Offensive football players to watch in the 2014 season

September 03, 2014|By Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun

Jacquez Adams

Franklin, quarterback, senior

Coming off a season in which he threw for 2,836 yards and 30 touchdowns, Adams aims to help the Indians repeat as state champions. He averaged 202.6 passing yards and completed 65.8 percent of his passes with 13 interceptions. Rated a 3-star prospect by Rivals.com, he has committed to West Virginia.

Indians coach Anthony Burgos: "He's motivated to prove he can be a premier quarterback. What makes him so attractive is that he's a triple threat-type of kid. He can run the ball well. He can throw it. He can also manage the team pretty well. His speed is goint to be a plus for us. Teams are going to have to worry about him running the ball as well as him having the ability throw the ball."

More on Adams: In the playoffs last year, Adams compelted 47 of 64 passes for 782 yards and 11 touchdowns with only two interceptions as the Indians outscored their four opponents, 167-42. He threw for 337 yards and six touchdowns playing less than two thirds of the 49-7 state semifinal win at Huntingtown. In the title game, a 20-7 win over Linganore, he threw for two touchdowns, including one to Steven Smothers on fourth-and-20 to seal the win. He is rated the No. 27 senior prospect in Maryland by Rivals.com. With his twin brother, Jordan, he attended local Nike and Rivals camps and the West Virginia camp.

Patrick Allen

Franklin, tackle, senior

The 6-foot-5, 290-pound left tackle uses his athleticism to slice through defensive lines and block linebackers and the secondary. Rivals.com rates Allen a 4-star prospect and the No. 3 player in Maryland's Class of 2015. An All-Metro second-team selection last season, he has committed to Georgia.

Indians coach Anthony Burgos: "This year, he's concentrating on finishing his blocks. That was something some of the [college] coaches were worried about. He's a great pass blocker but they wanted to see him improve in his run blocking and I think that's where we're going to see a big difference. He's accepted the challenge."

More about Allen: To improve his football skills, Allen has played several other sports. In the spring, he throws the shot put, but he spent a year on the wrestling team and then played basketball last season to try to become a better lineman. He went to camps at Georgia and Tennessee over the summer and was selected to attend the Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge at M&T Bank Stadium in June. He has been nominated to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January.

Sean Bowling

North Harford, kicker, senior

Bowling suffered a broken ankle while training for football in April but is just about back to his former, accurate form. Last season's All-Metro kicker barely missed, converting all 23 extra-point opportunities and eight of 10 field-goal opportunities, all of which came in the 27- to 39-yard range. Eighty percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

Coach Gene Liebel: "He's a great team player. He works hard and he's serious about getting better. Now, he's in the race for quarterback. We have a couple of guys competing for that job but he's in the race. He would help the team anyway he could."

More about Bowling: This will be Bowling's third year as the starting kicker. In his biggest game last season, he scored all of the Hawks' points in a 9-7 win over Perry Hall, booting field goals of 25, 32 and 37 yards. After his injury, he couldn't start kicking until July. He wants to kick in college but missing the summer camp circuit set back his recruiting. He is being recruited by Stevenson. Bowling also plays baseball for the Hawks but missed last season because of the broken ankle.

Travis Chidebe

Meade, running back, senior

A steady contributor out of the backfield last season, Chidebe will step into a bigger role this fall after the graduation of 1,700-yard rusher Kyle Evans. Chidebe, 5 feet 9 and 180 pounds, ran 74 times for 424 yards and four touchdowns last season. A state champion wrestler, he also starts at cornerback.

Mustangs coach Rich Holzer: "For a kid that's not huge, he's a bruiser. I think he uses his wrestling to his advantage. He runs low with really good leverage. It's tough to get underneath him and he's a slasher. Obviously being a wrester, he's physically and mentally very tough."

More about Chidebe: The Class 4A state wrestling champ at 160 pounds last winter, Chidebe won his title match 6-3 thanks in large part to executing the flying squirrel — known as one of the most difficult takedown moves in the sport — twice. Last season, when All-Metro running back Kyle Evans was injured, Chidebe ran for 100 yards against Broadneck during the regular season and then gained 61 in the playoffs. In the state semifinal game — a 46-25 loss to Suitland — with Evans healthy, Chidebe moved to slot and caught a 43-yard touchdown pass.

Jaequan Hill

Edmondson, athlete, senior

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