Norcross aims for rare 6A repeat

Norcross High School

Perfection is rarely attained. However, the Norcross Blue Devils (15-0) with head coach Keith Maloof leading the way went undefeated and won the program’s first state title last season. In doing so, the Blue Devils also set a school record with a 15-game winning streak.


For the upcoming 2013 campaign, the Blue Devils are returning eight players on offense, where they will be running the I-Pro formation, and seven on defense in the 4-3 defensive scheme, and their kicker. Maloof mentioned the team having to find a replacement for quarterback Joseph Wilbur, a player who flashed a superb 29-to-5 touchdown-to-INT ratio and workhorse running back Alvin Kamara, who rushed for 2,264 yards on 303 carries, who each played a pivotal role in the Blue Devils’ 2012 success.


Whoever is ultimately taking snaps behind center as well as handoffs can take a sigh of relief because Norcross’ offensive line will be returning four starters in the trenches, a “strength” of the team as Maloof pointed out.


Maloof is also excited to have athlete Miles Autry back for this season. At 5-foot-9, 179 pounds, Autry is a rare talent that makes the game look easy with his versatility. In 2012, the Blue Devils utilized Autry in almost every way possible from running back, where he rushed for 560 yards while averaging 9.1 yards a pop, as well as playing some wide receiver, snagging 45 balls for 632 receiving yards. Autry will be a cornerstone of the 2013 Blue Devils. Autry holds a full deck of offers from schools like FSU, Georgia, Auburn, Georgia Tech and Miami.


Defensively the Blue Devils have plenty of returning talent, but the player who sticks out most is the imposing 6-foot-6, 230 pound defensive end Lorenzo Carter. Considered as a top prospect in the country, Carter is being recruited by just about every school. In 2012, Carter recorded at least one sack in every game and finished the season with 18 sacks. Not to mention the 136 tackles (79 solo) Carter registered from the defensive end position.


Maloof didn’t hesitate to give Carter his due.


“He’s one of the top defensive ends in the nation,” said Maloof. “He can run and is an athlete in a big body. He does things that little guys do and does it with having a frame of 6-5, 230. His motor doesn’t stop, he’s very physical, he can play in space, he can rush the end, he can do a lot of different things.”


Rest assured, Carter won’t be doing it all by himself on defense. The Blue Devils possess a surefire middle linebacker in Keith Mouhon, who registered a whopping 152 tackles in 2012. Tennessee seems to be the front runner out of many other BCS schools to sign Mouhon, but the senior has yet to commit.


The 2013 campaign kicks off on Aug. 24 when the Blue Devils take on Booker T. Washington (Fla.) in a game broadcasted by ESPN. As far as Norcross’ schedule, Maloof mentioned that the team must prove itself to its regional rivals such as Duluth, North Gwinnett, Mill Creek and Peachtree Ridge, because all are top teams.


With Mouhon, Carter, Autry, a beefed up offensive line and Maloof calling the shots, winning back-to-back state titles isn’t out of the realm of possibilities.


Class AAAAAA Preseason Top 10

1. Norcross

2. Colquitt County

3. North Gwinnett

4. McEachern

5. Lowndes

6. North Cobb

7. Mill Creek

8. Walton

9. Lovejoy

10. Peachtree Ridge



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