40 Teams in 40 Days – Day 40 – St. Joseph’s Prep (12)–Big School Team #1
Preps starting quarterback Chris Martin from last year is gone to graduation. Who will replace the 2,200 yards and 27 touchdowns from last year? In steps quarterback Jack Clements. Jack did start a few games last year when Chris was hurt.
“Jack has worked real hard in the offseason and we’re happy with his progress. He got some experience last year playing in those city championship games. In the Malvern game I thought he showed a lot of improvement from the first week to the second. He has a good vertical passing game. He’s tall (6-4) and sees the field pretty well. He does a nice job working in between the hashes. He’s a very good runner and is quick. He can move around the pocket and throws well on the run.”
Prep arguably has the best group of running backs on one team in the state. Olamide Zaccheus, De’Andre Swift and John Reid lead the three-headed rushing monster attack. All three guys can run 4.3 or 4.4.
Olamide rushed for 875 yards on 129 carries and 12 touchdowns last year.
“He’s more of a slasher type runner and has great speed. He can catch the ball and has the best hands on the team. He’s a very patient runner and has great vision and can accelerate. He can get from 0 to 90 faster than anyone we have.”
He caught 32 passes for 424 yards and three touchdowns.
“We like to put him in the slot and he’s a very good route runner. He’s a nightmare for a safety to cover and is great in open space. He makes plays. He’s very explosive and has great body control. His ability to separate from people underneath is exceptional. He can get away from you quickly.”
Another guy very similar to O is sophomore sensation D’Andre Swift. Last year as a freshman he rushed for 635 yards on 113 carries and four touchdowns.
“He can accelerate and change direction and he can run through you. He gets stronger as the game goes and if you are tired at the end of the half, he is impossible to tackle. His lower body is so big. I see him everyday and sometimes in practice he does something and you say, did he really do that? Did that really just happen and sometimes its like watching a video game, it’s like how did he do that? Then it hits you that he’s very young. But don’t let that fool you. When he gets on the field he’s a different person.”
He caught 33 passes for 424 yards and five touchdowns last year for Prep.
“He has great hands and is a playmaker for us. He’s capable of breaking big plays every time he touches the ball.”
Last year John Reid played more receiver for Prep.
“We had a kid last year before the season transfer out who was a good receiver. He came to me and said, coach we’re going to miss the vertical threat and I think I can help us there. That was his unselfish way of saying I can help you there. That’s what he did and he committed to learning the wide receiver position. He did a great job and I argue he may be one of the best wide receivers in the state.”
He was limited at running the ball last year. He rushed for 126 yards and three touchdowns.
“When he lines up at running back, he’s an explosive and strong runner. He’s a great downhill runner. He’s a physical back. He will be back there getting some touches at running back.”
Another guy to watch is Benny Walls.
“He’s a rising junior and a 400 meter champion. He’s very fast and a physical downhill runner.”
Some other young guys that may get some reps and they are James Bell and Shaun Harris.
If your going to talk about Prep’s offensive line you start with Michigan recruit Jon Dainel Runyan. Jon has been playing on offense since his sophomore year. He will play left tackle.
“His sophomore year he started at right tackle and last year he was the only returning lineman. We had to ask him to anchor the line. We graduated four of the five kids. We wanted him to be the leader and he did a great job last year with the other four guys. The credit on how the line played all season goes to Jon. He stepped up and got the job done. He’s technically one of the best I have ever seen at this age. He’s very athletic and probably can play tight end for us. He’s one of the strongest kids on the team and has great feet.”
The left guard is Shane Davis.
“Shane is a big guy at 6-foot-4, 295-pounds. He’s a returning starter from last year and has some division one offers. He’s very smart and is the student council president. The strongest guy on the team pound for pound. He’s very powerful.”
The center is Ed Mooney.
“Ed is 6-foot-1, 245-pounds and is a returning starter. He did a great job last year as a sophomore in the no huddle offense. He’s a very talented young man.”
The right guard is Mark Ehrlich.
“Mark is 6-foot-2, 240-pounds. He’s a returning starter from last year and was real solid for us.”
The right tackle is a newcomer and his name is Charlie Holsopple.
“He’s 6-foot-4, 245-pounds and is big and physical. He’s tough and very smart kid.”
Bobby Baker will be the sixth man on the offensive line. He can play any of the positions on the line for Prep.
They have a rising sophomore to watch and he is Jackson Evans.
At wide receiver Prep returns their leading guy, John Reid. John led the team with 41 catches for 698 yards and eight touchdowns.
“He’s a dynamic player and has really worked on his hands a lot over the last couple of years. He has really become an exceptional receiver. He has done a great job working on the things that he may not have been great at over the past couple of years. He has worked to eliminate those things. He has improved each year to become a great player. The bottom line is we have to find ways to get him the ball.
Another guy to watch is Justin Montague. He played some last year and caught eight passes for 108 yards.
“He made some huge catches for us in the playoffs against Neshaminy and Parkland. He’s a very good athlete and will be the other receiver.”
Freshman Daryl Simmons is progressing well and may see some varsity action this year.
Another kid is sophomore Terrence Green.
“I think he’s a star in the making. He’s going to be special. I think these are the four guys that will contribute at receiver.”
At tight end we have Jake Strain returning.
“He’s on the field playing tight end about half of the game and is a very good blocker.”
Joe DuMond will also play some tight end as well as Billy Boyle who might play some full back too.
They say it starts up front, well Prep brings back a lot of experience on the defensive line. They return four players from last year. The leader on the line is senior Jake Strain. He has started two years at defensive end.
“He’s a student of the game and really knows the defense schemes. He’s a really smart young man and that is his biggest asset. We can move him around anywhere on the field and what a huge asset that is. It doesn’t matter where we put him on the field. He knows what everybody does on every call. Traditionally we play him at the strong side at defensive end because most teams in high school run the ball off tackle at the strong side. So we like to put our best player there.”
Armen Ware and Alec Dirks are the other defensive ends. Erich Hartman returns at nose guard.
“I think we’re quick and mobile up front. But if we have to go big we can put Jon Daniel and Shane in.”
Both Jon Daniel Runyan and Shane Davis have experience on the defensive line.
“Jon has great instincts and is very strong. Shane is a physical kid. Both are tough to block. You can see what both kids did in the championship game. We asked both of them to play another position in that game and both did a tremendous job.”
Sophomore Taron Hampton will be one of the guys rotating in.
“We got him in some games last year as a freshman. He’s 6-foot-3, 275-pounds. He will give us a lot of reps inside this year.”
Another kid that will get reps is sophomore Michael Bright.
“He’s very athletic and will get some reps this year.”
Prep returns all three linebackers from last year. Joe DuMond played outside linebacker last year.
“We’re moving Joe to inside linebacker. He has started on defense since he was a freshman. He will play the Mike position. He has a lot of experience.”
Shaun Harris returns at the Will position. Nick Vandevere plays the Sam position.
“All three kids are juniors and seniors Tom Console returns and was the fourth backer.”
James Johnson is a sophomore that will see time at linebacker.
In the secondary you have to start with the number one ranked player in Eastern Pennsylvania. His name is John Reid.
“John is very good at adjusting to the football and making plays. Not many people can locate the football like he can. He has the combination of speed, strength and agility. His technical knowledge and professionalism and the way he goes about learning his skills, puts him in the top one percent. He was huge last year in the playoffs against Parkland and Central Catholic.”
They have five guys that will rotate in. Tom Johnson returns at safety along with Dillon DeIulliis.
Justin Montague returns at corner. He played a lot last year for Prep. Benny Walls will be in the mix in the secondary.
Don’t rule out seeing Olamide Zaccheus and De’Andre Swift in the secondary. Richard Carr is another guy that will get some reps at corner.
Special Teams Preview:
The returners are Olamide Zaccheus, De’Andre Swift and John Reid. Terrence Green, Benny Walls and Davion Kidd Jackson will all do returns.
Nick Bill is the kicker. The punter is between two guys. They are Robert Caprice and Mike D’Anjolell.
John Coppinger will be the long snapper along with Jon Daniel Runyan and Jake Strain.
Head Coach: Gabe Infante
2013 Record: 12-3
Key Starters Lost: Chris Martin, Vince Moffett, Ryan McNulty, Steve Robinson
Offensive Starters Returning: (8)
RB Olamide Zaccheus
RB De’Andre Swift
RB/WR John Reid
OL Jon Dainel Runyan
OL Shane Davis
OL Ed Mooney
OL Mark Ehrlich
TE Jake Strain
Defensive Starters Returning: (8)
DL Jake Strain
DL Erich Hartman
DL Alec Dirks
DL Armen Ware
LB Joe DuMond
LB Shaun Harris
LB Nick Vandevere
CB John Reid
Key Newcomers: Benny Walls and Charlie Holsopple
D1 (FBS & FCS) Prospects: John Reid, Jon Daniel Runyan, Olamide Zaccheaus, De’Andre Swift, Jake Strain, Thomas Johnson, Dillion DeIuliis, Daryl Simmons, Joe Dumond, Shawn Harris, Nick Vandavere, Shane Davis
Key Stats: Won the 2013 State Title in 4A
2014 Outlook: Cautiously optimistic
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