Thursday, July 31, 2008

PrepNation 101 Preseason FB Countdown: No. 35 Maryville

35. Maryville (Tenn.)

Last season’s record: 15-0, Class 4A champion

Coach: George Quarles

Key players: DE Justin Smith (6-1, 245, Sr.), RB Thomas Shuler (5-10, 175, Sr.), WR/DB Chris Jordan (5-10, 165, Sr.), OL Marcus Engelhardt (6-1, 245, Sr.), RB Buddy Jones (5-9, 180, Jr.), DB Jamal Brazen (5-9, 160, Sr.), LB Jeffrey Booker (5-10, 190, Sr.), LB Luke Cox (5-10, 200, Sr.)

Biggest strength: Returning experience at RB, OL and LB

Question mark: Inexperience at QB and WR

Outlook: The Rebels have won 60 straight games, the second longest active streak in the nation among 11-man teams. They have four consecutive 4A titles and seven of eight this decade. In all, Maryville is an amazing 123-9 under Quarles in nine seasons. Eleven starters are back from last season, including three starting offensive linemen and three starting linebackers. Three members of last year’s squad signed with Division I or IAA schools. Smith and Jordan are considered the top Division I prospects in this year’s senior class. Smith earned all-state recognition as a junior. Jordan will be counted on heavily as a receiver. He caught 21 passes for 495 yards and nine touchdowns and had five interceptions as a defensive back. Booker and Cox are not big but were very productive in last year’s defense, which limited opponents to 13 points per game. Shuler shared carries at running back but still managed 920 yards with 12 touchdowns. The biggest question for the Rebels is at quarterback, where large shoes were left behind by Brent Burnette (Middle Tennessee State), who threw for nearly 3,500 yards last season. As many as four inexperienced players were expected to get reps as two-a-day drills began.

Toughest games: Aug. 22 at Halls, Aug. 29 vs. Alcoa


Anonymous said...

60 straight....tremendous accomplishment. Are there ANY CHALLENGES on this years schedule?
This years schedule sure looks like a "gimmie". Step up and play someone from a higher classification. That will tell you how "real" the 60 in a row is.

Anonymous said...

Play and beat MBA or Brentwood Academy...then we will be impressed.

Anonymous said...

Once again i see Maryville has the same WEAK schedule.There are several powerhouses nearby if you guys want a real challenge! South Panola(MS),Olive Branch(MS)Trinity(KY),St.Xavier(KY)Rocky Mount(NC)Prattville(AL). You don't even face TN powers MBA and Brentwood Academy. LONG LIVE THE STREAK!!

Anonymous said...

you either love them or you hate them. but sixty plus is pretty impressive, no matter who you play.give these kids credit as they deserve.the best coaches in the one of the better defensive coaches in prep football. happy in maryville

chris mac said...

i see a lot of negative comments about maryville. like if they want a real challenge why don,t they play south panola or trinity ,prattville. so who is so impressive that they play. an anyone with any sense at all knows maryville is a 4a team plays 5a teams. an yes they even play a 2a team. proably no one has heard of (ALCOA) blount county owns prep football in this state. like it or not.

Anonymous said...

I have watched Maryville from a distance for several years now. I have seen them beat teams that were far more talented due to superb coaching, discipline and conditioning. Maryville is full of undersized intelligent overachievers that refuse to lose. The three linebackers are tiny. One often plays noseguard and achieves great success against D1 level talent. Another has such great speed that he can cover any wide receiver. They are not playing for college scholarship but because they love the game. To hear jealous adults from elsewhere in the State to try and detract from their achievements is infuriating. I have watched MBA and some of the other private "elitist" schools that recruit football players, and firmly believe that a George Quarles coached team could easily beat them as does our team each year. He does this, even though our team is "more talented" on paper. Ask Coach Rankin of Alcoa,formerly of Riverdale what he thinks. Perhaps the Coach from Hillsboro might have an opinion. What I truly love about Maryville is the fact that the priority of the school is still academics and the school turns in one of the best academic performances for a high school in Tennessee year after year. As a taxpayer, I don't want my money spent on stupid out of state trips for football games by any of our publich schools, just to prove a point to a bunch of adults who are vicariously living their lives through teenagers playing football.