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July 2, 2012

Suggs looks to lead at Wake Forest

Randleman (N.C.) offensive lineman Joel Suggs will begin his journey at Wake Forest in just under a week, as he'll be making his way to Winston-Salem this coming weekend for enrollment.

"I'm definitely excited about being part of a new team, and just the whole anticipation thing. That's what I'm feeling right now," Suggs told Deacons Illustrated.

"I've been training a lot, working out in the weight room and doing a lot doing a lot of speed stuff, just so when I get there (to Wake) I'm ahead of my game and doing all things necessary to eventually be a top player on the team."

Wake has a number of bodies at offensive tackle heading into the 2012 season, so there's a decent chance the 6-6, 290-pound Suggs will redshirt and get a development year before taking the field on fall Saturdays, but he'll get every opportunity come August to prove he's ready to play right away.

"They (the Wake coaches) haven't really told me if I'm going to redshirt or not, but whatever they tell me they need me to do, I'm going to work as hard as I can for it," he said.

"If I'm redshirted, that's a great thing. I'll have another year to play and another year to develop, but if I'm not redshirted, it gives me a chance to be on the team and travel around and possibly play my first year."

"But either way I'm super-ready for whatever is going to happen," Suggs added.

Suggs committed to Wake before the arrival of first-year offensive line coach Jonathan Himebauch, but they've already gotten to know each other a little bit and Suggs is eager to learn from his new position coach.

"He (Himebauch) seems really good. I've met him. He seems like a great coach from what I've heard. He's done a lot as far as the CFL and stuff like that," Suggs said.

"Everybody along the line say they like him, say he's a great coach, and I'm just excited for him to teach me a lot, and I'm excited to play under him."

Suggs chose the Demon Deacons program because of the total package of the school itself and the opportunity to join a football team poised to compete consistently in the ACC's Atlantic Division.

"Definitely just the whole atmosphere of the place---it's obviously a prestigious school," Suggs said of Wake Forest. "The coaches are really honest with you. They're not going to treat you wrong. And everybody on the team I met were just really cool. All the kids there were really great people, and it's just something I want to be a part of."

"Absolutely I feel like it's the perfect time to join a team like Wake Forest has. They definitely brought it up last season, and they still feel good about where they're going," Suggs continued.

Regardless of whether or not he plays immediately for the Demon Deacons in 2012, Suggs knows he's got an opportunity in the coming years through his hard work and actions to become a leader on the Wake Forest squad.

And he's taking that opportunity seriously.

"I definitely just want to try to be a leader on the field, in the weight room, and just make sure I'm protecting a great quarterback in Tanner (Price). I'm just excited to be a part of it and see how far I can take my game."





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