2007 Varsity Preview: Detroit Renaissance

Over the next few weeks, Michigan Varsity will preview the state's top teams. Features include full offensive and defensive breakdowns, depth charts and much more. First up, Detroit Renaissance made it to the first round of the playoffs last year, with almost all of their 22 starters back, can the Phoenix make a deeper run this season?

DETROIT RENAISSANCE PHOENIX
Head Coach:
Antonio Watts
2006 Record: 6-4

SCHEDULE
Fri 8/24 @U of D Jesuit 3PM
Fri 8/31 @Detroit King 3PM
Fri 9/7 Detroit Southwestern 3PM
Fri 9/14 Detroit Mumford 3PM
Fri 9/21 @Detroit Finney 3PM
Key Game: Finney just edged them for the title last year, this game could be the decider again this time around.
Fri 9/28 @Detroit Cody 3PM
Fri 10/5 @Detroit Henry Ford 3PM
Fri 10/12 TBA - Open League -
Fri 10/19 TBA - Open League -


OVERVIEW
With a ton of starters returning, there is no doubt that this is the year Detroit Renaissance must capitalize on the talent they have. This team is loaded and it starts on offense with QB Jeray Carraway. A talented run-pass threat, he'll have to take care of the ball and get the ball out quickly to his playmakers and there are several of them. RB Charles Hollowell is cat quick and a great receiver out of the backfield as is his backup, Quinn Parnell. The Phoenix feature a spread look and the wide receivers are a strength. Sam Gaymon is a Division-1 prospect with size and hands. He is a reliable underneath guy who moves the chains but can also go up and get it. Going up and getting it is something Jordan Kelly also does well and he and Gaymon give the team two big, strong targets on the outside. Junior Dana Dixon is an exceptional athlete in the slot and Delano Collins has ability after the catch. The offensive line is also looking good with four starters returning. G Laurence Young and OT Chinedum Umachi form a strong left side while Darryl Jackson provides experience at center.

As always with the 3-4 look on defense, the keys are the linebackers and the nose man. The Phoenix have big Jermere Nickerson (6'0, 301) as their man in the middle and his stout frame and strength ties up blockers. Benefitting from that will be inside linebackers Jordan Kelly and Tank Henderson. Henderson isn't the biggest guy, but he runs to the ball and isn't afraid to lay a hit. On the outside, junior Chris Norman may just be the team's most physically impressive player. Equally comfortable in space as well as rushing the passer off the edge, he will be a prospect many colleges covet next year. In the secondary, Parnell and Carraway are as good a tandem as their is in the conference. Both are quick and aggressive. Dixon can play corner as well, but will start off at his natural position of free safety where he excelled as a freshman last season.

BOTTOM LINE
Renaissance heads into this year as the team to beat in PSL-3. After bowing out in the 1st Round of the playoffs last year, this group is hungry and ready to make another playoff appearance. There is firepower on offense and athleticism on defense, so the main thing will be limiting mistakes.

PROJECTED STARTERS
OFFENSE
QB 7 Jeray Carraway Sr
RB 27 Charles Hollowell Sr
WR 4 Sam Gaymon Sr
WR 12 Dana Dixon Jr
WR 8 Jordan Kelly Sr
WR 3 Delano Collins Jr
LT 50 Chinedum Umachi Sr
G 52 Laurence Young Sr
C 75 Darryl Jackson Sr
G 74 Jordan Rivers Sr
RT 56 Chris Norman Jr
DEFENSE
DE 50 Chinedum Umachi Sr
NT 71 Jermere Nickerson Sr
DE 52 Laurence Young Sr
OLB 4 Sam Gaymon Sr
ILB 53 Tank Henderson Sr
WLB 8 Jordan Kelly Sr
OLB 4 Sam Gaymon Sr
CB 7 Jeray Carraway Sr
CB 2 Quinn Parnell Sr
FS 12 Dana Dixon Jr
S - Dennis Duncan Jr

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