August 2, 2013

Preaseason RivalsHigh 100: Teams 60-56

MORE: Nos. 65-61 - 70-66 - 75-71 - 80-76 - 85-81
Dallas Jackson discusses the RivalsHigh 100 on Yahoo! Sports Radio

Dallas Jackson is the National Columnist for Email him your comments or story ideas to and follow him on Twitter. today is counting down the teams from No. 100 through No. 1.

We started at No. 100 and will release two groups of five teams per day. The Top 10 will be announced over two days, with the preseason No. 1 being named on Aug. 8.

After that, we will wait until the first week of September for the next rankings, then have them every Monday during the season.

Top 100 countdown
No. 60 Camden County, Georgia

Coach: Welton Coffey
Last Season: 11-2, lost in Class AAAAAA quarterfinals. Ranked No. 44 in RivalsHigh 100
Key Players: The Wildcats are generally a defense-first program, but because of Brice Ramsey and J.J. Green many people were focusing on the offense. This year, it will go back a no-name offensive attack and that may be good. The stable of running backs is stocked for a program that may run 600 times. Antonio Wimbush, Kalvarez Bessent and Chris Williams each had 60 or more touches last year, and each should see an increase in those numbers. Tyler Rauls, Ryan Johnson and Marcus Jordan should step up from mop-up duty to 40-some carries each.
The Good: The defense loses its three top tacklers but has plenty of talent coming back -- especially in the secondary. Williams and Bessent are committed to Alabama and ranked as four-star players. Both are in the 6-foot-2 range and vary from 185 to 190 pounds, providing plenty of size and speed to cover the field and level big hits. When Camden County was winning state titles, it was because of the defense. That should be the strength this year.
The Bad: Losing standouts on offense is worrisome, but this is a team that reloads. The concern may come from the top after Jeff Herron left the program and Coffey was hired. While that should be a seamless passing of the baton, there could be growing pains for the team.
The Bottom Line: Camden County is in one of the most difficult regions in the country with Valdosta (Ga.) High, Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes and Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County. Then the program added Milton (Ga.) High and Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett to the schedule, making for one of the toughest lineups in the country.

Top 100 countdown
No. 59 Clay-Chalkville, Alabama

Coach: Jerry Hood
Last Season: 12-2, lost in Class 6A semifinals.
Key Player: Through the early parts of the countdown, it has been clear that the focus of this season will be on quarterbacks throughout the country. That holds true at Clay-Chalkville because the program returns one of the better passers in the state, Hayden Moore. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound QB guided one of the best offenses in the state last season, and he will be asked to do it again. He has offers from Middle Tennessee and UAB but could push for higher-profile opportunities with a fast start to the season.
The Good: Moore will not be alone when the team breaks the huddle. Much of the talent for the team is on offense. Returning running back Sydney Battle is starting to get low-level looks and added a Jacksonville State offer, while three-star receiver Brian Clark enters the year without an offer but with plenty of programs looking at him. The 6-foot-1 Clark will be the main target as the season plays out, and he will draw the best defender from the opposition.
The Bad: Clay-Chalkville was in battles last season, winning three games by one score and falling by a single point in a game. The team was just as close to 13-1 as it was to 8-5, and that narrow margin is worrisome when looking at the losses on defense. The offense will need to lead the way again after it scored more than 500 points, and being more consistent against better teams will be important.
The Bottom Line: Outside of Oxford (Ala.), there shouldn't be many teams in the regular season that worry this program. The bad thing about that is it will enter the playoffs with a direct path to a semifinal game against Hoover (Ala.) High and the team may not yet know its weaknesses. There are high hopes for Clay-Chalkville, and a one-loss season isn't out of the question. It will need to be ready if it wants to get beyond Hoover and move up in the rankings.

Top 100 countdown
No. 58 Colerain, Ohio

Coach: Tom Bolden
Last Season: 12-1, lost in Division I regional finals. Ranked No. 46 in RivalsHigh 100
Key Player: The next in a line of linebackers to come through Colerain will be the centerpiece of the defense. Tegray Scales leads the unit. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Will LB is being recruited by dozens of teams. The program lost a lot on defense -- especially in the secondary -- and it will be up to the front seven to speed up the opposition's offense.
The Good: Despite massive losses on offense, the team returns a lot of skill players. This could be a season when Colerain returns more to its traditional triple option, and it could feature players who project more at receiver lining up in the backfield. T.J. Dula and Kelvin Cook could be in line to receive carries if the team doesn't want to push rising juniors Terrance Williams, Jordan Asbery and Genesis Hilliard.
The Bad: The offensive line is young, and it lost class of 2015 standout George Brown to Cincinnati (Ohio) Winton Woods. That makes the front even thinner than anticipated. The team also will have to deal with the graduation of several of its leading ball carriers and its quarterback. This could be a tough spot for Colerain.
The Bottom Line: The rumblings out of Cincinnati are that this may be a quiet year for Colerain, but the program always has been able to reload and that is the reason for the higher placement than might be expected. The program made major strides mentally last year as it downed Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier twice after being owned by that program recently. What those seniors did is expected to carry over to this group. A first-round playoff exit -- and a drop from the national rankings -- may be the low end, with a regional finals appearance being best case.

Top 100 countdown
No. 57 Bellevue, Washington

Coach: Butch Goncharoff
Last Season: 14-0, won Class 3A state championship. Ranked No. 10 in RivalsHigh 100
Key Player: With several Bellevue players in the NFL it is somewhat risky to say, but Budda Baker may be the best to come out of the program in a long time. The two-way player is one of the top-ranked defensive backs in the country, and he has game-breaking ability when he lines up as a running back for the shell game, Wing-t offense. The 5-foot-11, 178-pound prospect is a four-star player and the best in the state. Bellevue has won without his type of talent in the past, and factoring his skill in with the rest of the group makes Bellevue the team to beat in the Pacific Northwest.
The Good: The program returns seven key players on offense, including three on the line. With Marcus Griffin, Morgan Ritchie and Henry Roberts back to pave the way for Baker and new quarterback Timmy Haehl, it will be nearly impossible for teams in Washington to stop this attack.
The Bad: While it is unlikely that anyone on the schedule can exploit this, the program will have to replace five starters on defense, including the linebacker group of Myles Jack, Sean Constantine and Michael Carlson. The rest of the defense looks relatively unchanged. When Shane Bowman and Griffin are both on the defensive line it may not matter, but if there was a national game on the schedule it would be worrisome.
The Bottom Line: Washington is down this year, and there is nothing on the schedule to prove where this Bellevue team is. It may get challenged by Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline and Bothell (Wash.) High, but that is about it. The talent is a little down from last year, but the young players coming through could be special. The anticipation of an undefeated season does not automatically mean this is a top 25 team -- that will have to be determined on the field.

Top 100 countdown
No. 56 Independence, North Carolina

Coach: Joe Evans
Last Season: 10-3, lost in second round of Class 4A playoffs.
Key Player: While he is not the highest-ranked player on the roster, the team will be powered by bruising running back Isaiah Robinson. Committed to Wake Forest, the 5-foot-9, 224-pound bowling ball can bull through the line and outrun defenders if he breaks through the secondary. There is plenty of talent around him, but the offense will start with Robinson.
The Good: The rest of this offense will be stellar, and that is encouraging. Quarterback Kelvin Hopkins ended last season with an impressive showing, but he will not be expected to carry the team. He can give the ball to Robinson. He has Charlotte commit Workpeth Kofa at one wide receiver spot and Jamiek Davis at the other. The safety net at tight end is Chris Phillips, and up front N.C. State commit Tony Adams will line up next to Furman pledge Chris Wade.
The Bad: There was no mention of the defense, and that could be an issue. Independence is the favorite to win its conference, but it could fall to Matthews (N.C.) Butler and finish second. There is also a chance it could run into one of many other strong offenses in the playoffs and end the season with disappointment.
The Bottom Line: First-year coach Evans has a lot of talent on one side of the ball, and finding a way to balance that will be the key. There should be plenty of time to get things figured out before a regular season-ending showdown with Butler that likely will be for the Southwestern Conference title. There is as good a chance that this team wins the state title as there is that it falls at the same point as last season, even though it is much improved and more experienced.

MORE: Dallas Jackson discusses the RivalsHigh 100 on Yahoo! Sports Radio

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