No. 3 Norcross (Ga.) - Team preview / Preseason photo gallery
Norcross is big, fast and strong -- and has already shown it has the mettle to go the distance. Last year, it finished undefeated, winning the Class AAAAAA state title and beating the likes of Camden County and Colquitt County in the process. The defense returns the nation's No. 2 recruit according to 247Sports, Lorenzo Carter
, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound manchild at defensive end. Three linebackers, including coveted recruit Kevin Mouhon
, also return. Amazingly, all five offensive linemen are back, as is Myles Autry
, who is as exciting as any player in the state with the ball in his hands.Question marks:
Despite returning a whopping 16 starters, there are serious issues that Norcross needs to address, mostly on offense. Last year, the team relied heavily on MaxPreps All-American Alvin Kamara, who carried the ball 303 times for 2,264 yards and 26 touchdowns. Head coach Keith Malouf also needs to find a replacement for quarterback Joseph Wilber, who threw for nearly 2,500 yards last year. Autry will help make up for some of that production, but he can't replace nearly 5,000 yards of offense. Further complicating matters is the reality that Autry is still recovering from offseason surgery that corrected a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus he suffered in the playoffs last year.Outlook:
This team has everything you look for in a national champion-caliber squad: It proved itself last year and returns most of its team. It blends star power with solid, unheralded role players. Perhaps most importantly, Malouf understands the expectations many will have for this squad and will do everything in his power to limit any sort of distractions.