The Power Polls...continue. JJHuddle's immensely popular
rankings continue today with the release of the Division II preseason
Also this year, JJHuddle is proud to announce that Muscle Milk has
become a co-sponsor of the rankings.
We will release the
remaining Muscle Milk & JJHuddle Power Polls this week.
polls will be unveiled on site every Tuesday during the season.
& JJHuddle Division II Preseason Power Poll
1. Trotwood-Madison (12-3, D-II State Runner-Up)
* Players to Watch – DB Bam Bradley (6-2, 205, sr.); DB Cameron Burrows (6-2, 190, jr.); OL L.J. Mosley (6-5, 311, sr.); QB Michael Simpson (6-3, 200, sr.); LB/TE Michael McCray II (6-4, 230, jr.); OL Matt Cash (6-4, 277, sr.); OL Clem Vingar (6-0, 280, so.); OL Jordan Ashe (6-1, 270, sr.); DE Trey Williams-Brown (6-3, 240, jr.); WR/CB Trai Mobley (5-11, 170, sr.); RB Isreal Green (5-9, 196, jr.)
* Outlook – The Rams made it to the state final last year after reaching the regional finals the year before. Expect another deep playoff run this season – if not a state title. As usual, Trotwood boasts an extremely talented roster. Simpson, a three-year starter at Chaminade Julienne, takes over at QB after throwing for 1,423 yards and 15 TDs last season. He also ran for six scores. Green (508 yards and six TDs) has big shoes to fill, taking over for Antwan Gilbert (Toledo) who ran for over 2,000 years each of the last two seasons. Cash, Vingar, Ashe and Mosley anchor a veteran and solid OL. Mobley (15 receptions, 238 yards, four TDs) and McCray (10 receptions, 110 yards, three TDs) are reliable targets. Defensively, Trotwood owns arguably the state’s top secondary. Bradley (94 tackles) owns over 20 offers (including Tennessee, Arizona, Michigan State, Penn State, Pitt and Missouri), while Burrows (65 tackles, six INTs) owns an Ohio State offer and is vying for the label of “No. 1 overall prospect” in Ohio for the Class of 2013. McCray (54 tackles, four fumble recoveries) already holds offers from Syracuse and Toledo. Williams-Brown (68 tackles, 18 TFL and eight sacks) is a D-I prospect too. Head coach Maurice Douglass is 58-42 in 10 years. Tough games include Dunbar, Wayne, Springfield, Troy and Piqua.
Opener: vs Dayton Thurgood Marshall
2. Kings (11-2, D-II R8 Finalist)
* Players to Watch – RB Jamire Westbrook (5-9, 200, sr.), QB Jensen Gebhardt (6-3.5, 200, sr.), WR/TE Nick Bird (6-4, 220, sr.), DE/OL Tommy Schee (6-3, 210, sr.), LB Sean Horan (5-10, 205, sr.), DL Brady Vanover (5-10, 230, sr.), OL Kennedy Cook (6-0, 245, jr.), DB/RB Nick Collado (5-9, 170, jr.), WR/DB Justin Crull (6-0, 175, jr.), OL Ryan Anthony (6-1, 255, jr.), LB Austin Copeland (5-10, 200, jr.), RB Brian Huffman (5-9, 180, jr.)
* Outlook – In 27 years head coach Andy Olds (111-34) has “never been part of a team that returned 18 starters off of an 11-2 regional final team”…until now. The Knights are loaded and competition in the offseason has done nothing but strengthen the roster and starting line-ups. Westbrook, who has nearly 5,000 all-purpose yards in his career, is one of the state’s top RB prospects and has committed to Miami (Oh). Horan and Vanover were co-Defensive MVPs last year. Kings has no glaring weakness.
Opener: at Lebanon
3. Maple Heights (15-0, D-II State Champion)
* Players to Watch – WR/DB Jeremy Graves (6-2, 180, sr.), OL/DE Alex Jones 6-3, 215, sr.), DL Aaron Pipkins (6-3, 250,sr.)
* Outlook – The Mustangs won the D-II title last year after finishing runner-up in 2009. They could make it three finals in a row. MH has to replace every offensive skill starter, but they do return four starting OL. Graves, a transfer from Garfield Heights who has offers from Cincinnati and Buffalo, fills one skill slot. Pipkins has offers from Buffalo and Youngstown state. Jones is another D-I prospect. Finding a replacement for the electric Shaq Washington (Cincinnati) at QB is a concern.
Opener: vs Nordonia Macedonia
4. Tallmadge (11-1, D-II R5 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – OL Jon Cipa (6-5, 305, sr.), TE/DE Tucker Linder (6-5, 200, sr.), RB/DB Tyrin Williams (5-9, 180, sr.), WR/DB Brandon Carr (5-9, 170, sr.), RB/DB Dylan Getz (5-11, 180, sr.), TE/LB Jacob Wood (6-5, 180, jr.), DB Cordt Skraba (5-8, 170, jr.), LB Zach Skraba (5-9, 175, jr.), DE/FB Logan Banks (5-11, 190, jr.), QB Anthony Gotto (6-1, 180, jr.)
* Outlook – Entering his 10th season at Tallmadge, head coach Joe Vassalotti has led the Blue Devils to the playoffs six of the last seven years but last year’s run was unexpected with a young roster. This year expectations are heightened. And deservedly so. Tallmadge returns its leading passer, rusher and four of its top five tacklers. Gotto threw for 1,703 yards and 14 TDs last year, while Williams rushed for 1,778 yards and 12 TDs. Getz is back after rushing for 420 yards and nine TDs and Wood caught 22 passes for 292 yards and three TDs. Defensively, the Blue Devils will be led by Getz (52 tackles, four INTs, two fumble recoveries), Wood (68 tackles), Cordt Skraba (44 tackles, five INTs), Zach Skraba (58 tackles), Carr (60 tackles, two INTs) and Banks (61 tackles).
Opener: vs Ravenna
5. Howland (11-1, D-II R5 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – OL/DL Anthony Stanko (6-5, 295, sr.), OL/DL Dan Moody (6-3, 240, sr.), RB Deveon Smith (5-11. 195. Jr.), DB Ken Pozega (6-0, 170, sr.)
* Outlook – The Tigers have been to the playoffs four years in a row and should make it five. Stanko is a Penn State recruit and Moody could earn a D-I ride too. Smith is one of the top junior prospects in the state (120 carries, 928 yards, 12 TDs).
vs Ashtabula Lakeside
6. Winton Woods (10-2, D-II R8 Semifinalist)
Players to Watch – RB Aaron Kemper (5-6, 195, sr.), QB Gary Underwood (6-1, 205, sr.), LB Travis Coleman (6-2, 210, sr.), OL Jalen Crenshaw (5-10, 260, sr.), DE Desmond Jarmon (6-4, 215, sr.), LB Karon Poole (6-0, 210, jr.)
* Outlook – The Warriors won the state title in 2009 and bowed out in the second round last year with a loss to Trotwood-Madison. There are holes to fill for second-year head coach Andre Parker, but Kemper, the reigning FAVC player of the year, is one of Ohio’s most explosive backs having rushed for 1,800 yards and 31 TDs last season. Underwood is a remarkably versatile player who takes over at QB. Last year he ran for 610 yards and five TDs, threw for 176 yards and two TDs and had 136 yards and two more TDs receiving. Crenshaw anchors the line. Coleman is a terror (11 sacks, 25 TFL). Poole steps in for his brother Antonio Poole (Michigan). Jarman leads a defensive front that Parker said: “as a whole could be special.”
Opener: @ Lakota West
7. Marion-Franklin (11-1, D-II R7 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – DL Terrell Jackson (6-3, 255, sr.), LB Leo Smith (6-1, 220, sr.), LB Deshannon Shaw (6-0, 210, sr.), OL Keith Hackworth (6-2, 250, sr.), OL Ralphael Eberhart (6-0, 245, sr.), OL/DL Za'Darrick Brooks (6-3, 225, sr.), QB Corry Benson (6-1, 185, jr.), OL/DL Damon Dillard (6-4, 330, jr.)
* Outlook – The Red Devils have been one of Ohio’s top teams the last two years and head coach Brian Haffele (51-9 in seven seasons) welcomes back plenty of talent. Benson, who accounted for nearly 30 TDs last year, returns at QB and is one of Central Ohio’s best (threw four TDs and ran for another against Zanesville in first round of playoffs). Jackson is a D-I prospect.
Opener: vs Brookhaven
8. Avon (10-1, D-II R6 Quarterfinalist)
Players to Watch – FB/LB Cory Furnas (5-11, 200, sr.), TE/DE Tyler Lance (6-2, 215, sr.), FB/LB Matt Tomlin (5-11, 195, sr.), QB Justin O’Rourke (5-10, 170, sr.), RB/DB Ross Douglass (5-10, 180, jr.), K Brad Young (5-9, 165, sr.), DL Alex Kelly (6-1, 240, jr.); DB Ralph Smith (5-9, 165, jr.), TE/DE Greg Harrison (6-1, 225, sr.); WR/DB Matt Holkenborg (5-9, 185, sr.), OL Ryan Bryne (6-2, 315, sr.), OL Will Miller (5-11, 215, sr.), WR/DB Jacob Mullins (5-11, 165, sr.)
* Outlook – The Eagles earned the No. 1 seed in the R6 playoffs last year but lost to Sandusky 42-35 in the first round. Another postseason trip is attainable. O’Rourke becomes the full-time starter after throwing for 511 yards and seven TDs in part-time duty. Eckhardt posted solid numbers last year (40 receptions, 760 yards and 10 TDs) as did Douglass (105 carries, 704 yards and nine TDs), who holds offers from Minnesota and Illinois. On defense, Kelly (37 tackles, six sacks), Furnas (66 tackles), Tomlin (70 tackles, nine TFL), Lance (22 tackles), Holkenorg (33 tackles), Harrison (20 tackles, five TFL), Mullins (three INTs) and Smith (24 tackles, two INTs) lead a seasoned group. New opponents – Elyria Catholic and Mentor Lake Catholic – are tough. Another hurdle is replacing top prospect and senior LB Bryan Cox, Jr. (6-3, 238), who moved to Florida and enrolled at St. Thomas Aquinas (his father got a job with the Miami Dolphins).
Opener: vs Avon Lake
9. Anderson (8-2)
Players to Watch – QB Nick Mason (6-2, 175, sr.), DB Kyle Payne
(6-2, 175, sr.), DB Ronzell Foster (6-3, 205, sr.), OL Ronnie Giwer
(6-3, 230, sr.), DL Jesse Correll (6-3, 210, sr.), LB Brian Veil (6-1,
* Outlook – Over the last four years, Anderson has
been to the postseason three times and was the D-II state champion in
2007. The Redskins were D-II state runner-up and made the D-I playoffs
in 2009. Last year Anderson finished 10th in Region 4 computer points.
Head coach Jeff Giesting returns for his fifth season at the helm
(45-8). Payne and Foster form a notable duo in the defensive backfield.
10. Zanesville (9-2, D-II R7 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – FB/LB Kole Buckley (6-1, 220, sr.), WR/DB Sean Franklin (6-4, 175, sr.), WR/DB Austin Craig (6-1, 181, sr.), WR Lucas Howard (5-11, 160, sr.), QB Wes Hudson (5-11, 181, sr.), WR/DB J.T. McFarland (5-11, 170, so.)
* Outlook – The Blue Devils made the playoffs for the second time in four years last year and are looking to make a return trip. Buckley (112 tackles, 23 TFL, eight sacks) anchors the defense, while Hudson returns to the lead the offense and has one of his favorite targets back in Howard (29 catches, 549 yards, six TDs). McFarland is one of the state’s top sophomores.
Opener: vs Newark
10 More To
* Players to Watch – DE/TE Jordan Feeser (6-5, 243, sr.), LB/RB Travis Nees (6-1, 201, sr.), LB Brad Dotson (6-1, 211, sr.), DB Kindric Link (6-0, 168, sr.), OL/DL Kevin Richardson (6-3, 318, sr.), WR Trae Honeycutt (6-1, 178, sr.), OL Rob Stollmer (6-2, 297, sr.), DB Taylor Huebner (6-1, 187, sr.), QB Taylor Wellbaum (5-9, 155, sr.)
* Outlook – Head coach Bill Nees (150-65 in 19 years) has led the Indians to the playoffs 11 times and the state title game twice. Piqua was the 2006 D-II state champion. This season Nees has another team capable of a deep postseason run. Eight All-GWOC players return in addition to Wellbaum and eight other regulars. Defensively the Indians return their top three tacklers (Huebner, Travis Nees and Dotson) and two DBs who each had four interceptions last year (Link and Huebner). Honeycutt was the team’s top receiver. Wellbaum threw for 1,023 yards, ran for another 584 and accounted for 13 TDs. Games against archrival Troy and Trotwood-Madison loom.
vs Lima Senior
Aurora (8-3, D-II R5 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – OL/DE Troy Watson (6-6, 280, sr.), WR/CB Anthony Melchiori (5-11, 185, sr.), OL/DL Matt Stepanek (6-3, 245, sr.), TE/LB J.T. Haughey (6-1, 195, sr.), QB/DB Blake Calcei (6-0, 190, sr.), FB/DL Anthony Opet (5-11, 225, sr.), RB/DB Johnny Opet (5-10, 170, sr.), TE/LB Zach Smierciak (6-3, 215, jr.), OL/DL Patrick Dougherty (6-4, 225, jr.)
* Outlook – The Greenmen and head coach Bob Mihalik (78-36 in 10 years) have made the playoffs six straight years and have won the Chagrin Valley Conference five of the last six years. This year Mihalik said: “We are cautiously optimistic. We have seven starters returning on both sides of the ball and defense should be a strength as well as offensive line. The key will be finding a workhorse running back and we may have to run the ball by committee. We think we have the potential to win our league, make a deep playoff run and compete for a state title this year.” A tough schedule awaits that includes five playoff teams from a year ago. The opener against Twinsburg is a doozey. In Northeast Ohio, only Glenville’s current streak of 10 straight playoff berths is longer than Aurora’s. Watson (Ohio commit) and Melchiori are D-I prospects.
Opener: vs Twinsburg
Kent Roosevelt (8-3, D-II R5 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – RB/DB Shakeel Howard (5-6, 175, sr.), WR/DB Richard Graves (5-7, 170, sr.), OL Eli Kepner (6-2, 225, sr.), WR Tony Britt (5-7, 160, sr.), WR Trei Thomas (n/a, jr.), LB Stephen Henderson (5-10, 190, sr.), DL Zach Galloway (6-2, 245, sr.), DE Alex Hayden (5-11, 180, sr.), DE Sterling Alexander (5-11, 190, sr.), DB Tanner Bisnet (5-10, 165, sr.), P/WR Ron Jones (n/a, sr.), DB Kardell Jackson (n/a, so.), LB Matt Sommers (6-2, 226, so.), QB/DB Tra Chapman (6-2, 196, jr.)
* Outlook – The Rough Riders had a rough offseason after standout senior lineman Ryan Anderson was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. Anderson, a 2010 JJHuddle All-Ohio third team selection, had offers from several BCS schools and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. His football career is over. According to longtime head coach John Nemec (202 career wins): “Our players have dedicated themselves to work hard and not let Ryan down. ‘Never let your guard down’ became their motto. Ryan's battle has become our battle – We are ‘All In’ to help our teammate. He inspires us all.” Expectations remain high with the return of 12 two-year starters, including Howard and Graves who were both All-Portage Trail Conference last year. Chapman (a talented move in) and fellow junior Zach Janus (last year’s JV starter) will vie for the QB spot. Sommers is one to watch.
Opener: vs Canfield
Toledo St. Francis (4-6)
* Players to Watch – OL/DL Andrew Villolovos (6-5, 300, sr.), OL/DL Zach Kolacki (6-1, 270, sr.), OL/DL Cam Stanley (6-5, 270, sr.), OL/DL Hunter Stanley (6-3, 265, sr.), TE/DE Nathan White (6-2, 220, sr.), QB Andy Meinert (6-0, 205, sr.), K Michael McGowan (5-10, 150, sr.), TE/DL Richard Ellis (6-2, 215, sr.), LB/RB Scott Wawrzyniak (6-1, 220, sr.); RB/DB Jarrod Jefferson (5-9, 185, sr.)
* Outlook – The Knights, who won a state title in 2001, have only made the postseason once in the last six years, but that trend is about to change. St. Francis might own the most talented OL in D-II and size is not an issue. Villolovos, Kolacki, White and both Stanley’s are all D-I prospects. Meinart, six three-year starters and the entire OL will be strengths. One concern is a defense, which second year head coach Mike Blochowski said “needs to improve.” The unit will be led by Wawrzyniak. The Knights schedule is brutal and includes seven playoff teams from last year.
Opener: at Sylvania Southview
Olmsted Falls (9-4, D-II R6 Finalist)
* Players to Watch – OL Nolan Brandt (5-9, 220, sr.), TE Eric Meehan (6-3, 181, sr.), QB Brennan Laird (6-3, 190, sr.), DL Mike Sauvey (5-8, 260, sr.), LB Evan Rieke (5-11, 160, sr.), DB Nathan Ferster (5-10, 154, sr.)
* Outlook – The Bulldogs haven’t had a losing season since 1991 and head coach Jim Ryan (171-80 in 24 years) doesn’t expect one this year either. Laird is back for his third season as a starter.
Opener: at Bedford
Ashland (10-3, D-II R5 Finalist)
* Players to Watch – QB/LB/P Zach Bernhard (6-2, 208, sr.), K Greg Gallaway (5-10, 155, sr.), WR/DE Brandon Nardo (6-4, 200, sr.), WR/DB Josh Duewel (6-3, 190, sr.), TE/DE Adam Wolbert (6-1, 205, sr.), OL Steven Mowry (6-3, 260, sr.), OL Derek Ward (6-3, 255, sr.), WR Marquise Jones (6-0, 170, sr.), DB Jacob Wolfe (6-0, 170, sr.), LB Tyson Vogel (5-10, 170, jr.), LB Willie Moore (5-9, 170, jr.)
* Outlook – The Arrows make the move from Region 5 where they’ve played in two straight regional finals. Bernhard steps in at QB where he’ll try to replace record-setter Marcus Fuller. Berhand is a three-sport standout (basketball and baseball) who starred last year on defense (101 tackles). He’s also an exceptional punter. The Arrows special teams should be very good with the return of Gallaway as well (120-of-131 career PATs and 8-of-13 career FGs). Duewel (35 catches, 482 yards, four TDs), Nardo (16 catches, 208 yards, two TDs) and Jones (19 catches, 226 yards) lead the returning receiving corps. Wolbert (66 tackles, 5 sacks), Wolfe (53 tackles), Vogel (80 tackles) and Moore (130 tackles) anchor the defense. The Arrows non-league slate includes new games with Sandusky ad Wadsworth.
Opener: at Wadsworth
Sandusky (7-5, D-II R6 Semifinalist)
Players to Watch – OL/DL Mike Brown (6-3, 275, sr.), QB/LB Lucas Poggiali (6-2, 190, sr.), WR/DB Tristen Jeffries (6-1, 190, sr.), WR/DB Damyion Smith (5-10, 170, sr.)
* Outlook – Head coach Mike Franklin (23-29) and the Blue Streaks (led by 31 seniors) will see what they can do for an encore after reaching the playoffs for the first time in 20 years. Poggiali (1,800 passing yards last year) and Jefferies (800 yards receiving, three INTs) have a chance to set school records for passing and receiving yards, respectively. Smith returns after posting solid numbers a year ago (400 yards receiving, 59 tackles, three INTs). Sandusky joins the Northern Ohio League this year and faces Ashland (non-league).
Opener: vs Fremont Ross
* Players to Watch – QB Collin Michael (6-5, 215, sr.), TE/DE Tanner Kearns (6-5, 220, sr.), ATH/DB Tyler Jackman (6-2, 200, sr.)
* Outlook – The Minuteman are poised to have a big year and ending a two-year playoff drought will be their goal. Michael (Buffalo recruit), Kearns (Indiana commit) and Jackman (Army and Air Force offers) provide Lexington a solid nucleus.
Opener: at Mount Vernon
Tiffin Columbian (11-2, D-III R10 Finalist)
Players to Watch – RB/LB Vince Kurtz (6-1, 200, sr.), OL/DL Carter Mullins (6-0, 235, sr.), WR/LB Jack Jacoby (6-0, 210, jr.), DB Shane Hossler (6-2, 170, sr.)
* Outlook – After leading Hopewell-Loudon to back-to-back Division VI state title games, head coach Brian Colatruglio led the Tornadoes to the D-III regional finals last year. Columbian lost 18-7 to eventual state champion Watterson. A strong nucleus returns including five starters on defense, which will be the strength of the team (Kurtz was third team All-Ohio last year). Line play should be solid on both sides of the ball. Offensively concerns include replacing a ton of skill positions (QB, RB, and three WRs). New talent will come from a JV team that went 8-1. The schedule is completely different with five new teams, including new Week 1 opponent Clyde.
Opener: vs Clyde
Walsh Jesuit (7-3)
Players to Watch – K Ross Martin (5-10, 180, sr.), TE/DE Kevin
Enright (6-3, 235, sr.), QB Nick Wargo (6-3, 215, sr.),
* Outlook –
The Warriors own 15 playoff berths in school history, but haven’t been
to the postseason since 2008. Wargo steps in at QB for Connor Cook
(Michigan State) and Martin is arguably the nation’s No. 1 kicking
prospect and has verballed to Duke. He also held offers from Texas,
Northwestern, Pitt and Cincinnati.
Opener: at Louisville