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Grayson Rams 2011 Football Preview

Grayson Rams 2011 Football Preview

— Mascot: Rams. Coach: Mickey Conn (75-33 at Grayson, 75-33 overall) Region: 8-AAAAA Last playoff appearance: 2010

Offense

Grayson has built a reputation for having a strong running game with its vaunted wing-T offense. The Rams will still hang their hat on running the ball, but quarterback Nick Schuessler gives them more options. The senior is back after passing for 1,563 yards with 14 TDs and only two interceptions last year.

"I think we can be more multiple. In years past we kind of relied on one or two people to do everything," Grayson head coach Mickey Conn said. "It all starts with Nick with his throwing and experience."

Grayson has the best crop of skill players it has ever had. Playmaker Korey Jones returns at wingback, while Devin Gillespie (pictured) is at fullback and Terrius Watson at slot.

"We've had good skill guys in the past, but we've got a combination of guys that can really do some good things," Conn said. "We've got the skill players to match what we have up front."

Grayson's running game has relied on a big offensive line in the past and that hasn't changed. All-county selection Fred Zerblis returns at center, while Georgia State commitment Garrett Gorringe is back at tackle. Matt Roon and Jack Banda will see a lot of action at tight end. The rest of the line still has some holes, but there are at least five players capable of filling three holes.

"We've got some good players up front, we just have to find some guys," Conn said. "They've got the ability to be good, they just don't have the experience."

Defense

Robert Nkemdiche was the best player on Grayson's defense last year and the junior could be even better this fall. The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder will see time at defensive end, where he made 18 sacks, and at outside linebacker this year.

"He was getting a lot of double teams at end and nose," Conn said. "He's a guy that runs as fast as any running back we've got and he's bigger than any lineman we've got, so we thought it would really free him up."

Nkemdiche is the only returning starter on defense, but Conn likes what he has with the rest of the group.

"It's probably the most speed we've ever had on defense, but we lack experience," Conn said.

Wayne Gallman and Jordan Germany, who transferred from Shiloh, will play outside linebacker. Kasey Gaines will start at safety, while Shattle Fenteng and David Kamara give the Rams speed at corner.

Austin Meadows will handle the punting duties, but will miss the first two games as he plays baseball with Team USA.

2011 Schedule

Aug. 20 Kell^

Aug. 27 Edgewater*

Sept. 9 at Archer

Sept. 16 Berkmar

Sept. 30 at Shiloh

Oct. 7 Dacula

Oct. 14 at Parkview

Oct. 21 South Gwinnett

Oct. 28 Brookwood

Nov. 4 at Central Gwinnett

2010 Results (10-4)

Kell^ L 13-10

Spain Park * W 20-9

Archer W 55-0

at Berkmar W 58-16

Shiloh W 48-0

at Dacula W 16-10

Parkview W 28-13

at South Gwinnett L 24-22

at Brookwood L 10-0

Central Gwinnett W 38-18

at North Forsyth W 31-0

at North Gwinnett W 23-19

at Valdosta W 22-0

Colquitt County L 31-24

^at Georgia Dome; *at North Gwinnett

Summer standouts

Despite being known for running the ball and replacing almost the entire defense, Grayson made a name for itself in the summer passing league.

The Rams won the National Select Qualifier at North Gwinnett and then took fifth at the national tournament a month later in Hoover.

"I think the strength of our offense is that we don't have to rely on say an Ean Pemberton and be as one dimensional as we've been," Conn said. "I feel really good about our secondary. They've had a good offseason."

Bar raised

Five years ago a good season for Grayson would have been a winning record and a trip to the playoffs. Over the last four years the Rams have put themselves among the state's best.

They've won region titles, made deep playoff runs and have been nationally ranked. That kind of success has become the norm for the program.

"Our goal is to always make the playoffs and try to make a run. It's always a goal of ours to win region and ultimately a state championship," Conn said.

Grayson is 45-9 over the last four years, which includes at least 10 wins every season, two Region 8-AAAAA titles, two trips to the state quarterfinals and two to the semifinals.

"Going as deep into the playoffs as we have gone, I know the guys are looking for more, which is good," Conn said. "I want them to stay hungry, but I don't want them to miss the fact we open with Kell High School and that's who we need to be focused on."

-Brandon Brigman

PROBABLE STARTERS

Offense

QB Nick Schuessler (6-4, 185, Sr.)

FB Devin Gillespie (5-10, 185, Sr.)

WB Korey Jones (6-3, 185, Sr.)

Slot Wayne Gallman (6-2, 195, Jr.)

and Terrius Watson (5-9, 175, Sr.)

WR Callen Hightower (5-9, 160, Sr.)

TE Matt Roon (6-0, 210, Sr.)

OT Garrett Gorringe 6-4, 270, Sr.)

OG Iman Mangini (6-3, 200, Sr.)

C Fred Zerblis (6-2, 298, Sr.)

OG Hayden Gregory (5-10, 185, Jr.)

RT Haris Cesko (6-4, 260, Sr.)

and Jordan Barge (6-3, 310, Sr.)

K Austin Arvidson (5-10, 165, Sr.)

Defense

DE Robert Nkemdiche (6-4, 270, Jr.)

NG Dustin Jackson (5-11, 210, Sr.)

DE Jack Banda (6-2, 200, Jr.)

OLB Jordan Germany (5-10, 185, Jr.)

OLB Wayne Gallman (6-2, 195, Jr.)

ILB Jay Strickland (5-10, 190, Jr.)

ILB Jake Mueller (5-11, 185, Jr.)

CB Shattle Fenteng (6-0, 180, Sr.)

CB David Kamara (5-10, 175, Jr.)

S Kasey Gaines (5-9, 160, Jr.)

S Ryan Carter (5-9, 160, Jr.)

P Austin Meadows (6-2, 195, Jr.)

Grayson Roster

3 David Kamara DB 11

4 Wayne Gallman RB/OLB 11

5 Casey Gaines WR/DB 11

6 Callen Hightower WR/DB 12

7 Emeka Okoye ILB 12

8 Shattle Fenteng DB 12

9 Corey Schaeffer WR 11

10 Nick Schuessler QB 12

11 Korey Jones RB/WR 12

12 Kory Anderson WR/DB 11

14 Devin Gillespie RB/OLB 12

15 Brandon Benson QB/DB 11

16 Ryan Nimley DB 11

17 David Fennell RB 11

18 Jon Paul WR 11

19 Obi Motanya WR 12

19 Aares McCall RB/DB 10

20 Sam Mosher DB 12

21 Terrius Watson RB 12

22 Brishon Priester RB 12

23 Ryan Carter DB 11

23 James Laflore RB 11

25 Lamar Williams RB 12

25 Kirkland McCulloch RB/DB 10

26 Dashawn Scott OLB 11

27 Jordan Germany RB/OLB 11

28 Austin Meadows RB/OLB 11

29 Rodney Johnson DB 11

30 Tyler Knight QB 10

31 Jon Briley WR 11

32 John Fanning DB 11

33 Jake Mueller LB 11

34 Garrett Gorski WR 11

35 Sam Hina WR 10

36 Marquise Motley OLB 11

37 Harrison Overcash OLB 11

38 Jay Strickland LB/RB 11

39 Chandler Amason QB 10

40 Scott Witt LB 10

41 Christian Rall RB/DB 10

42 Will Mahaffey LB 12

43 Kevin Le DB 11

44 Gage Schraub LB 11

45 Kendall Mooney DB 12

46 Marquis Motley OLB 11

47 Jason Sparks DB 12

48 Semaj Denson DB/WR 11

49 Thatcher Smith LB/OL 12

50 Hayden Gregory OL 11

51 Ian Mangini OL 12

52 Chaz Hutcheson OL 11

53 Taylor Ride OL 11

54 Chazz Mehta OL 12

55 Harris Cesko OL 12

56 Matt Davis DL 12

57 Pierre Dorvilier DL 11

58 Thatcher Smith OL/LB 12

59 Garrett Gorringe OL/DL 12

60 Cody Azar Ol 11

61 Caleb Hunter DL 10

62 Ryan McKay Dl 10

64 Kevin McClendon DL 11

67 Moises Restrepo OL/DL 10

68 Jonathan Love OL 11

71 Richard Pryor OL 11

72 Michael Cawthon OL 11

74 Fred Zerblis OL/DL 12

77 Tony Blair Ol 12

78 Luke Thayer OL 11

79 Jordan Barge OL 12

80 Owen Painter TE/OLB 10

81 Nate Peters WR/DB 10

82 Jake Banda TE/DL 11

83 Conner Sullivan LB 10

84 Marcus Lindquist WR 12

85 Keawe Gibson DB 11

86 Jaiquan Brown OLB/RB 10

87 Matt Roon TE 12

88 Chase King TE 10

89 Alex Griffin TE 11

90 Robert Nkemdiche OLB/RB 11

91 Brian Burton DL 12

92 Sebastian Rice DL 12

94 Tommy Aluko DL 11

95 Zachary Barnes DL 11

96 Dustin Jackson DL 12

97 Bradley Bonner DL/RB 10

98 Austin Arvidson K 12

99 Callen Rhodes K 12