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Gracie’s/Blount Press Row All-County Football Team

Elite 11 list highlights our best of the best in 2013

_MG_8267Maryville junior and Tennessee commitment Dylan Jackson is our choice as the Blount Press Row Blount County Player of the Year. Photo by Brandon Shinn

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

The selection process in naming Maryville junior Dylan Jackson the Gracie’s Restaurant/Blount Press Row 2013 Blount County Player of the Year was a tough one.

Gracie's InsideNaming an All-Blount County team of 11 players on offense, 11 on defense, plus the kicking game, was taxing enough. As we began adding players to the team, the choice for player of the year began to take shape. To let you in on how we settled on Jackson, here’s our list of the elite 11 players in Blount County last season as we worked our way to the top.

Please scroll down for the complete list of the Gracie’s/Blount Press Row All-Blount County Football Team and honorable mentions.

Blount Press Row Elite 11

Untitled_HDR2Dylan Jackson, player of the year, Maryville, junior
The offense the knows play. The defense first has to find the ball, then get there and make the tackle. Jackson, a finalist for Mr. Football lineman of the year, altered that concept in 2013, greatly influencing the direction opposing offenses chose to go, namely away from him. That withstanding the All-State defensive end and University of Tennessee commitment finished fourth-best among Rebels with 81 tackles, eight of them for loss, with two sacks and an interception. Few defensive linemen have so impacted a season.


DSC_00782, John Garrett, quarterback, Maryville, senior
In his only season as the starter, Garrett put up numbers that are already legend. Passer efficiency ratings can become awfully complex. Garrett, an All-State selection, expressed it with stunning simplicity in 2013: Passing — 150 completions of 200 attempts (75 percent), 31 touchdown passes, one interception. Rushing – 126 carries, 1,006 yards, 13 touchdowns.
Thirty-one TDs. One pick.


_MG_24373, Braylon Young, defensive tackle, Alcoa, senior
We’re still getting over the tackle he made in the CAK game two years ago. After an All-State season in 2012, Young again proved, as his coach dubbed him, “the best defensive tackle in the state” in 2013, adding a finalist for Mr. Football lineman of the year to his resume. A Kennesaw State commitment, Young had a highlight tape make the rounds with the Owls, prompting an immediate response and a welcome to the program: “The first play on his tape,” said the responder, “is one of the sickest tackles I have ever seen. EVER.” Young was named the BlueCross Bowl Defensive Most Valuable Player in December as Alcoa won its 13th state championship with a 25-7 win over Christ Presbyterian Academy.


DSC_01824, Shawn Prevo, running back, Maryville, senior
Overshadowed somewhat by the season Rebel quarterback John Garrett turned in was the close of a brilliant career where the athlete in question not only went out on top; Prevo went out stomping. Already the Maryville career record holder for rushing yardage, touchdowns and carries a year ago, the finalist for Mr. Football back of the year ran for 1,337 yards and 18 touchdowns on 173 carries in 2013. As a receiving option, the All-State marvel had 22 catches for another 333 yards and a score. Well done.


_HOB2316-Edit-25, Jaquez Tyson, running back, Alcoa, junior
There have been colder state championship games — Maryville/Pearl Cohn, 1997. Twice, it snowed. The combination of a daylong deluge and cutting, cold winds produced miserable conditions for the Alcoa/Christ Presbyterian clash last December at Tennessee Tech. The start was twice delayed by lightning. Against that backdrop, the All-State selection Tyson cranked out a championship game record 49 carries, finishing with 278 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a 25-7 Alcoa win. Heroic.


AlcoaCath2K13GWMeredith36, Kyle Mitchell, offensive lineman, Alcoa, junior
It’s not a stretch to see Mitchell joining Maryville junior and Tennessee commitment Dylan Jackson in Knoxville a little over a year from now. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound Mitchell has a 31-inch vertical leap, a 340-pound bench press, a 600-pound squat and a wicked long, 73-inch wingspan. That’s like a condor, just the thing for keeping onrushing defensive linemen off you. The All-State tackle made Alcoa a different team when he returned from an early season injury in 2013.


DSC_01047, T.D. Blackmon, linebacker, Maryville, freshman
A freshman! Starting at middle linebacker for Maryville! The super-athletic Blackmon was not only up to the challenge, he showed out. The Rebels had the state’s second-best defense by scoring average (8.8 points per game) in 2013, and Blackmon was a big reason why, setting the pace with a team-best 120 tackles, five for loss. He was promoted to the varsity only days before the season’s first game, pulled from the bus headed to the freshman jamboree.


DSC_01948, Cody Carroll, receiver, Maryville, senior
The fastest player on the Rebel roster, Carroll defined the word playmaker. Possessing the rare ability to go long stretches without a catch, stay in the game and then strike, the All-State wide out had 41 catches in 2013 for 882 yards – 21.5 yards per reception – scoring 12 touchdowns. Carroll’s production was limited only by the number of choices at quarterback John Garrett’s disposal. Two other starters had at least 20 catches. It’s not like anybody ever locked Carroll down.


HeritageSpringFootball2013GWMeredith69, Orlando Bledsoe, running back, Heritage, junior
A thickly-muscled fullback with the speed of a sprinter in the open field, Bledsoe ran for well over 1,000 yards in 2013, but you only to need to know about one game. In one of the top performances of the season on a Friday the 13th at Seymour, Bledsoe ran for a head-spinning 262 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries in a 41-38 Mountaineer win, snapping a 20-game losing streak. Heritage went the length of the field in 15 plays in the waning minutes for the winning touchdown, with Bledsoe carrying the mail much of the way.


IMG_168710, Peyton Otis, running back/linebacker, William Blount, senior
Otis was named the Governors’ offensive and defensive most valuable player after a double-duty season stuffed with highlights. We were convinced after a couple of them. Down, 14-0, to Alcoa in the jamboree, Otis popped through the middle of the line and ran 72 yards untouched to ignite a firecracker of a dress rehearsal for both teams. A week later in the season opener at Loudon, the versatile running back/linebacker reeled off 129 yards and scoring runs of 33, 67 and 11 yards. He also handled the punting. Well.


IMG_026711, Brenden Teeter, defensive back, Alcoa, junior
The find of the season. Can’t wait till the summer camp circuit gets a look. A tall Division I prospect and a big hitter, Teeter burst full into our consciousness with a standout game against Christian Academy of Knoxville for the district championship on the final game of the regular season. A caused fumble and an interception late in the half helped Alcoa pick up speed and blow the Warriors out, 51-17. A center on the Tornado basketball team, the All-State selection finished the 2013 football season with six picks.


Blount Press Row
All-Blount County Football Team

QB – John Garrett, Maryville, senior
RB – Shawn Prevo, Maryville, senior
RB – Jaquez Tyson, Alcoa, junior
RB – Orlando Bledsoe, Heritage, junior
OL – Drew Curtis, Maryville, senior
OL – Kyle Mitchell, Alcoa, junior
OL – Clark Jones, William Blount, senior
OL – Josh Perkins, William Blount, junior
OL – Josh Arnold, Heritage, senior
WR – Cody Carroll, Maryville, senior
WR – Malik Love, Alcoa, senior
K – Caden Riding, Maryville, senior

DL – Dylan Jackson, Maryville, junior
DL – Braylon Young, Alcoa, senior
DL – Ritchie Koons, Maryville, junior
DL – Jonathan Decker, Alcoa, sophomore
LB – T.D. Blackmon, Maryville, freshman
LB – Dylan Shinsky, Maryville, junior
LB – Keller Maples, Alcoa, junior
LB – Peyton Otis, William Blount, senior
DB – John David Mitchell, Maryville, senior
DB – Brenden Teeter, Alcoa, junior
DB – Chancellor Coates, Maryville, senior
P – Peyton Wall, Alcoa, senior

Honrable mention – John Riley McLaughlin, DB, Alcoa, senior; Zac Wright, LB, Alcoa, senior; Marcus Brooks, DB, Maryville, senior; Schuyler LaRue, LB, Heritage, senior; Joel Graham, WR, William Blount, junior; Luke Orren, P, Maryville, sophomore; Matt Young, DL, Maryville, freshman; Brandon Cutler, DB/RB, Heritage, senior; Khalil Abuhania, DB, Heritage, sophomore; Tyler Vaught, WR, Maryville, junior; Paul Bristol, DB, Maryville, junior; Bryce Miller, TE, Maryville, junior; Reed Daniels, QB, William Blount, junior; Austin Wallace, K, Alcoa, senior.


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