Tigers' 2016 opponents sport big weapons
Coming off of one of the most successful seasons in Tiger football history, Marshall County has lined up some stiff competition for the 2016 campaign facing some of the best individual talent the state of Tennessee has to offer. Here is a look at some notable athletes the blue and white will have to contend with if they want to surpass their great successes from 2015.
Jacob Phillips LB 6-4 228 Nashville (East Nashville)
Phillips is listed as the #9 ranked player overall in the state and #10 ranked inside linebacker in the country and is considered a four-star prospect by 247Sports. Phillips transferred from Beech in Hendersonville prior to his junior season and led East Nashville with 122 tackles, five tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and one interception in his debut for the Eagles. The Tigers beat the Eagles in Lewisburg 24-8 in Week Four but Phillips contributed eight tackles, one tackle for a loss, and a sack before leaving the game late in the fourth quarter. The Eagles struggled with a 3-8 record in '15 before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs 21-14 vs Camden Central. Phillips holds over 22 division one offers with a top seven of Alabama, Miami (FL), Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Oregon and Texas A&M. Marshall County will travel to East Nashville on 9/9.
Rutger Reitmaier DL 6-3 270 Nashville (David Lipscomb)
Reitmaier ranks as the #11 ranked player overall in Tennessee and the #24 defensive tackle in the nation and is considered a three-star prospect by 247Sports. Reitmaier has collected 28 tackles for a loss and 116 tackles over the past two seasons and committed to the Oregon Ducks in June after weighing offers from 17 other teams. Lipscomb finished the 2015 season 8-4 after being put out of the TSSAA playoffs in the second round by eventual 4A state runner-up Pearl-Cohn. The Tigers will scrimmage the Mustangs on 8/2 at 5:30.
Theo Jackson S 6-2 176 Nashville (John Overton)
The consensus three-star Nashville product committed to the Tennessee Vols in June after collecting offers from 12 other schools including Louisville, LSU, and Vanderbilt. Jackson is ranked #16 overall in the state and the #38 ranked safety in the nation. While gaining attention as a top level defender Jackson also added 18 receptions and 232 receiving yards to go along with five touchdowns. This season the former wide out will move under center to direct the Bobcat offense. Overton was the Tigers lone regular season loss in 2015 following a thrilling 34-33 Bobcat victory in Nashville. Marshall County will get a shot at Overton at Preston Hopkins Field on 8/26.
T.J. Carter CB 5-10 180 Nashville (Stratford)
The Spartans got a huge off-season boost with the addition of Carter who transferred to the East Nashville school from Hendersonville. The three-star recruit is considered the 14th best player in the Volunteer state and ranks as the 48th best corner back in the entire country but led 6A Hendersonville with 1,009 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns including five 100 yard games. Carter has garnered 11 major offers but lists Georgia Tech, Memphis, Mississippi State, and South Carolina as his top four schools. Marshall County beat a resurgent Stratford squad 38-20 in week six before the Spartans went on a four-game winning streak but ultimately falling to 3A juggernaut CPA 31-12 in the second round of the state playoffs. The Tigers will travel to Nashville for a rematch on September 23rd.
Brent Cimaglia K 6-0 215 Franklin (Page)
Considered the #5 ranked kicker nationally Cimaglia committed to the Vols on June 5th after being a Southern Mississippi commit for over a year. The heir apparent to Lewisburg product Aaron Medley, the Page kicker connected on 10-13 field goals last season but made the All-State team as a punter. Cimaglia missed two field goals in a 42-24 district title loss to the Tigers on the last week of the season and the Patriots were upset by East Hamilton in the opening round of the TSSAA playoffs. The longtime rivals will square off on 10/28.
DeMarquz Trotter S 6-0 173 Nashville (East Nashville)
Trotter carries an offer from FCS school Indiana State but has also been hearing from Vanderbilt lately. A multi-purpose threat, Trotter caught nine passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns to go along with 110 kickoff return yards, and added 29 tackles and four pass break-ups on defense. Trotter added six tackles in a week four loss to the Tigers.
Yusuf Ali CB 5-9 170 Nashville (Maplewood)
Ali contributed 34 tackles from the corner back position and added 13 receptions, 151 yards and one touchdown as a receiver for Maplewood in 2015. Ali recorded four tackles in the Panthers 34-33 triple OT loss to the Tigers last season and Maplewood was taken down 14-7 by Lipscomb in the first round of the playoffs. The corner back has offers from Tennessee Tech and Kentucky Christian. The Panthers and Tigers will rematch on 10/21 in Lewisburg.
Justin Oden Athlete 6-2 158 Spring Hill (Spring Hill)
The younger brother of Rutgers freshman quarterback Tylin Oden, the junior has already received offers from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt after an injury plagued sophomore season. Oden recorded 13 receptions and 152 yards in just four games. The Raiders were dominated 59-21 in a much anticipated match-up versus the Tigers in 2015 and a season with so much promise ended with a 3-7 record and without a playoff appearance. The Tigers will travel to Maury County in 2016 to face the Raiders on 10/14.
Jashon Watkins Athlete 6-4 185 Nashville (East Nashville)
Considered by most recruiting services as a Top Five player in the state for the class of 2019, Watkins was used sparingly during his freshman season with just two carries for 17 yards and nine tackles, one tackle for a loss, and three passes defended on defense but still managed to receive offers from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Jackson State heading into his second season. Watkins carried the ball once for eight yards in his freshman campaign against the Tigers in week four.