Video: Early Contenders presented by Shock DoctorWe set the tone for 2018 by looking at high school football's elite.
Head coach: Richard Morgan
Last season: 8-5, lost 51-41 to eventual state champion North Gwinnett in the 7A quarterfinals.
Last decade: 50-60
Famous alumni/players: Alan Ball, screenwriter; Joanne Woodward, Academy Award-winning actress; Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves shortstop; Dale Ellis, Former NBA All-Star.
Star power (According to 247Sports): QB Harrison Bailey (6-5, 230, Jr.)
5-star recruits — 1; 4-star recruits — 5; 3-star recruits — 3
Bailey is the next great Georgia quarterback. ATH Arik Gilbert (6-5, 250, Jr.)
— The 5-star recruit from the Class of 2020 will have a chance to be the No. 1 player overall. WR Ramel Keyton (6-3, 185, Sr.)
— The 2019 Tennessee commit had a huge showing at the biggest high school football showcase, The Opening Finals, and is poised for a monster senior season.
OT Jake Wray (6-5, 290, Jr.)
— The 2020 Ohio State commit is one of the best offensive lineman in the country.DE BJ Ojulari (6-4, 215, Jr.)
The absolute nightmare for opposing quarterbacks checks in as the No. 5 weakside defensive end on 247sports.
KEY GAMESAug. 16
at RomeAug. 24
vs. Good Counsel (Olney, Md.)Sept. 7
vs. No. 5 Grayson (Loganville)Sept. 22
at No. 6 St. John's (Washington, D.C.)Oct. 12
• Morgan has turned Marietta into one of the top up-and-coming programs in high school football. He turned Oscar Smith into a national power and he is doing the same thing in Marietta.
• The Blue Devils finished last year 8-5 but were 5-1 in games which Bailey started. The only game they lost with him under center was to eventual state champion North Gwinnett in the 7A quarterfinals. In six games last year, Bailey threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. He checks in as the No. 2 pro style quarterback in the Class of 2020 and is a Top 40 recruit overall.
• This team is loaded with playmakers. Gilbert is a beast on both sides of the ball. Ojulari and Wray are two of the best players in the trenches. Marietta is stacked with players from the Class of 2020 and 2021 so expect Marietta to be a major player for the next few years.