The Spring Top 10s continue today as Division II-AA is examined with a Top 5.
My Top 5 is based on conversations with coaches in Division II-AA coaches across the state as well as returning players that the teams have back in 2014.
Their schedule also plays a part in the selection of the teams as well.
I'm old school and I believe that the defending state champion always starts the following season ranked No. 1.
It's a part of the perk of winning a state championship so this spring's No. 1 Division II-AA team is Ensworth who will be looking to win their fifth consecutive state title.
5. Baylor Red Raiders
Last Year's Record-7-5, lost to MBA 31-10 in Quarterfinals
Head Coach- Phil Massey
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense-4/5
Defense- 3-3 Stack
Key Returnees-Nick Tiano (QB, Sr.), Sean Wampler (S, Sr.), Cole McMahan (OL, Sr.), Luke Hutchins (LB, Sr.), Colin Brewer (WR, Sr.), Jon Schmissrauter (OL/DL, Sr.)
Key Losses-Rafael Gaglianone (K), Trey Foshee (OL), Mike Thompson (OL), Aden George Warren (OL), Ben Pettway (OL), Chandler Gouger (OL), Will Thomas (DL), Blake Layne (LB), Glenn Ireland (FS), George Porter (RB),
Spring Optimism- The Red Raiders return nine starters returning including senior quarterback Nick Tiano who has several Division I offers.
Spring Concerns- Baylor will have to rebuild their offensive line as they graduated four starters and find overall depth as the Red Raiders are not as deep as in years past.
4. MBA Big Red
Last Year's Record-10-2, lost to MUS 23-17 in Semifinals
Head Coach- Marty Euverard
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense-4/4
Key Returnees-Cole Euverard (QB, Sr.), Austin Rolfe (WR, Sr.), Arthur Churchwell (DB, Sr), Michael Lacy (DB/RB, Sr.), Ty Chandler (RB, Soph.), Davis Luster (K/P, Sr.), David Gaw (OLB, Sr.),
Luke Bullock (WR/DB, Sr.)
Key Losses-Alex Bars (OL), Jay Robertson (DT), Tony Drew (RB), Grey Reames (WR/DB), Bryson Garrett (DB), Travonte' Easley (DB), DJ Mott (OL),
Spring Optimism- The Big Red only have eight starters returning (4 on both offense and defense) but they are big players to build around including leading passer Cole Euverard, leading receiver in Austin Rolfe and leading rusher in sophomore Ty Chandler.
Spring Concerns- The Big Red will have to rebuild their offensive and defensive lines after losing college signees Alex Bars, D.J. Mott and Jashon Robertson.
3. MUS Owls
Last Year's Record-10-3, lost to Ensworth 27-10 in Finals
Head Coach- Bobby Alston
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense-5/3
Key Returnees-Colton Neel (RB, Sr.), Brant Newman (OL, Sr.), Drew Richmond (OL, Sr.), Maleik Gatewood (DB, Sr.), Connor Wright (RB, Sr.), Tom Fowlkes (WR, Sr.), Mike Frymire (OL, Sr.), Tim Hart (LB, Jr.), Peyton Jones (DE, Sr.), A. J. Hunt (SS, Sr.), Marcus Evans (QB, Sr.), Chris Davis (WR, Sr.), Thomas Pickens (ATH, Jr.), Jackson Dickinson (LB, Jr.), William Rantzow (LB, Jr.), Mack Mosby (OL, Sr.)
Key Losses-Devin Perry (WR), James Prather (DE), Trey Moore (LB), Gary Wunderlich (K/P), Witt Hawkins (WR), Blake Bennett (QB), Kyle Naes (OL), Dennis Parnell (OL), Andrew Crosby (DL), Bobby Lewis (DE), Lucas Crenshaw (DB), Bud Harris (LB)
Spring Optimism- The Owls will have to replace some talented playmakers on both sides of the ball but they do return 1,000 yard rusher Colton Neel and well as the arguably the best Class of 2015 prospect in the state in offensive lineman Drew Richmond (6-5, 320).
Spring Concerns- Coach Bobby Alston will be looking for a quarterback to execute the Owls multiple set attack and Marcus Evans seems to have the inside track to the job coming out of Spring.
MUS will also look to rebuild a defense that must replace eight starters including five in the front seven.
2. Brentwood Academy Eagles
Last Year's Record- 8-4, lost to Ensworth 21-12 in Semifinals
Head Coach- Cody White
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense-4/5
Key Returnees-Jackson Pittman (DT/OL, Sr.), Aaquil Anoor (DB, Sr.), Shawn Brashers (RB, Sr.), Shon Lumpkin (RB, Sr.), Bryce Mathews (OL, Jr.), Dawson Knox (QB, Sr.), Ryan Johnson (OL, Jr.),
Jordan James (DE/TE, Sr.), Coutrell Plair (DB/WR, Jr.), Trent Taylor (DB, Jr.), Chris Hopkins (SS, Jr.)
Key Losses-C.J. Sanders (WR), Derek Barnett (DL/TE), Tyler Swafford (QB)
Spring Optimism- The Eagles will have a easy gameplan early on in the season which will be to run the football as they have a talented offensive line led by senior Jackson Pittman and juniors Bryce Mathews and Ryan Johnson.
Also returning is both running backs in seniors Shawn Brashers and Shon Lumpkin who rushed for nearly 1,400 yards as they split time as the featured back last year.
Spring Concerns- BA is in a market for a quarterback as three players in senior Dawson Knox, sophomore Jeremiah Oatsvall and freshman Gavin Schoenwald will compete to be the signal caller.
1. Ensworth Tigers
Last Year's Record-11-1, defeated MUS 27-10 for state title
Head Coach- Ricky Bowers
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense-5/5
Key Returnees-Donovan Sheffield (RB/DB, Sr., Vanderbilt commitment), Rico McGraw (DB, Sr., Georgia commitment), Coleman Goodwin (QB, Jr.), Daniel Mangrum (FB, Sr.), Thomas Freeland (SS, Sr.), Hunter Travis (LB, Sr.), P.J. Settles (QB, Sr.), Daniel Davis (OL, Sr.), Greg McCloud (OL/DL, Sr.), Myles Douglas (DL, Sr.)
Key Losses-Xavier Forrest (OT/DL), Parker Wade (C), Michael Sawyers (OG/DT), D'Andre Ferby (RB), Jake Estes (K), J. D. Dotson (FB), Kiambu Fentress (WR/DB), Patrick Miller (LB)
Spring Optimism- The Tigers will be looking to win their fifth consecutive Division II-AA title and will have two college bound defensive backs in Rico McGrew (Georgia commitment) and Donovan Sheffield (Vanderbilt commitment) to lead the secondary.
Ensworth will also have both quarterbacks returning in senior P.J. Settle and junior Coleman Goodwin.
Spring Concerns- Ensworth will have to find three starters on the offensive line to replace three college bound athletes.
Three More Teams That Were Considered For Top 5 In Alphabetical Order: Christian Brothers, Father Ryan, McCallie
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