounds

  •  Recorded 10.5 sacks, 78 tackles, 14 tackles-for-loss and 2 forced fumbles through nine games during his senior season
  •  The Florida Times-Union SUPER 1️1 ahead of his senior season, becoming just the third player in the history of the award to earn the honor three times in his high school career
  • Team captain
  • Son of 1996 Butkus Award winner and No. 2 overall NFL draft pick Kevin Hardy

Josh Harrison, DL — Christ School (Greenville, S.C.) —  6-foot-2, 230 pounds

  • Named to the North Carolina All-State Team in 2022 and was First Team All-Conference for the Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association
  • Had not played football before his sophomore year
  • Recorded 114 total tackles with 57 solo tackles, 20.0 tackles for loss, 16.0 sacks, 17.0 hurries, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery, 2 forced fumbles and 1 blocked field goal over his career at Christ School
  • Team captain

Jeremy Hecklinski, QB — Walton High School (Marietta, Ga.) — 6-foot, 175 pounds

  • 2023 MaxPreps National Player of the Year Finalist, 2023 MaxPreps Georgia Player of the Year
  • Set to participate in All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 6, 2024
  • Led Walton to the State Title game while throwing for 3,835 passing yards with 50 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions, completing 201-of-309 attempts (65.0 pct.) in 14 games played while holding a 141.9 passer rating and running for 58 rush yards and 3 rush touchdowns 
  • Ranked No. 25 quarterback in class of 2024, according to 247Sports

Jack Hines, OL — Avon Old Farms High School (Avon, Conn.) — 6-foot-7, 283 pounds

  • Named First Team All-NEPSAC and First Team All-Founders League during his senior season
  • Earned Second Team All-Founders League during his junior season
  • Dropped football after the 2021 season at Tilton High School and transferred to Avon Old Farms for the 2022 season

Andrew Hines III, LB  — Woodward Academy (Alpharetta, Ga.) — 6-foot-1, 219 pounds

  • Four-star recruit and No. 28 outside linebacker in the country, according to ESPN
  • Ranked as the No. 13 highest-rated Wake Forest recruit in the 247Sports era
  • Named 2023 All-State in Georgia 6A while also earning First Team All-Region honors
  • Recorded 185 total tackles, 115 solo tackles, 22.0 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks, 4 hurries, 2 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, 3 forced fumbles and 1 blocked field goal during his career at Woodward Academy

Kendal Howard, DL — Lord Botetourt High School (Daleville, Va.) —  6-foot-3, 255 pounds

  • Named Second Team All-State, First Team All-Region and First Team All-District during his junior season
  • Finished his junior season with 20.0 sacks, 8 forced fumbles, 2 blocked punts and 1 defensive touchdown
  • Team captain
  • Won a state championship in the discus with a launch of 50 feet 10.5 inches, a heave that outdistanced the runner-up by 10.5 inches

Darius Jones, LB — St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.) — 6-foot-2, 215 pounds 

  • Ranked as the No. 28 linebacker in the country according to Rivals
  • Finished his senior season with 24 tackles, 4 tackles-for-loss, 1 forced fumble and 1 field goal block in eight appearances
  • St. Frances finished 2021 and 2022 seasons as top-ranked team in Maryland

Jeremiah Melvin, WR — Cape Fear High School (Fayetteville, N.C.) — 6-foot-5, 188 pounds 

  • A four-star recruit and the No. 207 recruit in the country according to 247Sports — the No.14 highest rated Wake Forest recruit in the 247Sports composite era
  • Recorded 91 receptions for 1,615 receiving yards with 25 touchdowns over his career
  • Earned First Team All-Conference honors as a senior
  • Averaged 16.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists during junior basketball season in Winter 2022-23

Sam Neely, DB — Weddington High School (Matthews, N.C.) —  6-foot-1, 172 pounds

  • 2023 All-Conference Player
  • Named First Team All-County and All-Conference as a defensive back during his junior season in 2022
  • Led Weddington to the 2023 NCHSAA 4A State Championship and a 14-2 record
  • Has recorded 65 tackles, 47 solo tackles, 6 tackles-for-loss, 1 fumble recovery and 20 pass breakups so far this season

Luca Puccinelli, TE — Benedictine College Preparatory (Richmond, Va.) — 6-foot-6, 240 pounds 

  • Rated as the No. 26 tight end in the country according to ESPN
  • Was named Second Team All-State Tight End as a junior and senior
  • Served as captain for the winningest football team in Benedictine’s 111 years as a school, leading Benedictine to an 11-1 record, a VISAA state championship and a No. 4 ranking in the state of Virginia by MaxPreps
  • Was the most dominant blocker for an offense that rushed for over 2,500 yards and accumulated over 4,000 total yards in just 12 games

Clinton Richard, OL —  Hiram High School (Hiram, Ga.) — 6-foot-4, 284 pounds

  • No. 1 2024 Wake Forest recruit according to 247Sports Composite and the No. 11 overall recruit in the 247Sports composite era
  • Rated as the No. 22 interior offensive lineman in the country according to Rivals
  • Earned First Team All-Region 7 AAAAA honors
  • Played both on the offensive and defensive line, recording 39 solo tackles, 4 sacks and 8 tackles-for-loss during his senior season on the defense

Keagen Trost, OL — Indiana State University & Morgan State University (Kankakee, Ill.) — 6-foot-6, 300 pounds

  • Saw action in eight games with four starts during the 2023 season for Indiana State, tallying 444 snaps on the offensive line and the field goal unit
  • Saw action in 11 games with eight starts during the 2022 season for Indiana State, recording a career-high 706 snaps on the offensive line and field goal unit
  • Named All-Conference as offensive lineman during junior and senior seasons of high school

Myles Turpin, DB — Stone Bridge High School (Ashburn, Va.) — 6-foot-0, 180 pounds 

  • Garnered VHSL Class 5 All-State and All-MET honors as a senior
  • Named a First Team All-District and First Team All-Region selection at defensive back
  • Recorded 187 total tackles, 136 solo tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss, 10 interceptions, 23 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries and 4 forced fumbles during his career at Stone Bridge High School
  • Helped lead Stone Bridge to a 5A Virginia State Championship and 15-0 record in 2021 and a 12-2 record in 2022.

Whittman Whaley, LB — Gatlinburg-Pittman High School (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) — 6-foot-2, 215 pounds

  • Rated as the No. 29 linebacker in the country according to ESPN
  • Recorded 93 tackles with 21.0 tackles for loss, 2 pass breakups and 1 pick-six during his senior season while also pulling in 45 receptions for 1,007 yards and 17 total touchdowns on offense
  • Named a semifinalist for Mr. Football in the state of Tennessee as a senior

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