The offense will look very similar to the one that helped Dacula to the Class AAAAAA semifinals last season, which is great news for Falcons fans.
Eight starters return to the unit, including a multitude of playmakers at the skill positions.
“We have so many good skill kids and I think we are getting better and better up front,” Dacula head coach Clint Jenkins said. “During the camps and 7-on-7 in the summer, it was a lot of fun to watch. This guy could go score. This guy could go score. To have multiple guys to get the ball to is a huge advantage for us.”
Quarterback Jarrett Jenkins, a Georgia Southern baseball commit, is back to trigger the offense. He threw for 2,080 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior.
Top wide receivers Chris Scott (33 catches, 606 yards, 7 TDs) and Konata Mumpfield (pictured) (47 catches, 525 yards, 4 TDs) are returning starters, while Kaleb Edwards also figures to have a more prominent role on offense. Speedy running back Trenton Jones (1,330 rushing yards, 15 TDs) leads the running game, while powerful Kyle Efford (683 yards, 8 TDs) also is back.
The offensive line has four starters back led by all-county selection Riley Adcock. He is joined up front by Chancellor Martin, Adam Watkins, Jake Royals and Josh Mijos.
“We’re a tribe inside a tribe up front,” Adcock said. “We should be able to move people.”
The experience level on defense doesn’t compare to the offense. Only three starters are back from what was one of the area’s top units.
Dacula’s coaches aren’t panicking, though.
“I’m actually excited (about the defense),” Clint Jenkins said. “We’re not big on defense, which we haven’t been in a long time, but we’re fast. We’re tough. For us on defense, it’s just the experience factor. We’ve got to get out there and play. And play in and out of some situations that you get into during games. That will tell what kind of defense we’ll be. But I’m excited about this group of kids. I think we’ve got the right group of kids. It’s just the experience factor is what you don’t know.”
Efford will start at linebacker, a position that also features young talent like T.J. Young, Dylan Hand and Reggie Icilien.
“I think we have a really good crew of linebackers,” Clint Jenkins said. “Our linebackers could be as good as we’ve had and that’s really saying something. They haven’t done it yet (in a game), but they can run and hit. They’re athletes.”
Secondary is the position with the most experience thanks to returning starters Edwards and Vernon Porte. They will line up alongside Mumpfield and Voshon Porte.
Jalen Cole is back on the defensive line, where Darren Lawson and Micaiah Umenyiora are slated as starters.
Hopes are high for the Falcons after matching the deepest playoff run in school history last season. The amount of talent from that team has fans excited for an encore. “We still have the same expectations,” Mumpfield said. “We’re still going to work hard, put our heads down and continue to do our job. I believe we’ll be able to go to the same place we did last year if not farther.” … Clint Jenkins set the standard high in his first season as head coach, moving up from defensive coordinator. He was the Daily Post’s Coach of the Year. He understands the excitement built up by last year’s success, and is glad he has veteran players back this season. “Any time you’ve got guys that have played in the kind of games they have it’s big,” the coach said. “These guys have played in big games. They don’t get any bigger in high school football. Any time you’ve got guys with that kind of experience, you can lean on that and it’s a huge advantage.” … Dacula also has a reliable kicker and punter back in senior Zach Gerks.