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2011 Season Preview

08/12/2011, 10:27am EDT
By Marietta Football

The Marietta Blue Devils are excited to begin the 2011 season. A great off-season of work has produced a team full of young men who are hungry and determined to return to the playoffs.

 

Head Coach:  Scott Burton

2010 Record:  2-8

Returning Starters (Off):  5

Returning Starters (Def):  3

  INTRODUCTION

The Marietta Blue Devils are excited to begin the 2011 season.  A great off-season of work has produced a team full of young men who are hungry and determined to return to the playoffs.  Blue Devil fans can expect to see a tough, physical team in 2011.  The 2011 Blue Devils are committed to improving in two key areas: turnover ratio and the running game.  Last season the Mariettaoffense did not protect the football well and the Blue Devil defense did a poor job of taking the ball away from its opponents.  This produced a -14 turnover ratio, something the Blue Devils are determined to improve upon significantly in 2011.  Marietta must also improve in the running game.  This means the Blue Devil offense must run the ball more often and with more effectiveness. Likewise, Marietta must improve defensively on stopping the run. Improvement in the running game and in turnover ratio will be keys to Marietta’s season in 2011.

 OFFENSE

Offensive Line:  Any discussion of the Offense must always begin with the most important unit on the field, the Offensive Line.  Two Juniors, Davis Wilson and Alex Wilkerson, each started all ten games last year for Marietta.  Juniors Josh Boateng and Jamel Johnson both saw significant playing time as Sophomores last season and appear to be starters for 2011.  Senior Lou Cellini is expected to be the fifth starter on the Offensive Line for Marietta.  The Blue Devils also expect to receive solid contributions from Senior Alex Christensen, Juniors Trevon Thomas and Chase Johnson, as well as Sophomore Isaiah Borne.  The success of the Blue Devils in 2011 will be largely determined by this group of hard working, tough young men who have all embraced the concept of being a member of the elite group known as the “ATM.”

Quarterback:  In 2010, the Blue Devils were led by QB Anthony Jennings.  Jennings accounted for nearly 2,300 yards of total offense and 21 TDs as a Sophomore a season ago.  A dual threat QB, Jennings will be the key to the Blue Devils return to prominence in 2011 on the offensive side of the ball.  Sophomores TJ Bulock and Jordan Mathis will both be quality back-ups at the QB spot toJennings.  Both are athletic and versatile enough to also contribute as playmakers elsewhere on offense for the Blue Devils.

Wide Receiver:  At Wide Receiver, the top returning playmaker is Junior Tyree Harris who started all ten games and caught 17 passes in 2010.  Fellow Juniors Carter Smith, Chavez Hemphill, Shomari Holmes, Evans Nichols, and Amanuel Gantt will all contribute to the success of the Blue Devils offense.  Sophomore Marcus Bennett, a standout from the Freshman team in 2010, along with Mathis and Bulock are also expected to be playmakers for Marietta in 2011.

Running Back:  Romello Porter enters the spring as the top ball carrier.  Porter, a Senior in 2011, was the third leading rusher last year and is also a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield. Joining Porter in the backfield  is fellow Senior Jalen McLaurin and Sophomores Malik Frye, Chris Flood, and Ty Tomlin. 

Tight End:  Senior Brandon Martin and Juniors Kenny Norwood and Dalton Bee will play a huge role in the success of the Blue Devil Offense in 2011.  Blue Devil Tight Ends must be excellent blockers at the point of attack to allow Marietta to run the ball effectively. Martin, Norwood, and Bee understand this is their primary role for the Blue Devils.  In addition, they will be counted on to be a receiving threat as well. 

 DEFENSE

Defensive Line:   The Marietta defense must start with a solid defensive line.  This group’s primary job is to STOP THE RUN!   This will force Marietta opponents to attempt to throw the ball and allow the Blue Devil defense to pressure the passer.  The “trenches” will be led by Senior Defensive Tackles Myles Brown,  Marques Rowe, and Cory Peters.  The other Defensive Tackles expected to be significant playmakers for the Blue Devils are Juniors Trey Bartlett and Jon Paul Vetter along Sophomore Dreyon Williams.  At Defensive End, Juniors Trey Warren and Jan Robles will be joined by Senior Logan Marshall as expected to be defensive playmakers.

Linebackers:  The Inside Linebacker spot is expected to be anchored by a talented blend of senior leadership and promising newcomers.  Seniors Myron Washington and Kardell Gaines both gained valuable experience as back-ups in 2010.  Both expect to see significant playing time in 2011.  Joining them are Sophomores Lawton Ward and Tyrell Tomlin, two very talented and aggressive players.  Sophomore Onterrio Lay and  Junior Jonathan Logan will also contribute as Inside Linebackers.  The Outside Linebacker spot will be anchored by senior Rontrez Barclay.  Barclay moves closer to the line of scrimmage in 2011 after starting several games last season at Safety.  Backing up Barclay will be Senior Asi Wilson and Sophomore Andrew Thomas.

Defensive Backs:  Blue Devils will lean heavily on two Senior members of the secondary to lead this talented group.  Khallid Wallace and Jaylen Hill each started at least six games in 2010 and gained valuable experience.  Both have done an excellent job in leading the younger members of the Blue Devil defense and are expected to be solid tacklers and big time playmakers in 2011 forMarietta.  Junior Jordan Marion is a smart and tough football player that will provide excellent depth for Marietta at the safety spot. Sophomore Dareon Agurs has shown excellent work ethic and natural instincts and looks to be an impact this season as well.  At cornerback, the Blue Devils turn to a group of athletic and talented players to lead this group.  Senior Landy Phillips and Juniors Amanuel Gantt, Peter Savic, and Montrel Heard all expect to provide playmaking ability at cornerback in 2011. 

Special Teams

Placekicking:  Senior Banks Martin has worked extremely hard and is determined to handle the placekicking duties for the Blue Devils in 2011.  The left footed senior has excellent range and has demonstrated the consistency necessary to be a top flight kicker.  Junior Shomari Holmes may also handle placekicking duties for the Blue Devils.

Punting:  The punting duties will most likely be handled by Junior Jordan Mathis in 2011.  Mathis has excellent athleticism in addition to having a strong leg.  Senior Logan Marshall, Junior Shomari Holmes, and Sophomore Lawton Ward may also contribute as punters as well. 

Long Snaper:  Junior Hank Henderson will be the team’s primary long snapper this season.  Henderson provides very solid athleticism, allowing him to be an excellent cover man after snapping the ball to the punter.

Returners:  The Blue Devils have a host of athletic players who could contribute as kick and punt returners.  Leading candidates are Seniors Jaylen Hill, Romello Porter, and Khallid Wallace along with Juniors Tyree Harris and Amanuel Gantt, and Sophomores Jordan Mathis and Marcus Bennett.  

 

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