While the John Curtis (River Ridge, La.) Patriots were busy winning a national title last season,
Edna Karr (New Orleans)
quietly put together a very, very good 2012 campaign.
Karr outscored opponents 500-114, finishing 14-0 with victories over St. Augustine (New Orleans), Holy Cross (New Orleans) and Neville (Monroe, La.).
The defending Class 4A champions could be even better in 2013, with plenty of key pieces back from last year's squad.
The team's offensive spark plug is Devante "Speedy" Noil
, the No. 1 receiver in the Top247 recruiting rankings
. For Karr, Noil will likely line up behind center. He's incredibly dangerous with the ball in his hands and can turn a broken play into a long touchdown.See the entire Preseason Xcellent 25
When Noil does line up at receiver, Karr will go with Kerry Taylor
behind center, but 6-foot-3 sophomore Raekwon Bush
could see some action after an impressive spring.
Three starters return on the offensive line, but first-year head coach Nathaniel Jones likes the depth of the unit.
The team's defensive line will be among its strengths. The headliner is blue-chip recruit Gerald Willis
, but Joyan Williams
should be just as effective. They'll be supported by a seasoned trio of linebackers comprised of Quanta Moore
, Donnie Alexander
and Jaevon Walton
, who started his high school career at Karr and returned this offseason after playing in Alabama last fall.
Jones, a Karr graduate, looks like a good fit at his alma mater. He recognizes the program's tradition and embraces the expectations.Local look:
"It's very possible that this year's Cougars could be better than last year's undefeated state champion. It seems right now that Speedy Noil will split time as a QB and a WR but ultimately Nathaniel Jones and his staff will get the ball in their best playmaker's hands. The buzz around the city is that Karr could beat anyone in the country right now.
The team only loses seven starters off last year's team and in some spots, the team may get even better. Linebacker Jaevon Walton comes back from spending a year in Alabama and takes over the MLB spot on defense from Elcee Refuge and should hold down the middle of the Cougars' defense. Also, Karr lost a Miami signee at tight end in Standish Dobard but replace him with 6-foot-6 Anthony Jones who is another high-major prospect.
If Karr had one out-of-state game this season against a national contender, although they do play Curtis and St. Augustine, the Cougars could very well make a run for a national championship."- Andy Lopez, The Times-Picayune