Serigne eager to lead Wake Forest back to respectability

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Cam Serigne is tired of racking up empty stats at Wake Forest.

He's established himself as one of the Atlantic Coast Conference's best tight ends while playing for one of the league's worst teams, and now he's dedicated this offseason to making the Demon Deacons winners again.

Wake Forest has finished 3-9 in each of the redshirt junior's two years on the field.

''Our record hasn't shown the talent or the kind of team we had in the past, and I'm hoping this year, we can show everybody that we're not the typical Wake Forest 3-9,'' Serigne said. ''That's not going to be accepted, and that can't be an option for us going forward. We're trying to change that standard. ... For me, it's been great to be able to play and be able to have whatever success, but honestly, it's not as satisfying as the wins.''

In just two years, Serigne has tied the school record for tight ends with 100 career receptions and set the program record at his position with nine touchdown catches.

But none of those TDs have come in an ACC game won by the Demon Deacons: In one of the sport's more bizarre stats, they have just two conference victories in the past two years and failed to score a touchdown in either of them.

That has to change, Serigne said.

''I believe in this team, and I think the players that we have now, we're so sick of losing and not getting the respect we feel we deserve,'' he said. ''We have a group of guys that are determined. ... We can't settle for 3-9 anymore. We want to start building back up.''

Serigne was recruited out of Ashburn, Virginia, to Wake Forest by former coach Jim Grobe and offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke, and redshirted in 2014 during what turned out to be that staff's final season in Winston-Salem. Serigne said he gave no consideration to transferring when Grobe exited and Dave Clawson was hired to replace him.

''I wasn't going to bail on Wake Forest, the school, because I love my teammates, I love the school,'' Serigne said. ''I saw how great (Clawson's) track record had been. He was about football (and) he knew how to win.''

It's been an exercise in patience during the rebuilding project at Wake Forest, where that unexpected run to the ACC title and the Orange Bowl 10 years ago feels a lot more distant than that.

The Demon Deacons leaned heavily on young players last year, with only five players on the roster in their fifth year at the school, and that made Serigne a de facto elder statesman. He's been selected as a team captain this year, and is eager to lead the team back to respectability.

Serigne caught 46 passes for 562 yards in 2015 while sharing the team lead with four touchdowns, a year after he was the team's top receiver with 54 catches for 531 yards and five scores. He's been the primary safety valve for a pair of young quarterbacks who have shown flashes of promise - junior John Wolford and sophomore Kendall Hinton.

The Demon Deacons are counting on those two QBs - along with everyone else on the roster - to continue to take steps forward as they work to turn things around. Serigne said he's noticed a difference during the player-led practices this summer.

''We have way more depth than we've ever had, and more playmakers on the field,'' Serigne said. ''Guys are lifting a lot more in the weight room, running better - we look more the part now than we've ever had. We have more guys making plays, knowing their assignments, playing more experienced and older than we ever have before.''


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