December 5, 2012

Center of attention

Cory Helms has eyes set on Wake Forest's starting center position, as three-year starter Garrick Williams' departure from the Demon Deacons leaves the job up for grabs.

The 6-foot-4 and 288-pound senior at Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton will be competing with Whit Barnes and Cody Preble for it.

"I'm lifting every day, running and trying to stay in really good shape," Helms said. "I just want to go into Wake in top-notch shape and strong as I can be and try to get that starting spot."

"He [Wake Forest offensive line coach Jonathan Himebauch] always talks about how I can be a great center for them. Center's in control of the offense too, so he likes that aspect. It's just a lot of work to do. I know there's a lot I got to work on, but I think he's a great coach and he will help me get it done."

The Peach State product has a great understanding of the center position.

"I think you got to be really smart," Helms said. "You got to make all the calls and all the signs and talk to your guards, tackles. It's different than just lining up and blocking. You got to be able to snap and block and be good with that, because there's a lot of quick nose guards out there. You got to be quick too."

Milton teammate and fellow Wake commitment Josh Harris said Helms is not just smart, but is a good player too.

"He's just very physical and he's big, strong kid and he run through people," Harris said.

Harris would know after playing alongside Helms on the offensive line since the eighth grade.

Helms, who is rated as a three-star recruit, the nation's No. 9 center and the No. 53 overall prospect in Georgia by, will be playing in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Houston Sunday, Dec. 30.

"I'm just trying to be in top-notch shape for that game as well as when I get up there [Wake] for camp," Helms said.

"It's a great honor. People like Cam Newton played in there. It's just competition. That's really what it is. I'm going to compete against some of the best in the country and see where I'm at."

He is looking forward to competing at Wake Forest, and expects the atmosphere in Winston-Salem to be great.

Helms said he and the other commitments have already built good chemistry.

"I think all of the commits are really tight with each other, and have a good relationship already," Helms said. "That's before we even stepped foot on campus together, so I think we're definitely on the right track. We just got to get a winner's mentality when we get up there."

"We know there's a big need for offensive linemen. I think at the end of the year they were only dressing eight guys, so they definitely need help on the o-line. I think we got a good class to come up there."

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