Wake Forest suspends starting QB Hinton for first three games

Kendall Hinton will miss the Deacons' ACC opener against BC because of an unspecified violation of team rules

Wake Forest quarterback Kendall Hinton looks downfield to throw a pass against Clemson last season (Joshua S. Kelly/USA TODAY Sports)

The Wake Forest football team, coming off its best season of the Dave Clawson era, will start the 2018 season shorthanded after the suspension of projected starting quarterback Kendall Hinton and tight end Thomas Cole.

Both players will have to sit out the first three games of the season because of an unspecified violation of team rules, according to a statement released Thursday.

Hinton, a redshirt junior, has made four career starts, throwing for 1,502 yards and eight touchdowns. He has also rushed for 705 yards and 10 scores. Cole is a redshirt sophomore who played in three games last season and was among those being looked upon to replace All-ACC tight end Cam Serigne.

“Kendall and Thomas made poor decisions and they take responsibility for their actions,” Clawson said in the release. “There are consequences to those decisions and we hope that they will each learn from this and continue to grow and mature.”

The suspensions could be costly, considering the Deacons’ early schedule. Among the games Hinton and Cole will miss is Wake’s ACC opener at home against Boston College on Thursday, Sept. 13. The other two games are at Tulane and at home against Towson.

If there’s any saving grace to the situation, it’s that Hinton’s backup — redshirt freshman Jamie Newman — had a strong performance in the Deacons’ spring game in April. Newman was 9 of 13 for 128 yards in leading the Gold team to a 26-6 win against Hinton’s Black squad.

True freshman Sam Hartman, who enrolled early and went through spring practice, is also an option.