With back-to-back state titles in Tennessee’s Division II-AA and the potential to be even better this year,
Ensworth (Nashville, Tenn.)
has the makings of a bona fide dynasty.
It makes sense that Ensworth is rising on the national scene. The level of talent in Tennessee - Nashville in particular - continues to improve. Not only does Ensworth get its share of those top players, but head coach Ricky Bowers does an outstanding job guiding them at the helm.MaxPreps Preseason Top 25 High School Football Early Contenders
This year’s team returns do-everything senior Cornelius Elder
. An SEC-caliber recruit, Elder is a shifty running back who catches the ball well out of the backfield. He’s a gifted athlete who also stars in the secondary as well as on the basketball court.
Quarterback Andrew Bowers
also returns after throwing for 1,800 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior. Receiver Myles Pasley
will have to replace the production lost by Cory Batey, but he’s experienced and a receiver that Bowers trusts.
The offensive line, which was remarkably young last season, returns the likes of Jay Heins
, Nick Brown
, Xavier Forrest
and Parker Wade
, will be a strength of this year’s team and should allow Elder to break many long runs.
The depth at the position may mean that 6-foot-5 sophomore
will be a backup, a luxury that most teams can’t afford, given the type of promise that McCloud has.
On the defensive line, Shoman White
and Cody Pack
are back, while the linebacker unit features Brennan Washington
, Anthony Batey
and Andrew Freeland
The secondary, with Elder and Justin Lloyd
, will also be very strong. Watch for Rico McGraw
, a sophomore with an Alabama offer, to see some action.
Overall, this is a team with few weaknesses. Should it play to its potential and avoid hiccups (like last year’s regular-season loss to Baylor), it could soar up the rankings.Local look:
“The 'unfinished business' for Baylor's football team remains unfinished.” - John Hunt, Chattanoogan, after Ensworth beat Baylor in the state title game for the second year in a row.