It seems like yesterday I was putting together the list of players for the preseason dream team. Here we are, five months later, with yet another season in the books in Middle Tennessee.
Here’s how the season shaped up around the midstate in our postseason dream team.
Quarterback – Brandon Hines – Independence
Independence hadn’t lost a game in two full season before falling in the state championship game earlier this month. Brandon Hines took over for one of the true greats the quarterback position a year ago, and he filled his shoes quite well. Hines threw for 3,574 yards in 15 games, completing 57 percent of his passes in the process. He had 40 touchdowns and 18 interceptions, with a passer rating of 104.3.
Running Back – Ty Chandler – MBA
A first team member of the preseason dream team, Chandler did just what we thought he would do. He totaled 2,252 rushing yards and 39 touchdowns. He ran for just over 173 yards per games and lost just one fumble on the year. The Tennessee commit led MBA back to the state championship game, but fell to Brentwood Academy in a rematch of their meeting in the regular season.
Running Back – Jordan Mason – Gallatin
Mason, a Mr. Football finalist, ran for 2,048 yards for the Gallatin Green Wave in 2016. Perhaps the most impressive stat for Mason this season was piling up thise rushing numbers while playing in just 10 games this season. He ran for 204.8 yards per game and scored 23 touchdowns.
Wide Receiver – Jack Sensing – Dickson County
Jack Sensing was Jacob Murphree’s go to receiver in the Dickson County passing attack, as he finished the season with 1,088 yards and 10 touchdowns in 10 games. It was a rough year for Dickson County on the defensive side of the ball, but their offense put up big numbers thanks to Murphree and Sensing. He averaged 108.8 receiving yards per game.
Wide Receiver – Kendrell Scurry – Independence
A teammate of Brandon Hines at Independence, Scurry finished just shy of 1,000 receiving yards with 977 on the year. He averaged just over 65 per game, and had 16 touchdowns in 15 games.
Wide Receiver – Ingram Page – Ezell Harding
Page led the team with 951 receiving yards in 2016 in just 10 games, averaging just over 95 yards per game. He finished the season with an impressive 21.1 yards per catch, which was best in the state. He also contributed with nine touchdowns.
Offensive Line – Jackson Lampley – MBA
Lampley had a phenomenal season for MBA, anchoring the offensive line. Lampley led the way for Ty Chandler to lead the state in rushing.
Offensive Line – Eli Katina – Centennial
Katina, a Mr. Football finalist, had a fantastic year for Centennial. Although he did not take home Mr. Football, being one of the two representatives in class 5A is an honor in itself.
Offensive Line – Obinna Eze – Davidson Academy
Eze, another preseason dream team member, committed to play football at the next level at the University of Memphis.
Offensive Line – Patrick Leitten – Ravenwood
Leitten, committed to play football at Duke University, anchored the Ravenwood offensive line again in 2016.
Offensive Line – Max Wray – Franklin
Max Wray, one of the two anchors for the Franklin Rebels offensive line, helped lead the Rebels deep into the playoffs where they would lose to the eventual state champions, Whitehaven.
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
Defensive Line – Brant Lawless – Nashville Christian
Another Mr. Football finalist, Lawless had a great year for Nashville Christian. Lawless is committed to play football at the University of Tennessee, but he is just a junior. He’s a 6-3, 280 pound defensive tackle and is a real stopgap on the defensive line.
Defensive Line – Ledarius Haynes – Stratford
Haynes led the state in sacks this season, registering 19.0 for the Stratford defensive line. He played in just 11 games this season, which is good for 1.9 sacks per game on the year.
Defensive Line – David Demke – Independence
Demke led the Independence defensive line with 17.0 total sacks, good for 1.2 per game.
Defensive Line – Aubrey Jones – Lancaster Christian Academy
Jones finished the season with 14.0 total sacks in just seven games played. He averaged 2.0 sacks per game.
Linebacker – Jacob Phillips – East Nashville
Phillips, a Mr. Football award winner, led the way for East Nashville. He totaled 123 tackles, 31 of which were solo tackles. He assisted in 92 others, as the teams did their best to steer clear of the highly touted linebacker.
Linebacker – Cain McWilliams – Marshall County
McWilliams, a Mr. Football award finalist, is committed to play for Rick Stockstill at MTSU.
Linebacker – Jaylen Jackson – Clarksville Northwest
Jackson totaled the third highest number of tackles in the state with 172. He averaged 15.6 tackles per game, recording 89 solo tackles. He also had 21.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.
Defensive Back – Jacoby Stevens – Oakland
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Jacoby Stevens? He does anything you ask of him all over the field. He can defend the other teams best player, catch passes, return kicks, and he could probably play quarterback if you asked him to. Stevens not only won Mr. Football for class 6A, but he was also named as the Gatorade player of the year for the state of Tennessee.
Defensive Back – Maleik Gray – LaVergne
It was a tough season for the Wolverines, but it doesn’t take away from the talent that Gray possesses. Committed to play at Tennessee next year, Gray will play safety for the Vols.
Defensive Back – Brandon Lewis – Cane Ridge
Cane Ridge had an unbelievable season in 2016, and Lewis’ play on defense was one of the big reasons why. He can tackle, sack the quarterback, force fumbles, recover fumbles, and intercept the quarterback as well. He was the Defensive MVP for 2016 for Region 6-5A.
Defensive Back – Theo Jackson – Overton
Jackson led the team with five interceptions on the season, on his way to being named Defensive MVP of Region 3-6A. He is committed to playing at Tennessee and went out with a bang at Overton with a fantastic season.
Kicker – Jacob Smith – Siegel
One of the lone bright spots for the Stars this season was their kicker. Jacob Smith took home the Mr. Football award for the best kicker in the state.
Kick Returner – TJ Carter – Stratford
It was difficult trying to decide where to place Mr. Carter. He possesses a particular skill set that doesn’t alienate himself at one singular position. He makes the list as the dream team kick returner because I want the ball in his hands to make plays. He can catch the ball, run the ball, and make people miss as well as anyone in the state. He piled up over 2,000 total yards between rushing, receiving and returning.
Punt Returner – Jermaine Mason – Goodpasture
Mason returned 24 punts in 2016 and averaged 16 yards per return. He was able to rack up 383 total yards in 13 games.
Quarterback – Jacob Murphree – Dickson County
At one point, Murphree was in the top three in the entire nation in passing. However, with the lack of success his team had, he was only able to play in 10 games, failing to make the postseason. He led the state with just over 320 yards per game, and tossed 28 touchdowns along the way. He had a QB rating of 109.1 to end his 2016 campaign.
Running Back – Master Teague III – Blackman
With a name like Master Teague III, how could he NOT be on the dream team? Teague III ran for 184.6 yards per game and totaled 2,031 yards over 11 games this season. He scored 24 touchdowns and had just three fumbles. His longest run this season was 93 yards, and he averaged an outstanding 8.4 yards per carry.
Running Back – Jayden Walker – DCA
Walker ran for 2,006 yards for the Wildcats in just 10 games this season. His 200.6 yards per game is 4th best in the state, and 2nd best in the midstate behind only Jordan Mason of Gallatin. He averaged 8.2 yards per carry and had 22 touchdowns on the year.
Wide Receiver – Jay Howard – Marshall County
Howard finished the season with 949 receiving yards for Marshall County, scoring 11 touchdowns in 14 games. He averaged 67.7 receiving yards per game an finished the year with 74 receptions in total.
Wide Receiver – Landon Guidry – Independence
The Mississippi State commit was on the preseason dream team list because of his overall skill anywhere on the field. He finished with 946 receiving yards, good for just over 63 yards per game. He added six touchdowns in 15 games.
Wide Receiver – Vonte Bates – Watertown
Bates finished the year with 948 yards in 12 games, which is good for 79 per game. Add 10 touchdowns to his resume and an average of 14.6 yards per catch.
Offensive Line – DJ Delfendahl – Mt. Juliet
Offensive Line – Elijah Dobbins – Oakland
Offensive Line – Caden Williams – Franklin
Offensive Line – Daly Cull – Hendersonville
Offensive Live – Rooke Young – CPA
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
Defensive Line – Michael Weathers – Independence
Weathers is a big run stopping defensive tackle who knows how to get after the quarterback. He finished the season with 14.0 sacks, good for 1.0 per game. He also chipped in with 15 QB hurries on the year.
Defensive Line – Lacorey Buchanan – Stratford
Buchanan had 8.0 sacks this season for Stratford in 10 games played. He was able to get after the quarterback consistently as a speed rushing defensive end.
Defensive Line – Conner Palk – Franklin
Palk spent time both as a defensive end and a linebacker for the Rebels in 2016. He was able to chip in with 8.0 sacks in 12 games, 52 total tackles, and 14.5 tackles for loss.
Defensive Line – Kyle Weiner – Brentwood
Kyle Weiner was able to get to the quarterback for a sack 8.0 times in 2016. He had a season high 3.0 sacks in Brentwood’s 38-13 win over Henry County on October 21st, and 2.0 against their rival Ravenwood on August 27th.
Linebacker – Brayden DeVault-Smith – Pearl-Cohn
Devault-Smith had a fantastic year for the Firebirds, totaling 153 tackles over 14 games. He averaged 10.9 tackles per game, and 91 of his 153 tackles were solo. He also chipped in with 12.0 tackles for loss, and 1.0 sack.
Linebacker – Joshua Deel – Watertown
Deel finished the 2016 season with 143 tackles in just 10 games. He averaged 14.3 tackles per game, as well as 7.0 tackles for loss.
Linebacker – CJ Grissim – Brentwood
Another tackling machine, Grissim finished the year with 143 tackles in 13 games, good for 11.0 per game.
Defensive Back – Ty Dean – Beech
Dean had six interceptions in 12 games in 2016, and returned them for 48 yards.
Defensive Back – Darius Young – Shelbyville Central
Darius Young clearly knows what to do when he gets the football in his hands. He had five interceptions in 10 games for Shelbyville Central, and he returned them for 171 yards. That’s good for 34.2 yards per return.
Defensive Back – William Phillips – Lipscomb Academy
Phillips, the running back and safety for Lipscomb Academy, registered six interceptions in 2016. He was able to return this six interceptions for 131 yards to set up his offense. Even more impressive, those six interceptions came in just 10 games.
Defensive Back – Rod Reed – Stratford
Reed finished the season with six interceptions for Stratford, and he did so in just 10 games. He took those six INTs and returned them for 258 yards, which is an average of 43 yards per return.
Kicker – Adam Williams – Wilson Central
Williams was the Mr. Football runner up in the state of Tennessee.
Kick Returner – Landon Guidry – Independence
Punt Returner – Blake Watkins – Smyrna
Watkins had an average of 14.6 yards per return on the year. He was able to return 10 punts for 146 yards for the Bulldogs and was a threat to take it deep any time he touched it.