There’s a chance in 2021 that the Wake Forest football team could have three defensive players from Cartersville High all on the field at the same time.
Rising senior Evan Slocum announced his commitment to play for the Demon Deacons Friday on his Twitter account, continuing the growing list of Canes who have chosen to continue their careers at the ACC school. Slocum, who plays safety, would be joining CHS alums JaCorey Johns and Isaiah Chaney if he eventually signs with Wake.
“I just think that’s the best fit for me,” Slocum said of committing to the Demon Deacons. “A good place for me to play early, the academics and I feel comfortable with the coaches, have a good relationship with the coaches. Also, I have two [Cartersville] teammates up there.”
Slocum said he had made his decision to commit to Wake about three weeks to a month ago after speaking with Dave Cohen, the school’s assistant head coach for defense.
“That’s what really made my mind up that I should go there,” Slocum said of the conversation.
Even still, the three-star recruit, who is ranked the No. 87 player in Georgia for the Class of 2021, wanted to delay the announcement to focus on his academics.
“I wanted to wait until I was done with all of my school work,” Slocum said, “and today was the last day of school.”
So he decided there was no reason to keep his decision quiet any longer, picking the Demon Deacons over a handful of other suitors, including Appalachian State, Army, Duke, Ole Miss and South Carolina. Slocum said he’s been twice already to Wake’s intimate campus, which had an undergraduate enrollment under 5,300 this school year, and plans to go a few times in the fall with an official visit likely to come in December.
Slocum will enter this year as one of the most experienced players in the area after starting for the Canes each of the past two seasons. He wound up on The Daily Tribune News all-county team each of those years, earned a few all-state selections last season and will likely receive plenty of preseason accolades in the coming months.
Over the past two years, Slocum has totaled 142 tackles, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. With Cartersville thin at running back in 2019, he stepped up with 413 yards (9.39 yards per touch) and six touchdowns. At 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, Slocum's overall athleticism is nearly unmatched even on a team with as much talent as the Canes.
That talent rich pool is why Wake has created a pipeline from Cartersville to Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Johns will be a redshirt sophomore this fall after recording 53 tackles, eight tackles for loss and three sacks in 2019, while Chaney will be a redshirt freshman. Slocum said he’s excited for the chance to again line up alongside Chaney, whom he started several games with in 2018, but it’s possible Johns could join the other Canes on the field, as well, before his time on campus is over.
Slocum thinks there’s a simple explanation as to why the Demon Deacons, who finished 8-5 last year and have played in a bowl game four straight seasons, keep such close tabs on Cartersville players.
"Both programs are winning programs,” he said. “They said they like recruiting players who played for winning teams and good programs."