ETSN.fm 2013 Preseason Class 5A/4A Poll: No. 4 John Tyler
While outsiders' expectations for the 2013 John Tyler Lions may be different than they were at this time last year, second-year coach Ricklan Holmes has been very clear about one thing this offseason: his team is not rebuilding, but reloading.
When looking at all the standouts lost to graduation, it would be easy to assume a significant step back is on the horizon. The Lions will be without quarterback Greg Ward, receiver Fred Ross and defensive end Tyus Bowser along with several other playmakers that helped lead JT to 24 wins over the last two seasons.
But like always, there is no shortage of speed and athleticism at John Tyler. Geovari McCollister (6-2, 185) takes over at quarterback and will have big-play threats at receiver to get the ball to in Rodney Bendy and Nick Cain. Reggie Gipson and Jeremy Wilson are small, but their speed and elusiveness make them matchup nightmares in the spread offense.
Despite losing Bowser's 24 sacks, this year's defensive line at JT could be just as productive. Defensive tackle Travaughn Moore (6-3, 270) can rush the passer and stop the run, while end Jassavia Reese has drawn the praise of Holmes during the offseason.
The JT secondary may be the team's top strength with the return of safety Terry Ausborne -- an SMU commit -- and cornerback Isaac Warren.