DeMatha Football | 2017 Early Contenders high school football preview: No. 13 DeMatha
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2017 Early Contenders high school football preview: No. 13 DeMatha

2017 Early Contenders high school football preview: No. 13 DeMatha

Video: 2017 Early Contenders – No. 13 DeMatha
Host Zack Poff breaks down the Stags’ prospects this season, complete with video highlights.

Head coach: Elijah Brooks

Last season: 12-0, No. 8 national ranking, conference championship

Last decade: 98-21, four conference titles (doesn’t play for state championships)

Famous alums/players: 2017 NBA No. 1 draft pick Markelle Fultz, NFL Today host James Brown, TNT NBA reporter David Aldridge, NBA Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley, Oklahoma Thunder starter Victor Oladipo, former NFL All-Pro RB Brian Westbrook, Lions OL Cyrus Kouandjio

PLAYERS TO WATCH

DT Austin Fontaine (6-2, 312, Sr.)  Ultra strong gap-filler is headed to Maryland and ranked the fourth-best senior in the state.

OG Evan Gregory (6-4, 285, Sr.)  The state’s No. 10 senior recruit is also headed to Maryland.

DE John Morgan (6-2, 236, Sr.)  The state’s No. 15 senior recruit has committed to Pittsburgh.

CB Judson Tallandier (6-2, 180, Sr.) — He’ll join Morgan at Pittsburgh.

WR DeMarcco Hellams (6-1, 195, Jr.) —
 He already has 19 college offers, but seems to be leaning toward Maryland or Clemson.

KEY GAMES

Aug. 25 — at No. 2 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)

Sept. 22 — 
vs. Friendship Collegiate Academy (Washington, D.C.)

Oct. 6 — vs. Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)

Oct. 13 — 
vs. Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney,  Md.)

Oct. 20 — at St. John’s (Washington, D.C.)

STORYLINES

* From No. 16 in the final national rankings in 2015 to No. 8 last season, the Stags are on the rise nationally.

* With all the beef and talent up front, promising quarterback Tyler Lenhart and running back Myles Miree should have big statistical seasons. Miree rushed for 715 yards as a sophomore on just 117 carries.

* The Stags are stacked in the secondary, with Tallandler and Naim Muhammad dominating at cornerback. Muhammad (5-11, 187) has 14 college offers, including Purdue and Connecticut.

* DeMatha hopes to avoid a devastating injury early after sustaining ones each of the last two seasons. Running back Anthony McFarland suffered a broken fibula during a scrimmage last season and in 2015, leading receiver D.J. Turner sustained the same injury. Both top 100 national players were lost for the season and both are now playing at the University of Maryland.

* The Stags enter 2017 on a 17-game win streak.