The Marshall Mavericks enter the 2018 season with high expectations. They return 13 starters from last year's district champion and bi-district finalist, and five of the players on the roster currently have Division I scholarship offers.

Head coach Claude Mathis, who is beginning his second year with the Mavs, is a proven winer, having gone 74-18 at DeSoto, turning it into one of the top Class 6A programs in the state of Texas from 2008-14.

Marshall is ranked No. 5 in ETSN.fm's Preseason Class 6A/5A Poll.

Seven starters come back on offense, including dual-threat quarterback JJ Green (6-2, 165), who passed for 1,739 yards and 20 touchdowns and ran for another 535 yards and four TD's as a sophomore. He currently holds offers from Nebraska, Ole Miss, and Texas State.

The Mavs have three D-I recruits at receiver in seniors Tahj Washington (5-10, 170) and De'Kendrick Bender (6-0, 185), and junior Saivon Williams (6-3, 170).

Christian Hood (6-2, 290) also holds D-I offers and will anchor the offensive line.

The defense, which has six starters returning, will be led by defensive lineman Rashard Jackson, linebacker Brevin Randle, and defensive back Champ Mathis.

Marshall is the favorite to win the new District 9-5A Division II, but the road in Region III will be a difficult one. Potential playoff opponents include A&M Consolidated, Manvel, Fort Bend Marshall, Port Neches-Groves, and Crosby.

ETSN.fm Preseason Class 6A/5A Poll