My Take: #WhyNotJohn

I still wouldn’t bet against John Wolford

“Wolford is a non-BCS, pro-style QB. He has classic form and there will be many interested, but his talent says he will most likely end up at non-BCS program.”

Two things here on John Wolford’s recruiting profile for ESPN:

Pour some out for the BCS because it would’ve been appreciated this year and honestly, more often than not in the past several years.

And man … hope things worked out for that pro-style QB who lacked the talent to play big-time college football.

If you didn’t hear last night, Jared Goff has had surgery on a broken thumb and Wolford will get the start for the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

Wolford’s first career start will be with a playoff berth on the line; and after Wake Forest went 44 years without a quarterback starting an NFL game, the Deacons will have two do so within roughly one month — though Wolford has had a bit more prep time than Kendall Hinton had with the Broncos in November.

All of the jokes about Goff throughout the season aside, this isn’t the easiest spot for Wolford to step into. Dueling Kyler Murray — if he’s able to play — and trying to get the Rams back to the playoffs in a Week 17 showdown is hardly ideal.

Then again, “ideal” is a word that has new meaning in 2020. Or maybe it’s just been eradicated.

And then again (again?), it’s always worth remembering the ACC’s passing efficiency leaders in 2017.

By my count: 1 MVP, 1 linebacker, 1 (future #ACCLegend) Eric Dungey and 1 guy who beat the Steelers last week.

Wolford tops them all.

I was asked recently to name my favorite Wake Forest player to interview. After cringing and determining it impossible to pick one, I broke it down as such:

- The interview for the Senior Day feature on Steve Claude last year gave me immense respect for him as a man, and even though we talked about some hardships that nobody should have to go through, we talked as though we’d known each other for 10 years. I’ll never forget that.

- I’ve never had a “bad” interview with an offensive lineman. Seriously. Every single Beef Boy has given great interviews.

Well, other than Ryan Anderson this one time. But he DM’d me to apologize for grunting answers about an hour afterward and it was after a loss – all was forgiven before he reached out.

- Tight ends are in the same grouping. Never a dull interview with Cam Serigne, Jack Freudenthal or Brandon Chapman.

- Others stand out. Jessie Bates III is humble, intelligent and respectful. Phil Haynes is my guy. Matt Colburn II, Alex Bachman, Cameron Glenn … the list could go on and take up this whole column.

Wolford, though, is in his own category.

I always appreciated that Wolford would meet you on the level of your question. What I mean is, if you asked a generic, basic question, you’d get a generic, basic answer. Too many times people in this industry go through the motions — I’m guilty of it, too — and expect athletes to spoon-feed us quotes. They “write our stories for us,” as the saying goes.

And some of them can write our stories for us, some of the ones who could do that are mentioned above. But where’s the fun in that?

Wolford could give you enough quotes to fill your notebook — but only if you didn’t go into it with a preconceived notion of what he would or should say.

One of those open-minded questions that yielded an open and honest response was after his Pro Day at Wake Forest.

Wolford, it’s worth remembering, had 30 touchdowns and 35 interceptions in his first three years as a Deacon. He was asked after a stellar Pro Day whether he thought he’d be in this position before entering his senior season (in which he had 29 touchdowns and 6 interceptions).

“No, going into the year probably not, and then after the year I had, some feedback from some scouts, felt it was worth it, so I did it,” Wolford said. “And there’s no half-ass — sorry, there’s no half-doing this, you’ve go all out.

“So I’m going all out.”

All out took Wolford on a winding path from Wall Street to the Alliance of American Football to the Rams’ practice squad to … starting a Week 17 game for a team vying to make the playoffs.

Nothing half-ass for the guy who lacked talent to play at a BCS school.