Heritage was one of three Rockdale County schools to finish 5-5 in 2008. After the Patriots wrapped up their spring football season with White's 21-14 victory over Blue in the spring game, coach Chad Frazier talked about some of the positives and some things his team needs to work on before summer workouts begin June 8.
The quarterback position is set with rising senior Garry Peters back for another season under center. Peters, who has received offers from a number of schools, including Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, looks primed for a big senior season.
"He's the best athlete on the field," Frazier said of Peters at spring practice.
Heritage, which runs the option, appears set in the offensive backfield as well. Frazier said a number of backs played well during spring camp, including last year's starting fullback, Tyrone Brown, and backup fullback Chase Davis. Also moving up the depth chart were slot back Eian Williams and tailback Devon Holmes.
Though Frazier said the strength of the team will be its defense, replacing nose tackle Melvin Jones (now at Presbyterian) and defensive end Justin Jones (East Carolina) will not be easy. A handful of players will get the chance to take the Jones' starting spots, with junior Devon Stainrod and sophomore Brian Taylor the front-runners.
"(Stainrod and Taylor) probably stood out," Frazier said. "We've got a couple kids; not as a good, not as ready (as the Jones'). We have our personnel meetings to figure out who will fit best and where."
Frazier also said last year's team passed a lot and that the 2009 version will be much more of a running team. That might help to hide the fact that the receiving corps is weak, though Jermonte Love had an excellent spring and goes into summer workouts as the probable No. 1 at wideout.
"Last year we were a little more pass-happy because we were deep at receiver and not very deep at running back," said Frazier. "This year we're deep at running back, not at receiver."
Kurt Aschermann Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: At a glance
· Team: Heritage football
· Coach: Chad Frazier
· 2008 record: 5-5
· Spring practice: Ended May 15
· Summer workouts: Begin June 8