Monday, August 03, 2009

PrepNation 101 Preseason Countdown: No. 20 Liberty continues the most comprehensive package of preseason high school football rankings ever published. We are counting down the PrepNation 101 Preseason High School Football Rankings, from No. 101 to No. 26, leading up to the release of the official preseason National Prep Poll on August 3.

20. Liberty (Bethlehem, Pa.)
Last season: 15-1, Class 4A state champion
Coach: Tim Moncman
Key players: QB-FS Anthony Gonzalez (6-3, 190, Sr.), WR-DB Jared West (6-3, 185, Sr.), DE Dontae Holmes (6-3, 220, Jr.), OT Giles Campbell (6-2, 270, Sr.), LB Rashad Knight (6-2, 220, Sr.), LB Drew Persa (6-3, 215, Jr.)
Outlook: With six starters back on both sides of the ball -- including the state MVP at quarterback -- the Hurricanes should offer a strong defense of their first 4A state championship. Gonzalez is a true difference-maker on both sides of the ball. In Liberty’s 28-21 state championship game victory against Bethel Park, he ran for 205 yards and three touchdowns, then made a one-handed interception in overtime to clinch the win. For the season, Gonzalez passed for 1,580 yards and rushed for 1,697 yards with 36 total touchdowns. His top receiver, West, is also back another year. The Stanford recruit is a tremendous athlete with great leaping ability. The Liberty offensive line has four new starters but all but three are seniors and the unit will average 260 pounds. The lone holdover is Campbell, who protects Gonzalez’s blind side at left tackle. The Hurricanes defense has good talent returning in the front seven. Holmes, Knight and Persa are all Division I prospects.

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