Greylock lineman Jake Benzinger, left, has given a verbal commitment to Wake Forest for football.
Greylock lineman Jake Benzinger, left, has given a verbal commitment to Wake Forest for football. (Gillian Jones / Berkshire Eagle Staff)

Jake Benzinger will go into his senior football season at Mount Greylock knowing he will play Division I college football.

Benzinger has made a verbal commitment to play football at Wake Forest of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Benzinger, whose father John was an All-Yankee Conference offensive lineman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1986, had offers from Fordham, Harvard and Dartmouth.

"It's a great feeling. I'm happy for Jake and the Benzinger family," Greylock coach Shawn Flaherty said. "I can only imagine what a whirlwind kind of summer he had."

The younger Benzinger, who has begun practicing for his senior season at Greylock, is being considered as an offensive lineman for Wake Forest.

Benzinger will be playing for a former Williams College football player. Dave Clawson is in his first season at the Wake Forest helm. Clawson graduated from Williams in 1989 and played for Hall of Fame coach Dick Farley with the Ephs.

"He has a very good work ethic," Flaherty said of Benzinger. "He's worked hard" to get where he's at.

The Clawson/Benzinger connection comes via Farley. The former Eph football coach recommended that the younger Benzinger attend a Wake Forest camp, where Clawson and his staff saw Benzinger. Nick Tabasca is the offensive line coach at Wake Forest, coming to the school as part of Clawson's staff. Tabasca has coached at Ball State, Butler and Defiance College.

Clawson has been a head coach for 14 seasons.


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He spent five seasons at Fordham, four years at Richmond and was the head coach at Bowling Green for the past five seasons. The Falcons won the Mid-American Conference championship in 2013 and played in the Little Caesars Bowl.

"Big is big," Flaherty said. "What [the Wake Forest coaches] felt was, seeing a kid who is 6-8 with nice footwork and the wingspan Jake has, is a little harder to find."