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Offensive football players to watch in the 2014 season

Jacquez Adams

Franklin, quarterback, senior

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Coming off a season in which he threw for 2,836 yards and 30 touchdowns, Adams aims to help the Indians repeat as state champions. He averaged 202.6 passing yards and completed 65.8 percent of his passes with 13 interceptions. Rated a 3-star prospect by Rivals.com, he has committed to West Virginia.

Indians coach Anthony Burgos: "He's motivated to prove he can be a premier quarterback. What makes him so attractive is that he's a triple threat-type of kid. He can run the ball well. He can throw it. He can also manage the team pretty well. His speed is goint to be a plus for us. Teams are going to have to worry about him running the ball as well as him having the ability throw the ball."

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More on Adams: In the playoffs last year, Adams compelted 47 of 64 passes for 782 yards and 11 touchdowns with only two interceptions as the Indians outscored their four opponents, 167-42. He threw for 337 yards and six touchdowns playing less than two thirds of the 49-7 state semifinal win at Huntingtown. In the title game, a 20-7 win over Linganore, he threw for two touchdowns, including one to Steven Smothers on fourth-and-20 to seal the win. He is rated the No. 27 senior prospect in Maryland by Rivals.com. With his twin brother, Jordan, he attended local Nike and Rivals camps and the West Virginia camp.

Patrick Allen

Franklin, tackle, senior

The 6-foot-5, 290-pound left tackle uses his athleticism to slice through defensive lines and block linebackers and the secondary. Rivals.com rates Allen a 4-star prospect and the No. 3 player in Maryland's Class of 2015. An All-Metro second-team selection last season, he has committed to Georgia.

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Indians coach Anthony Burgos: "This year, he's concentrating on finishing his blocks. That was something some of the [college] coaches were worried about. He's a great pass blocker but they wanted to see him improve in his run blocking and I think that's where we're going to see a big difference. He's accepted the challenge."

More about Allen: To improve his football skills, Allen has played several other sports. In the spring, he throws the shot put, but he spent a year on the wrestling team and then played basketball last season to try to become a better lineman. He went to camps at Georgia and Tennessee over the summer and was selected to attend the Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge at M&T Bank Stadium in June. He has been nominated to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January.

Sean Bowling

North Harford, kicker, senior

Bowling suffered a broken ankle while training for football in April but is just about back to his former, accurate form. Last season's All-Metro kicker barely missed, converting all 23 extra-point opportunities and eight of 10 field-goal opportunities, all of which came in the 27- to 39-yard range. Eighty percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

Coach Gene Liebel: "He's a great team player. He works hard and he's serious about getting better. Now, he's in the race for quarterback. We have a couple of guys competing for that job but he's in the race. He would help the team anyway he could."

More about Bowling: This will be Bowling's third year as the starting kicker. In his biggest game last season, he scored all of the Hawks' points in a 9-7 win over Perry Hall, booting field goals of 25, 32 and 37 yards. After his injury, he couldn't start kicking until July. He wants to kick in college but missing the summer camp circuit set back his recruiting. He is being recruited by Stevenson. Bowling also plays baseball for the Hawks but missed last season because of the broken ankle.

Travis Chidebe

Meade, running back, senior

A steady contributor out of the backfield last season, Chidebe will step into a bigger role this fall after the graduation of 1,700-yard rusher Kyle Evans. Chidebe, 5 feet 9 and 180 pounds, ran 74 times for 424 yards and four touchdowns last season. A state champion wrestler, he also starts at cornerback.

Mustangs coach Rich Holzer: "For a kid that's not huge, he's a bruiser. I think he uses his wrestling to his advantage. He runs low with really good leverage. It's tough to get underneath him and he's a slasher. Obviously being a wrester, he's physically and mentally very tough."

More about Chidebe: The Class 4A state wrestling champ at 160 pounds last winter, Chidebe won his title match 6-3 thanks in large part to executing the flying squirrel — known as one of the most difficult takedown moves in the sport — twice. Last season, when All-Metro running back Kyle Evans was injured, Chidebe ran for 100 yards against Broadneck during the regular season and then gained 61 in the playoffs. In the state semifinal game — a 46-25 loss to Suitland — with Evans healthy, Chidebe moved to slot and caught a 43-yard touchdown pass.

Jaequan Hill

Edmondson, athlete, senior

In his first season as a high school football player, Hill excelled on both sides of the ball, but his ability to make things happen on defense sealed his spot as an All-Metro cornerback. Look for a big season on offense as Hill, 5 feet 11 and 175 pounds, fills multiple roles, including quarterback.

Red Storm coach Corey Johnson: "He'll probably have a bigger year on offense this year just because he's going to get in it more. Last year, we spread the ball around more, but he's really going to be the main guy this year. He's such an athlete, really dynamic and he's gotten stronger and faster, so I have different packages for him. Since we are going to be young, I figure most teams are going to key on him, so I'll try to put him in different places."

More about Hill: Although Hill could see time at quarterback, running back, slot receiver and wide receiver, he will continue to play on defense as a corner or safety. Last season, he finished with 52 tackles and six interceptions. In the Red Storm's 14-0 win over Dunbar, he scored both touchdowns on defense —a 70-yard fumble recovery and a 50-yard interception return. He also scored 14 other touchdowns last season: seven rushing, four receiving and three on returns.

Kai Locksley

Gilman, quarterback, senior

Rated the nation's No. 12 dual-threat senior quarterback by Rivals.com, the 6-foot-5, 200-pound Florida State commit will add more of a passing dimension to Gilman's offense this fall. The All-Metro second-team pick ran for 795 yards and 14 touchdowns and passed for 875 yards and five touchdowns as a junior.

Greyhounds coach Biff Poggi: "He's done a really nice job of throwing the football and he's gotten a good understanding of the game as to how to lead a team. He's done a very nice job maturing and I'm very happy with how he's done. He's 6-5, runs like a deer, has a really good arm and he's a good athlete plus he's an all-A student, he has very good leadership skills. He's a coach's son too and his dad (Mike Locksley) happens to be the offensive coordinator, quarterback coach at (Maryland), so I would say that he knows what his expectations are. It's a very high bar and that's one of the things you want when you play."

More about Locksley: He is rated a 4-star prospect and the No. 1 recruit in Maryland in the Class of 2015. More than 40 college programs offered him scholarships. One of Locksley's biggest games last season came in a 29-21 win over Archbishop Spalding in which he ran for 189 yards on 26 carries and scored three touchdowns — two in the final 20 minutes. He has been nominated to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January. He also runs for the Gilman track team.

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Nevone McCrimmon

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Mount Saint Joseph, running back, senior

As a sophomore, McCrimmon led the MIAA A Conference in rushing with 1,382 yards on 250 carries, but injuries hampered his junior year. Fully recovered and committed to play at Toledo, the 5-foot-11, 220-pound McCrimmon is rated a 3-star prospect by Rivals.com. He also plays defensive back and returns kicks.

Gaels coach Blake Henry: "I think he's got to be one of the best running backs in the state. He can run you over, make you miss. Very rarely gets caught from behind. He has great hands. He just turned 17, so he's young. Really, he should be a junior this year instead of a senior, so he's just scratching the surface as far as his ability."

More about McCrimmon: At Toledo in July, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds. He missed four of the Gaels' 10 games last season after suffering two injuries, a pulled muscle in his hip and a concussion. As a sophomore, he ran for 198 yards on 31 carries and scored two touchdowns against Archbishop Spalding. That year, he also had 11 receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

Ellis McKennie

McDonogh, tackle, senior

The 6-foot-3, 320-pound McKennie moves from guard to tackle this season after the Eagles graduated three from one of the best lines in the state. McKennie, a 3-star Rivals.com prospect committed to Maryland, has strength, athleticism and technique to go with an aggressive approach.

Eagles coach Dom Damico: "As a run blocker, he's very aggressive, he plays downhill and he can maul you. He's a mauler when it comes to the point of attack in the run game and then he has the ability to move his feet and pass block. I think that's why the major colleges wanted him with the combination of his run blocking skills and being able to manhandle and displace you off the line of scrimmage and he can move his feet and pass protect, so he's got those rare skills that he can do both."

More about McKennie: Rated the No. 13 overall player in the Class of 2015 in Maryland, he committed to the Terps in May after making three trips to campus. Expected to be a guard in college, McKennie learned several offensive line positions as a sophomore when he started most games. He throws the shot put for the track team and is also a 4.0 student, taking mostly Advanced Placement classes.

David Robbins

Glenelg, guard, senior

An explosive drive blocker who manhandles opponents, Robbins plowed the way for the Howard County champion Gladiators to run for nearly 3,000 yards last fall. Exceptionally quick and athletic for being 6 feet 5 and 300 pounds, he had 75 pancake blocks last season. The All-Metro first-team guard has committed to Florida State.

Glenelg coach Butch Schaffer: "He's improved in every single area. He's faster, stronger, more agile. He's a great leader, extremely intelligent, very humble. He makes everyone around him play bigger, play better."

More about Robbins: Over the summer, Robbins went to the Nike Football Training Camp and the Rivals Camp in Baltimore as well as the Florida State camp. On the second day of Florida State camp, Rivals.com analysts rated him the No. 15 overall player among about 600 participants. Robbins worked out two to three times a day over the summer and can bench press 225 pounds 20 times. He is rated the No. 17 player in Maryland's Class of 2015 by Rivals.com and No. 11 by ESPN.

Steven Smothers

Franklin, wide receiver, junior

The area's most electric player is always a big-play threat. With his speed and athletic catches, the 5-foot-11, 150-pound All-Metro first-team selection amassed 1,816 all-purpose yards last season and had two of his 17 touchdowns in the state final. He has offers from Florida State and Alabama, among many others.

Indians coach Anthony Burgos: "The key for him is that he's going to continue to work on his game and continue to help others on the team. He knows that's an important piece. He has to get the other wide receiver guys in a position where they're being explosive to where teams can't focus on him."

More about Smothers: Last season, MaxPreps named Smothers to its sophomore All-America second-team offense. Rated a 4-star prospect and the No. 4 player in Maryland in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, Smothers is being recruited as an athlete. In addition to excelling as a wide receiver, where he caught 50 passes for 1,052 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, he also stands out as a cornerback and return man. In last year's regional final, he scored on a 69-yard reception, a 59-yard interception return and an 84-yard kickoff return.

OTHER NOTABLES

Tynard Barfield, Patterson

Azariah Bratton-Bey, Douglass

Marcel Brown, Randallstown

Lawrence Cager, Calvert Hall

Marty Costes, Archbishop Curley

Hunter Dafoe, Meade

Joe Detorie, Fallston

Brennon Dingle, Archbishop Spalding

Damien Farmer, Calvert Hall

Patrick Fitzgerald, Westminster

Jack Flowers, North Carroll

Donovan Franklin, Old Mill

Chris Gavin, South Carroll

Canaan Gebele, Broadneck

Trevonte Gibbs, Douglass

Deonte Harris, Archbishop Curley

Julius Harvey, City

Darius Hinton, Franklin

Will Huff, Meade

Shawn Johnson, Joppatowne

Brady Ludwig, Old Mill

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Dorian Maddox, Gilman

Anthony Messenger, Arundel

Jeremy Middlebrooks, Edgewood

Mike Morris, Perry Hall

Garrett Mullin, St. Paul's

Cuinn Mullins, Wilde Lake

Andre Neal, New Town

Chad Patterson, Westminster

Devin Phelps, St. Frances

David Pindell, Oakland Mills

Anthony Pino, St. Paul's

Alex Plotkin, Archbishop Spalding

Brian Plummer, South Carroll

Jelani Roberts, Gilman

Alec Ruden, Broadneck

Jack Shugars, Archbishop Spalding

Tyler Smith, River Hill

Roy Toomer Broadneck

Omar Walker, C. Milton Wright

Osiah Walker, C. Milton Wright

Brendan Weinhold, Fallston

Maurice Williams, St. Frances

Ronje Wright, Towson

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