Tyler Cameron can be added to the long list of quarterbacks who failed to realize their potential at Wake Forest.
Coach Dave Clawson said Tuesday that Cameron, a redshirt sophomore who injured his shoulder two games ago against Syracuse, is no longer on the team. He said that Cameron already had told him that he plans to transfer after the season.
Cameron — the leading candidate to become the starter after spring practices — lost the job to freshman John Wolford midway through the preseason in August. He played in three games, completing 10 of 16 passes for 55 yards.
“Tyler Cameron and I met earlier in the week,” Clawson said. “Tyler has had some injuries, and he has indicated to us that he’s planning to play somewhere else next year. With those two factors, we just kind of told Tyler: ‘Focus on getting healthy; focus on your academics.’ And he can start looking to find his next home.
“It was not a discipline issue. It was just a mutual agreement that he needs to get healthy, he needs to focus on his school work, and he can start the process of finding his next place.”
Cameron was widely seen as the heir apparent to Tanner Price, a four-year starter who graduated after last season. A standout at Jupiter (Fla.) High School, Cameron was ranked as the No. 3 quarterback on the Jacksonville Times-Union’s Super 75 list after his senior season.
Kevin Sousa, a redshirt junior who was suspended for three games earlier this year after an arrest for driving while intoxicated, is now second team behind Wolford. Pat Long, a redshirt junior walk-on, is third team.
Cameron is the second quarterback to leave the team this season. Freshman Travis Smith told Clawson he was transferring after the third game.
The shakeup will affect the Deacons only if Wolford were to get hurt in Thursday’s home game against 19th-ranked Clemson, or in the final three games at N.C. State, at home against Virginia Tech and at Duke. Wolford has been in for 450 of Wake Forest’s 510 offensive plays, completing 146 of 238 passes (61 percent) for 1,377 yards and seven touchdowns. His biggest shortcoming has been his 13 interceptions.
In Clemson , Wolford will face the defense ranked first in the ACC in yards allowed (268.6 pg) and second (to Louisville) in points allowed (18.2 pg).
“They’re extremely talented,” redshirt freshman Cam Serigne said of the Tigers. “Up front, especially, they have a bunch of playmakers.
“They’re as good of a defense as we’re going to see.”
Defensive end Vic Beasley, a graduate student, is a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award (national defensive player of the year) and a quarterfinalist for the Lott Trophy (defensive impact player of the year). Stephone Anthony, a senior linebacker, is a semifinalist for the Dick Butkus Award (best linebacker in college football).
Beasley ranks first in the ACC with 8.5 tackles for losses and second with six sacks. Anthony leads Clemson with 58 tackles.
“This is certainly one of the best defenses in the country right now,” Clawson said. “They’ve got big-time players at every level. The Beasley kid and the (Grady) Jarrett kid up front are arguably the best defensive end and the best defensive tackle in the conference. Anthony was an All-ACC player a year ago, and he is an excellent, excellent football player.
“Both corners (Garry) Peters and (Mackensie) Alexander are excellent man-cover guys, and the two safeties (Jayron Kearse and Robert Smith) can run, cover and hit.
“They are outstanding on defense, and it will certainly be a challenge for our offense to move the ball.”
Every defense has presented a challenge this season for Wake Forest, which ranks last in the bowl subdivision with 213.5 yards a game and last with 34.5 rushing yards a game.
The Deacons did show some life in the second half of their most recent game, a 23-17 home loss to Boston College on Oct. 25. The rally ended with Wolford’s interception at the Eagles’ 37-yard line with 2:06 remaining.
“Anytime we perform well, it gives our guys confidence, and it shows what we are capable of doing,” Clawson said. “We have had moments this year when we looked, certainly, like a competent offense — in the second half against BC, the second half against Utah State, the first 20 minutes of the Syracuse game. We’ve certainly had flashes of where you would say, ‘We are capable of doing this.’
“We have not had the ability to sustain it, and I think it continues to go back to (the fact) it’s hard to ever be a consistent offense when you don’t run the football. Am I excited about what we did in the second-half against BC? Absolutely. But the bottom line is, we were still one-dimensional.”