PREVIEW 2016: BEN DAVIS GIANTS
The Giants look for more consistency after going 6-5 in the 2015 season. Coach Mike Kirschner enters his 10th season at the helm of the Giants. The Giants avenged a regular season loss to Pike in the sectionals before falling to Avon in the Sectional 5 title game 27 to 22. The biggest graduation loss is that of Michigan bound running back Chris Evans. Last season he rushed for 1115 yards and 511 yards receiving. Other graduation losses are WR Stori Emerson (Miami (OH), LB Antreaun Rice, LB Travon Smith and DE Kalien Guillory (Western Michigan)
It is not too often to give to an offensive lineman. Tackles Pompey Coleman is definitely deserving. The 6-5 270 pound lineman committed to Missouri over offers from most of the Big Ten.
Senior Azjai Cooper (6-4, 200) started last season at quarterback where he threw for 559 yards. He later caught 12 passes for 129 yards as a receiver. Cooper has garnered an offer from Western Michigan and interest from a ton of others.
It is a rare exception when a player in Indiana has Big Ten offers before even playing a meaningful minute. That is the case though for RB Johnny Adams. The speedster stood out on the summer circuit and drawn major recruiting interest.
Pick any of the trio of MIC rivals Center Grove, Carmel or Warren Central. As usual these teams are loaded.
SCOUTING THE: GIANTS POSITION BY POSITION
Last season Ben Davis has three different quarterbacks take meaningful snaps. Early in the season Alphonso Howard and Azjai Cooper took the majority of the snaps. The Giants then inserted sophomore Reese Taylor in as the starter. The now junior completed 135 of 203 passes for 1696 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Losing Chris Evans to graduation is no easy blow. Kirschner will have several options with senior Jeremiah Whiithorne (419 yards last season) and junior speedster Johnny Adams. Others who could see time are Jaylynn Robinson and junior Joey Person.
This figures to be the best position group on the squad. Senior Noah Thomas (42 receptions for 443 yards) was a standout at the Colts 7 on 7 tournament which Ben Davis won.
Azjai Cooper will see his numbers go up in his first go around as a full time receiver. Senior Zion Blow (18 receptions) and junior Keasean Tunstill (5 catches), junior Jermaine Hoskins and junior Broc Thompson round out the receiver rotation.
The key to an offense is always the play of the big guys up front. SEC recruit Pompey Coleman leads the way. Fellow D1 prospect Ahmad Malone also returns. Senior Jeb Pankow is also back. Seniors Michael Holder, Dylan Runyon and Caleb Holcomb are leading candidates to round out the line.
Indiana University verbal commit LeShaun Minor (62 tackles) leads the way. Rising senior Esezi Otomoweo (6-6, 233) is on the speed dial of many D1 college coaches. Junior Willie Ervin joins seniors Skylar Fletcher, Chris Moody and Kyrin Myles up front.
Senior Will Pate (69 tackles) is back to man one of spots I the 4-4 defense alignment. Hayden Fain, Kailan Laws, Tyree Upchurch and Isaiah Campbell also return.
Juniors CB Jontae Dobson (22 tackles) and FS Rondell Allen (69 tackles) are on most D1 radars. Senior Marcus Dunbar (33 tackles is also back). Junior Elijah Ball a transfer from Ritter will also contend for time.
With improved play of Reese Taylor at quarterback the Giants feel they can contend with anyone. The key will be on the defensive side of the ball. Look for the skill players to lead this team.