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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Football preview: Jefferson

Versatility a strength for Dragons
The Dragons have several athletes who can play multiple positions, and this year’s poster child for that theme is Chavez Pownell. He plays slot receiver, defensive back, kick returner, punt returner, and, as Dragons’ head coach Jeremy Earle says, “Anything else we might ask him to do.”
“There is little doubt that Chavez will have a filthy jersey by the time the game ends,” Earle said.
Pownell grins and says, “I’ll do anything to help the team.”
As for leading, Pownell does it by example: Working hard while staying focused and positive.
It appears the Dragons are stepping in line.
Jefferson’s offensive line, for instance, has followed Pownell’s durable attitude by gladly stepping across the line to play on the defensive front as well.
“This is only going to help us,” Earle said. “We feel good about guys who can do multiple things for us.”
Pownell is getting some looks from lower Division I schools, but is hoping his stock will rise this year. By season’s end, he should have plenty of highlight reels to choose from — on both sides of the ball.
To say Earle feels good about his quarterback situation would not be saying enough. Deiondre Porter, who last year completed 157 of 256 passes for 2,276 yards and 27 touchdowns, returns stronger, quicker and more confident.
“Porter has gained so much confidence in so many ways and it really has been a pleasure watching him grow,” Earle said.
Offensive line
Yes, several of them will play both ways, but the best news might be that four Dragons — Josh Marrero, Gino Harrington, T.J. Williams and Zach Buchanan — return to the offensive line much stronger and bigger, averaging about 6-foot-2, 285 pounds.
The Dragons have been known for their receivers in recent years, and this year is no exception. Derrick Ingram, Ventell Bryant and James Wilson could make plenty of noise before this year is all said and done.
This group is led by Juwuan Brown, who has committed to USF. Around Brown is Pelham Golden and Kyle Walker, both of whom can run and hit with the best of them.
Running back
Earle says he has talent at this position, but not a lot of experience. Stepping into the Dragons’ backfield are sophomore speedy Mondreas Lofton and junior Jeremiah Baltrip, who is powerful and fast.
“The good news is that if you’re going to step into a situation where you have inexperienced backs, this is it,” Earle said. “We have lots of experience around these guys and that should help a lot.
Aug. 30: at Alonso
Sept. 6: Hillsborough
Sept. 12: at Robinson
Sept. 27: Armwood
Oct. 4: at Leto
Oct. 11: Lennard
Oct. 18: at King
Oct. 25: Chamberlain
Nov. 1: at Blake
Nov. 8: Steinbrenner
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Jamarcus Harris CB 5-9 150 So.
Statelyn Avery LB 5-10 215 Sr.
Terrell Jackson ATH 5-9 150 Fr.
Thomas Ghebrai OL 5-10 225 Jr.
Tyler Ford OL 6-3 300 Jr.
1 Ventell Bryant WR 6-4 170 Sr.
2 Mondreas Lofton RB/ATH 5-9 165 So.
4 Derrick Ingram WR/S 6-2 200 Sr.
5 Deiondre Porter QB/ATH 6-1 190 Sr.
6 James Wilson WR/DB 6-2 180 Sr.
7 Pelham Golden OLB 6-1 220 Sr.
9 Juwuan Brown OLB/TE 6-4 220 Sr.
10 Terance Williams ATH/QB/DB 6-0 165 So.
11 Ermiyas Ghebrai LB/FB/TE 6-0 200 Sr.
13 Jacob Campbell S 5-10 210 Sr.
15 Taj Jenkins DB/WR 6-1 165 Jr.
16 Noah Pena K 5-9 150 Jr.
18 Cory Walker RB/SS 5-9 175 Jr.
19 Ernest Mills DB 5-9 170 Jr.
20 Ceddrick Knight OLB/RB 5-10 200 So.
21 Quentin Rogers DB/WR 5-10 170 Jr.
22 Randy Bradford DB/WR 5-11 170 Jr.
23 Chavez Pownell DB/WR 5-10 190 Sr.
24 Jeremiah Baltrip DB/RB/ATH 6-2 195 Jr.
25 Reno Harrington LB/RB 5-10 210 Sr.
27 Ashante Dennard OLB/TE 6-2 200 Jr.
28 Tarik Palacio SS 5-9 170 Sr.
30 Kyle Walker LB 5-11 225 Sr.
32 Kevon Lane ILB 5-10 200 Jr.
42 Brandon Gomez TE/OLB 6-1 200 Jr.
44 Andrew Thompson OLB 6-3 190 Jr.
49 Marlo Bryant DE 6-1 190 Jr.
50 Patrick Morgan OL/DL 5-10 275 Jr.
51 Zack Buchanan OL/DL 6-0 300 Sr.
54 Kenneth Nelson OL/DL 6-2 250 So.
55 Dallas Parker DL/OL 5-10 300 So.
56 Joseph Longboat OL/DL 6-2 300 So.
63 Gary Spencer OL/DL 6-0 210 Jr.
65 Rene Mariscal DL 5-9 250 Sr.
70 Justin Foster OL 6-2 260 Sr.
72 Jean Marcellus OL 6-4 275 Fr.
75 Geno Harrington DL/OL 6-2 280 Sr.
77 Joshua Marrero OL/DL 6-2 300 Sr.
78 TJ Williams OL/DL 6-2 275 Jr. .
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