Even though the Southwest DeKalb Panthers had just a 2-8 record last season in Michael Tanks’ first year as coach, they have a load of talent returning on defense.
Defensive back Abdur- Rahman Yasin and defensive end Gabriel Richardson have a two-star rating on rivals.com. Yasin had 57 tackles last season and Richardson finished with 64 stops (eight for loss) and three sacks. Ashad Moore led the defense with 88 tackles and 12 for loss. Fellow linebackers Brandon Wiggs and Timerik Cook had 70 and 69 (13 for loss) tackles, respectively.
Defensive linemen Zechariah Bradford and Montavious Coleman could be players to watch as well.
Cedar Grove will have some playmakers on defense also. According to rivals.com, defensive tackle Quentez Johnson, defensive end Gus Cumberlander and defensive back Christopher Fredrick are all three-star athletes. Fredrick had 92 tackles last season and Johnson had 65 (12 for loss). Rising juniors Antwuan Jackson (DL) and Labron Morris (DB) had 89 (15 for loss) and 86 stops, respectively.
On offense, James Hartsfield threw for 1,800 yards and 17 touchdowns, and Benjy Parrish, a two-star athlete, hauled in 27 catches for 323 yards and three scores.
Over at Columbia, a member of Region 6-AAAA, wide receiver Shadell Bell and quarterback/defensive back Andre Brown are two noteworthy athletes. Bell, who will enroll at Clemson in January, had 37 catches for 463 yards and a score.
Brown threw for 1,673 yards and 11 touchdowns, and rushed for 531 yards and nine TDs. He also had 48 tackles and Chris Jones (LB) had 45 and 11 sacks. Druid Hills transfer Michael Scott will join them for his senior season. He threw for 1,196 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 600 yards and five scores.
After a 7-3 campaign in 2013, Arabia Mountain steps down to Class AAAA with quarterback Jakobi Meyers and linebacker Theodore Eboigbe returning to the lineup. Meyers threw for 1,147 yards and 13 TDs and rushed for three scores.