Tuesday, July 29, 2008

PrepNation 101 Preseason FB Countdown: No. 43 Lufkin

43. Lufkin (Texas)

Last season’s record: 9-2, lost in first round of Class 5A/II playoffs

Coach: John Outlaw

Key players: DT Jamarkus McFarland (6-3, 290, Sr.), QB Jeffrey Claybon (6-2, 190, Sr.), RB Tre’von Lewis (5-10, 200, Sr.), DB Carrington Byndom (6-0, 180, Jr.), DE Germad Reed (6-1, 215, Sr.), DB Demarquez Freeman (5-9, 175, Sr.)

Biggest strength: Defense

Question mark: Offensive inexperience

Outlook: The Panthers return 11 starters, including eight who were all-district performers. The list begins with McFarland, the No. 1-rated defensive lineman in the country by rivals.com. As a junior, he made 77 tackles and was district defensive MVP despite battling against persistent double and even triple-team blocking. There are seven more veterans returning on defense including Byndom, who might follow in a line of highly recruited safeties at Lufkin. Freeman, who intercepted five passes last year, joins Byndom in the secondary. Claybon was the district offensive MVP as a junior after throwing for 1,834 yards and 20 touchdowns. Lewis appears ready for a breakout year after running for 704 yards and six touchdowns last season.

Toughest games: Aug. 29 at Tyler Lee, Sept. 19 at Longview, Sept. 27 at Mesquite, Nov. 11 at The Woodlands

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