Week one of the high school football season is upon us and the mid-state is flooded with D-1 talent like we have never seen before. In the last week, Jacoby Stevens committed to LSU and Ty Chandler committed to Tennessee to play for the Volunteers. With so much talent in just the mid-state, we have decided to put together a list of the best players at each position to form a “Dream Team”.
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
Quarterback – Jeremiah Oatsvall – Brentwood Academy Eagles
The leader of the state champion Eagles is back for his senior year. Oatsvall threw for 1965 yards and rushed for 1164 yards and totaled 30 touchdowns (16 passing, 14 rushing), which was capped off by a 439-yard and four-touchdown performance in the state championship game against MBA. Currently committed to play football at Austin Peay, Oatsvall is the reigning Male Athlete of the Year in the state of Tennessee.
Running Back – Ty Chandler – Montgomery Bell Academy
Earlier this week, Chandler committed to play his collegiate football at the University of Tennessee after his senior season at MBA. The reigning Mr. Football Award winner from DII-AA had 2,585 yards rushing and 34 touchdowns in his junior season in which his team fell 56-55 in 2OT to Brentwood Academy. Chandler is ranked as the sixth best running back in the country and the top back in the state of Tennessee, according to 247 Sports.
Wide Receiver – Princeton Fant – LaVergne Wolverines
Built like a linebacker (6’2”, 210), Fant will lead the Wolverines offense for his senior season, just one year after tearing his ACL that sidelined him for his entire junior year. Fant and his Wolverine teammate and fellow University of Tennessee commit, Maleik Gray, will both play receiver on offense. Gray will play linebacker on defense, and Fant will play safety. Despite catching just 14 passes for 326 yards as a sophomore, Fant is being recruited as a receiver at the next level.
Wide Receiver – Camron Johnson – Brentwood Academy Eagles
A year ago as a sophomore, Johnson totaled 46 catches for 956 yards and nine touchdowns on a team that was loaded with talent up and down their roster. Listed at 5’11”, 185, Johnson is ranked as the fourth best player in the state of Tennessee according to 247 Sports. He currently has offers from Auburn, Illinois, Louisville, LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.
Wide Receiver – Devious Christmon – Centennial Cougars
Christmon, listed at 6’3”, 190, can go up and get the ball for the Cougars. He had a team-high 529 yards receiving a season ago on a team that went 12-2 and made the state semifinals for the first time in their school’s history. He has good speed and can burn a team on a deep thrown downfield or a quick bubble screen behind the line of scrimmage.
Offensive Line – Obinna Eze – Davidson Academy
There is no question that Obinna Eze has some of the best raw skills in the state of Tennessee. Originally from Nigeria, Eze came to America in pursuit of a football career. At 6’8”, 280, Eze had offers from 12 of the 14 schools in the SEC, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. However, Eze committed to the University of Memphis earlier this week, Live on the Midday 180 on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville. Eze says at the end of the day he wanted to go somewhere with people he could trust.
Offensive Line – Max Wray – Franklin Rebels
Wray is one of the top prospects in the state of Tennessee for the 2018 class. He is currently committed to the University of Georgia, but also has offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Southern Cal, Vanderbilt, and Oregon. Since he is just a junior, we have a ways to go on his decision to see where he will ultimately wind up, but for now, we can just sit back and watch during his final two years at Franklin high school.
Offensive Line – Patrick Leitten – Ravenwood Raptors
Coming off of a state championship season a year ago, the Raptors return the anchor of their offensive line with hopes to repeat as champions. Leitten is 6’8”, but weighs just 247 pounds. He ranks as the 15th best player in the state of Tennessee and is currently committed to play at Duke
Offensive Line – Eli Katina – Centennial Cougars
Katina was selected as a member of the All-Mid-state team and is the anchor of an offensive line that blocked the way for 3,793 yards and 36 touchdowns a season ago. Katina is just 6’2”, but is an athletic 275 and can really move at the Guard position.
Offensive Line – DJ Delfendahl – Mt. Juliet Bears
Delfendahl is a big, physical tackle who leads the way on a Mt. Juliet team that looks to return to form as a deep playoff run contending team in the mid-state. He was selected to the All-Region team a season ago and is currently being recruited locally by MTSU and Austin Peay.
Tight End – Gavin Schoenwald – Brentwood Academy Eagles
He is what we like to call an athlete. His 247 Sports profile has him listed as an Athlete, Tight End, as well as a Pro-Style quarterback for the 2018 class. At 6’5”, 225, Schoenwald certainly fits the stature of a bruising tight end at the high school level. Currently a four-star recruit as an Athlete, but will likely shift over to the full time quarterback as a senior once Jeremiah Oatsvall graduates. He is a dynamic playmaker and can be moved all around the field on both sides of the ball.
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
Defensive Line – Ben Hutch – Hillsboro Burros
Hutch is listed at 6’3”, 300 pounds and currently has multiple Division-1 offers. He registered just three sacks a year ago, but had 12 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and had 40 tackles all together. He is a big, physical run-stopper who can cause a real log jam in the running game with his size alone.
Defensive Line – Rutger Reitmaier – Lipscomb Academy Mustangs
Currently committed to play at Oregon, Reitmaier had 17 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and 66 overall. He also contributed with seven sacks and four forced fumbles. Currently listed at 6’3”, 270, Reitmaier moves really well for a defensive tackle and will look to lead the Mustangs to yet another playoff berth.
Defensive Line – Brent Lawless – Nashville Christian Eagles
A defending state champion, Lawless led the Eagles defensive line a year ago with eight tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Lawless has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
Defensive Line – Dondre Ezell – East Nashville Eagles
Ezell lines up at 6’0”, 280 pounds and was an All-Region selection a year ago in 2015. He has an offer from Tennessee Tech and has interest from Jackson State, Navy, Western Carolina, Western Illinois, and Wofford.
Linebacker – Maleik Gray – LaVergne Wolverines
Gray is one of the top rated players in the state of Tennessee and is being recruited to play safety at the next level. He can line up at just about any position he wants but will mainly play linebacker on defense and wide receiver on offense. A recent commit to the University of Tennessee, Gray had offers from over 20 schools around the country.
Linebacker – Jacob Phillips – East Nashville Eagles
A four star recruit, Phillips has offers from the likes of Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon, LSU, Oklahoma, and more. He stands at 6’3”, 225 and will quarterback the defense this season for his senior year. He currently has yet to commit to where he will play in college, but he has visits to Oregon, Notre Dame and Alabama coming up in September.
Linebacker – Anthony Ochoa – Blackman Blaze
Ochoa is just 6’2”, 220, which has limited his recruitment to this point. He currently has offers from Army, Navy, and Miami (OH), and ranks as the 35th rated player in the state of Tennessee. He is a three star recruit and will look to lead Blackman’s defense in one of the toughest districts in high school football in Tennessee.
Defensive Back – Gentry Bonds – Riverdale Warriors
Bonds is a three star recruit according to 247 Sports, being recruited by Clemson, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Duke, Indiana, Louisville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and more. He is 6’1”, 190 pounds and has the ability to completely shut down the opposing top target.
Defensive Back – TJ Carter – Stratford
Carter transferred to Stratford from Hendersonville where he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark a year ago on the ground. He was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules where he changed numbers and positions. He is a three star cornerback who has offers from multiple schools around the southeast. If Carter can stay out of trouble, he should have plenty of motivation for a big senior season.
Defensive Back – Jacoby Stevens – Oakland Patriots
Jacoby Stevens is perhaps the best player in the Mid-state. He can play anywhere on the field, so pick where you want him to be on the field for this dream team. Originally from Louisiana, Stevens recently committed to LSU to play for Les Miles and the Tigers. He is the definition of a versatile playmaker no matter where he lines up on the field and should be in line for a big year for the Patriots.
Defensive Back – Theo Jackson – Overton Bobcats
Committed to Tennessee back in June, Jackson leads the way on the Overton defense. He ranks as the 16th best player in Tennessee according to 247 Sports and had offers from Alabama, LSU, Vanderbilt, and many other schools around the country.
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
Quarterback – Brendan Matthews – Oakland Patriots
Matthews will be the unquestioned starter on a team that might have more talent than any other team in the state of Tennessee. The Patriots went 12-2 last year and Matthews threw for 1,612 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Patriots have Jacoby Stevens, Kaleb Oliver, and Lazarius Patterson at the skill positions on offense, which should make things much easier for the senior signal caller.
Running Back – Antwuan Branch – Kenwood Knights
Branch ran for 2,603 yards with 27 touchdowns last year in the regular season. Currently committed to Purdue, he will look to lead the Knights yet again with a dynamic running game.
Wide Receiver – Caleb Rozar – Dickson County
Listed at 6’3”, Rozar can really go get the ball. He is more of an athlete than a wide receiver, but he is one of the best playmakers on the team for Dickson County. He is going to play defensive back at the next level, but his athleticism for Dickson County has him as a second team wide receiver on this dream team.
Wide Receiver – JaVonta Payton – Hillsboro Burros
Payton was on the fence to make the first team, with his speed and skill on a good Hillsboro team. He is being recruited by MTSU, Tennessee, Austin Peay, Cincinnati, Eastern Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Purdue, Texas A&M, Western Kentucky, Northwestern, Iowa, Memphis, as well as many others. He has great playmaking abilities and great speed along the outside.
Wide Receiver – Darius Hunter Jr. – Pearl-Cohn Firebirds
Pearl Cohn got off to a rough start in 2015, but rallied to make their first state championship game since the late 90’s. Hunter Jr. led the way for the Firebirds with 827 yards and nine touchdowns and an All-Region selection.
Offensive Lineman – Elijah Dobbins – Oakland Patriots
Dobbins is the anchor of the Oakland line at 6’4”, 270 pounds. He is an athletic Guard who can really move, paving the way for Lazarius Patterson and the Oakland Wing-T offense.
Offensive Lineman – Caden Williams – Franklin Rebels
Williams, along with Max Wray, are the two anchors of the Rebels offensive line. He has offers from Air Force, Army, Austin Peay, Columbia, Eastern Kentucky, Illinois State, Mercer, and Western Kentucky.
Offensive Line – Daly Cull – Hendersonville Commandos
Listed at 6’1”, 275 pounds, Cull is a scrappy lineman for a good Hendersonville team. Cull is one of the leaders on the offensive line for an offense that runs the Wing-T and averaged nearly 250 yards per game on the ground. He was honored as an All-Region selection in 2015.
Offensive Line – Rooke Young – CPA Lions
He was one of the best Centers in the state a season ago, helping the Lions achieve a 13-2 record and their third straight state championship game appearance. He’s an athletic Center at 6’2”, 255, and will likely be in the running for the Mr. Football Lineman Award this winter.
Offensive Line – Rusty Staats – Watertown Purple Tigers
Staats is an athletic 265 pounds for the Purple Tigers who currently ranks as the 80th best player in Tennessee. He is committed to play at Air Force in 2017 after his Senior season in 2016.
Tight End – Joeseph Sewell – Blackman Blaze
Sewell is a true tight end at 6’3”, 260, for the Blaze. He is currently ranked as the 58th best player in the state of Tennessee according to 247 Sports and the 92nd best tight end in the country.
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
Defensive Line – Dequan Lollar – Cane Ridge
Lollar is listed at 6’2” and 305 pounds and is a true defensive run stopper up the middle. He can run a 5.10 in the 40-yard dash.
Defensive Line – David Demke – Independence Eagles
Demke returns on the Independence defensive line from a year ago when they won their first state championship in school history. He is a true speed rusher on the outside, who can get to the quarterback quickly.
Defensive Line – Emmitt Richardson – Hendersonville Commandos
Richardson is the Nose Guard on the Hendersonville defensive line, listed at 6’0” 260. He is a fairly undersized Nose Guard, but his 5.30 in the 40-yard dash helps him get from side to side of the field very quickly.
Defensive Line – Joshua Higgs – Brentwood Academy Eagles
Higgs had 53 tackles and four sacks a season ago and is the only starter on both sides of the line that will return for the Eagles.
Linebacker – Hunter Dupree – Independence Eagles
Dupree racked up 118 tackles to lead the way for the Eagles last season and was an All-Mid-state selection in 2015. He also was responsible for nine turnovers at the linebacker position as well.
Linebacker – Deylon Williams – Smyrna Bulldogs
Williams was unable to play in 2015 due to a shoulder injury, but recorded over 60 tackles in 2014 as a sophomore. He will lead the defense for the Bulldogs who could be a bit of a surprise this season in Rutherford County football.
Linebacker – Cain McWilliams – Marshall County
McWilliams had 67 tackles a season ago, including 18 of them for a loss. He transferred from Fayetteville in 2015 and will look to lead Marshall County’s defense in 2016.
Defensive Back – Landon Guidry – Independence Eagles
Guidry, like many of the defensive backs on the dream team, is one of the true playmakers across the board. He can line up at any skill position, as he is dangerous any time he possesses or gets near the football. Currently committed to play at Mississippi State in 2017, he is rated as the 46th best player in the state of Tennessee, according to 247 Sports.
Defensive Back – Jaylon King – Ensworth Tigers
Ensworth seems to be loaded year after year, and Jaylon King is paired together with Rodney Owens to shut the door on opposing offenses in 2016. King, who will be the team’s shut down corner can also be moved around wherever necessary.
Defensive Back – Kaleb Oliver – Oakland Patriots
It is hard to put Oliver on the second team of this dream team, but that is just how loaded the secondary is this season in the Mid-state. Oliver and Stevens will be all over the field on both sides of the ball for the Patriots.
Defensive Back – Rodney Owens – Ensworth Tigers
Owens, along with King, will man the secondary for Ensworth this season. Currently rated as the 28th best player in the state of Tennessee, according to 247 Sports, Owens is currently committed to play Safety at Louisville next season.
Kicker – Brent Cimaglia – Page Patriots
Cimaglia is rated as the 8th best kicker in the country, and the 65th best player overall in the state of Tennessee, according to 247 sports. He has a big leg with plenty of strength to be gained at 6’0”, 215 pounds. Cimaglia is committed to Tennessee.
Punter – Tucker Day – Brentwood Bruins
Day was named as the best punter in the state in 2015 with an average of just over 44 yards per punt. The argument can be made for him as the best kicker as well, as he hit four field goals from further than 48 yards.
Punt Returner – Jacoby Stevens – Oakland Patriots
There is talk that Jacoby Stevens could step right in and serve as the primary punt returner for LSU as a freshman. If he could return kicks in the SEC for LSU, he is surely capable of handling the duties for Oakland.
Kick Returner – Ty Chandler – Montgomery Bell Academy
Chandler capped off last season as a kick returner with a 99-yard kick return for a touchdown in their shootout with Brentwood Academy. His vision mixed with his athletic ability will land him the spot as the kick returner for the 2016 mid-state dream team.