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July 25, 2012

Preseason RivalsHigh 100: Teams 80-76

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Dallas Jackson is the High School Football analyst for Rivals.com. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.

Rivals.com began its 2011 countdown Monday, ranking the teams from No. 1 through No. 100.

We started at No. 100 and will release two groups of five teams per day. Then, we'll do a daily countdown from No. 10 to No. 1. Our top team will be unveiled on Wednesday, Aug. 8 - just 10 days from the start of the season.

After that, we will wait until Aug. 27 for the next rankings, then have them every Monday during the season.

The team rankings were compiled by high school sports senior analyst Dallas Jackson, the Rivals AMP team, football recruiting analysts and the entire RivalsHigh network of publishers.

View the complete rankings timeline if you missed anything | Final 2011 Expanded Rankings

Top 100 countdown
No. 80 St. Augustine, Louisiana

Coach: Cyril Crutchfield
Last Season: 8-4, Eliminated in second round. Unranked in Louisiana Final 15.
Fast Fact: St. Augustine has not had fewer than three losses in any season since 2000 and hasn't had more than nine wins in that period. First-year coach Cyril Crutchfield brings a history of success as he has averaged 12 wins per season while at South Plaquemines and took the team to a state finals victory twice.
Key Player: Running back Leonard Fournette. The class of 2014 back has been a standout since his freshman season when he rushed for more than 1,700 yards and scored 22 touchdowns. Fournette has impressed everywhere he has been this summer including the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge , where he was the only rising junior at his position and more than held his own.
The Good: A change of attitude is expected. St. Augustine has historically been one of the more disappointing football teams of the Catholic powers in New Orleans and that should change under Crutchfield. The talent is there and now the ability to get the most out of the players and instill the desire and will to win may be that next step. Also having one of the best players in the classification does not hurt anything.
The Bad: The schedule. There is no feeling-out process for this team as the first three games are tough. The Purple Knights will take on local New Orleans squads McDonogh 35 and Brother Martin before battling with Archbishop Rummel in the third week. Adjusting to a new style of play calling and expectations against three strong foes could create some growing pains.
The bottom line: This may be the second reach for Louisiana and the rankings are only 20 teams deep. With Barbe, West Jefferson, St. Paul's and West Monroe on the outside of the rankings and St. Augustine on the inside that is a leap of faith on a new coach and a workhorse running back. The success that Crutchfield had at South Plaquemines combined with a likely chip on his shoulder to prove his dismissal was unjustified should make for a motivated group.

Top 100 countdown
No. 79 Jenks, Oklahoma

Coach: Allan Trimble
Last Season: 10-3, Oklahoma Class 6A semifinalist. Ranked No. 92 nationally.
Fast Fact: The graduating senior class that just left Jenks is the first group since 1992 that did not leave the program with at least one state championship ring. Jenks has won 10 state titles since 1993 but none since 2007.
Key Player: Running back Trey'Vonne Barr'e. Barr'e had a stellar season filling in for Alex Ross as he pushed past the 2,000-yard mark as a junior. There have been some grade issues that have swirled around Barr'e in the past but many believe he is making major strides in that area. As a three-star back without offers it is likely that he still needs some work in that area. If he is unable to go, Class of 2014 back, Brett Tye is ready to go.
The Good: The offense. With Barr'e and Tye in the backfield the running game should be easy to establish. Quarterback Kyle Alexander is receiving positive review this summer and receiver Jordan Smallwood is already committed to Oklahoma. The team returns Jacob Oakley and Nick Daniels on the line and so it would appear all the pieces are there.
The Bad: Union and Broken Arrow. It had long been a battle between Tulsa and Jenks for the top spot in the state but the last four years it has gone the way of Union and the gap seems to be widening and while Broken Arrow is starting the season behind Jenks it is much closer to overtaking the Trojans than folks in Jenks want to admit. This is a major season for the program to see if it can inch closer to Union or get passed by Broken Arrow.
The bottom line: This is Tulsa Union's state now. It was long dominated by Jenks but the tide has turned and that has to, at the very least, anger the Jenks program. This is a talented team that can make a run back to the winners circle and few doubt that but the time is now -- not only for Jenks to catch Union but also widen the shrinking gap on Broken Arrow.

Top 100 countdown
No. 78 Dwyer, Florida
Coach: Jack Daniels
Last Season: 12-2, Florida Class 7A semifinalist. Ranked No. 62 nationally.
Fast Fact: The last time that Dwyer did not have a 10-win season was in 2005. Since that season, the Panthers have won 71 games and have not lost a single contest within their district.
Key Player: Defensive end Malik Brown. Dwyer will be younger on the offensive side of the ball than the defense and so it will be on the leader of that group to pick up the play and that will fall on Brown. The 6-foot-3, three-star player has impressive speed from the weakside that allows him to get around the corner to make plays as well as run them down from behind.
The Good: The young receivers. Dwyer had some issues in the passing game last season but that could be improved upon this year. The team has two players from the Class of 2014 that are boasting offers at the position as Johnnie Dixon and Clint Stephens have impressed on the field and in the summer circuit. Dixon is the more polished right now with offers from all over the SEC, including Florida and Alabama[/db], while Stephens has a [tm]Florida State offer and has shown the ability to get off the line and run good routes.
The Bad: The quarterback. Dwyer has had a run of FBS-level quarterbacks with Faton Bauta, who is now at Georgia, calling the shots last year. The two years prior, the team had Jacoby Brissett, who is now at Florida. Currently the team is without a legitimate FBS-caliber play-caller and that could be its undoing in as it has struggled offensively against strong defensive teams in the past.
The bottom line: At worst Dwyer will be a one-loss team entering the playoffs, if not undefeated, which is where we will learn the most about the Panthers. The season slate of games opens with Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central and then is awash with wins until the playoffs start in mid-November. The quarterback play will have plenty of time to develop and the defense will likely not be tested very frequently. Expect Dwyer to buoy in this rankings range until then unless something stands out in a great or very bad way.

Top 100 countdown
No. 77 Euless Trinity, Texas

Coach: Steve Lineweaver
Last Season: 12-1, eliminated in Texas 5A-DI third round. Ranked No. 53 nationally.
Fast Fact: The large Polynesian population at the school has brought with it a Haka dance that has become an identity for the program. The Ka Mate Haka that Trinity performs has been featured on the CBS Evening News, Gatorade commercials and on EA Sports Madden NFL '11.
Key Player: Defensive linemen Sam Tevi and Gaius Vaenuku. Trinity is predicated on its size in the trenches and each of these two stands 6-feet-5 and checks in at 255 pounds. Tevi has already committed to Utah and Vaenuku could follow suit. The pair were impact players in 2011 and need to continue that, especially early in the season when the schedule for Trinity is absolutely brutal and the offense may not be as up to speed as the defense.
The Good: The size is still there. Off the bus, this may be one of the most physically imposing teams of any in the country most years and that will not change in 2012. There are eight players currently listed in the Rivals.com database from the program and the shortest player stands 6 feet and the lightest weighs in at 220-pounds. There are teams that line up 5-feet-9 players on the offense line and hope that technique will win the day, whereas this team is stacked with size, strength, speed and solid coaching. Winning the battle inside is almost a given for Trinity.
The Bad: The offense. Trinity has historically not produced FBS-level quarterbacks. The only player in the Rivals.com era to go onto the major college football from the position was Trevor Vittatoe in the Class of 2006. It rarely has elite-level receivers, either. The team will again be lacking in that department, even as Matt Hawkins returns in a fulltime capacity. The team will rely on a steady dose of power running, although it has to replace Joel Kimpela, who rushed for 2,000 yards, and reverse-action plays with bubble screens being worked into the mix. Teams with solid cornerbacks can play nine in the box on Trinity and make them earn yards.
The bottom line: Euless Trinity is always a threat for a state and national title no matter what is lost in the offseason. With a schedule that includes Bellevue (Wash.), Tulsa (Okla.) Union, and DeSoto (Texas) before the opening of district play, if this team can navigate an undefeated season, it would likely prove to be in the discussion for a national title. Much of that success or failure will be on the offense and the opening trip to Bellevue on national television will give a glimpse as to what this team truly has on that side of the ball.

Top 100 countdown
No. 76 Colleyville Heritage, Texas

Coach: Mike Fuller
Last Season: 9-2, Eliminated in Texas 5A-DI first round. Ranked No. 39 in Texas.
Fast Fact: Being ranked above Euless Trinity is not going to put a notch in the win column, Colleyville Heritage has never defeated its district foe. Never. It got close last year falling in overtime, 38-35.
Key Player: Quarterback Cody Thomas. Heritage will go as far as Thomas can take them. The Oklahoma commit is the No. 96 overall player in the Rivals100 and can make most any throw on the football field. As a junior, Thomas threw for over 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns completing higher than 60-percent of his passes as well.
The Good: The passing game. Of course this isn't breaking news that the passing game is the highlight of the team. Heritage only put up 381 points all of 2011 and 252 of them game from passing touchdowns and conversions following those touchdowns. The expectations have to be set that the pass game will improve but that it needs to come with a development of a running game. The offensive line class in Region 1 of Texas is not that great this year and that includes Heritage but the fact that the teams has what may be the best quarterback in the Region has to be a comfort.
The Bad: The defensive line. While the spread is taking over all level of football there is still a need to be able to stop the run and get off the field and an increase in the ability to rush the passer and Heritage struggled to do both with consistency in 2011. The team was able to score at will and make stops against the inferior competition it played but against game competition it was in four tough battles and the receiving end of one blowout loss.
The bottom line: This may be a now or never season for Colleyville Heritage. At best it is an if-not-now-when season for the Broncos. It will walk into the majority of its games with the best player on the field and the a measured level of confidence that it knows it can stay on the field -- even against Trinity late in September. The worry is that the team struggled with Duncanville last year and could again this year. It also has a game with Denton Guyer before Trinity. If it enters the Trinity contest undefeated it could be a showdown. If it limps in with two defeats expect Trinity to continue its run of district titles, where the Trojans have not lost a game since 2005.

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