Rutherford County prep football teams completed spring practice last month in the middle of the spring sports postseason.
Every team in the state had its share of questions entering spring due to graduation from the year prior. Ten practices and a couple of scrimmages helped answer some of those questions.
Here are answers to some of the offseason questions for Rutherford County teams:
Chase Smotherman and Father Ryan transfer Matt Williams will enter the fall sharing duties at quarterback. The two likely both will see time on the field on Friday nights, Blackman coach Philip Shadowens said. That will help answer the question as to who will replenish the Blaze’s graduated skill players.
Dee Mathers, the younger brother of Ole Miss freshman I’Tavius Mathers, will take over the running back spot. But Shadowens said Cole Notgrass showed big improvement and will carry the ball this fall. Sophomore Charlie Davidson also could see time.
At receiver, Chris Lilly and Quindell Cousin had good springs. And Mason Baer also returns.
Spring standouts: LB/FB Antonio Allen, OL/DL Austin Singleton, Notgrass and LB/TE Brandon Davenport all had strong springs.
Steve Carson and the Eagles are coming off their best season in school history after going 11-1. Numbers are up. About 71 players will be on the roster, up from 56 in 2011.
Quarterback is the big question with the graduation of Nathan Jernigan. His brother Andrew Jernigan took over the bulk of the signal-calling duties due to others playing football. MTCS transfer Britt Roberts is also expected to compete this fall for the starting job.
Spring standouts: OL/DL Jason Griffith, WR/DB John Posada and Jernigan
La Vergne coach Stanton Stevens said the Wolverines do not have any questions at linebacker now like they had entering spring. L.J. Dismuke will be at Mike linebacker. Marcus Franklin is slated at the Sam spot and Dustin Bills will be at the Will.
“When we walk out there, we will look impressive. But we’ve got to play impressive,” Stevens said. “They are long, lanky guys that can run and are high-motor guys.”
Spring standouts: Dismuke, DE Calen Fuller, QB C.J. Fore
MTCS had just a week of spring practice because of baseball and other sports. Coach Brian Stewart still isn’t set at quarterback, which was the Cougars’ biggest question entering the spring.
“We’re going to give all the guys a shot at quarterback that want it,” Stewart said. “We’ll look at them and see who carries us through July (after the dead period) come August.”
Brent Hofbauer and Peyton Buckner return at quarterback. But receiver Justin Winn will get a good look at quarterback.
Spring standouts: Hofbauer, Winn, Buckner, WR/RB Jordan Evans, OL/DL Bryson Hammrich, WR Oakley Starling
The entire defensive line isn’t set, but Oakland coach Thomas McDaniel has a starting point.
Defensive end Cliff Thompson returns from last year. He will likely be joined at end by Siegel transfer DaVonte Johnson, Curtis Gaines and Dywon Boyd. Austin Barrett showed he can be dominant at defensive tackle. However, the second tackle spot is up for grabs.
Spring standouts: LB Josh Smith, RB Fred Wade, QB Emmanuel Smith and athlete Tyler Black
The secondary will have a new look in 2012, but Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott has plenty of options. Mariko Odom will be at one safety spot with sophomore Austin McGrone at the other safety. Ricardo Terry and Tad Onwu will play at corner. Terry played extensively there after Lamar Brown sustained a knee injury.
Spring standouts: WR/DB Tad Onwu, FB/LB Peyton Phillips, FB/LB Scottie Boykin, RB/DB Ricardo Terry, OL Mitchell Maxwell, DL Travis Martin, LB Brandon Stewart
Siegel began to answer its questions on the offensive line. Returning starter Charles Cooper is slated to be at left tackle. Jacob Shultz and Zach Frye are competing for the center spot and Jared Dix, who was out with a back injury last season, did a solid job in the spring at left guard. However, there is still inexperience up front.
Spring standouts: WR/DB Tae Martin, WR Tyler Walton WR/DB Dominque Gooch, TE Damien Clark
There is a lot to be done between now and the start of the season for the Bulldogs. Spring practice only verified that.
“There is a lot we’ve got to fix,” Smyrna coach Matt Williams said. “We found out exactly what I thought — that we have a lot that haven’t played on Friday nights.”
Leadership roles should be filled this summer entering fall camp.
Spring standouts: DE Curtis Jones, DE/TE Dustin Boone, QB/DB D.J. Williams, DB Kyle Smith and TE/DE Desean Williams