Countdown to FNL: De La Salle

De La Salle got off to a hot start last season, especially with the ground game, but that flame faded out as the season went on. This year they hope to keep the fire going.

Last year's fall season started with a 300+ rushing yard game for De La Salle running back Mikale Wilbon behind a line comprised of several future division one players. But a minor knee injury to Wilbon led to a struggle to find identity, and the rest of the season was tough for De La Salle.

Still, with the talent on that roster and another year under their belts, the Meteors are back again to rebound and send several key seniors out on top and hopefully contend for a state championship in Illinois.

The headliner of their team is tackle Jamarco Jones, an Ohio State commitment and one of the top players in the state of Illinois in 2014. Jones is joined on the line by fellow senior Aaron Roberts and junior Javon Burruss. All three are at least 6'5" tall and close to 300 pounds. So De La Salle should have no problem controlling the line of scrimmage if they execute.

And running behind the big boys is Wilbon. The Vanderbilt commit is strong, fast, and athletic. If not for the injury last season, Wilbon would have been one of the state's top rushers. HIs health this year will be key to DLS's success. Also important is quarterback Shelby Spence, who keys the offense for the Meteors.

De La Salle has a manageable schedule with a few key games that could make a big difference between just missing the playoffs and having a favorable seed when postseason play kicks off. Let's take a look.

Don't sleep on the small guys: 9/7 at Hales Franciscan

Hales is one of the smaller schools in the catholic league, but they typically make deep runs in the playoffs. This one should be a good early test for the Meteors.

Smashmouth Showdown: 9/13 v. Providence Catholic

Providence is going to take it right to the front line of De La Salle this year. De La Salle might have a potent offense, but the defense hurt them a few times last year. Providence has a solid offensive line too, and with an offensive weapon like Miles Boykin, De La Salle will probably have to win the offensive battle by enough to make up for any defensive lapses.

Best 1-on-1 matchup: 10/19 v. Oak Park Fenwick

This one pits Wilbon against Western Michigan linebacker commit Robert Spillane. This will not only be a good indication of how Spillane progressed over the offseason but will also show how Wilbon does once he gets to the 2nd level against a future division one linebacker.

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