High school football success is often built on a team’s senior class, and that was particularly evident in the offensive output of Forsyth County teams last season. The All-FCN offensive teams – first, second, and honorable mention – featured 15 seniors at the skill positions, not counting Offensive Player of the Year Marcus Chatelain, and just five non-seniors.
That could very well end up being the case again this year, but much of the high-end returning talent on offense is concentrated in the younger classes. Ze’Vian Capers and Nicky Dalmolin, two of the most talented receivers that the county has ever produced, are still juniors, and multiple teams could have non-seniors start at quarterback on opening night, which wasn’t the case for anybody last season.
Here are a few of those younger players – and some seniors, too – who could contend for All-FCN Offensive Player of the Year this fall.
Ze’Vian Capers, Denmark, Jr.
Capers, standing a wiry 6-foot-4 with athleticism that makes him a terror on aerial battles, is not a new name to the county scene, despite what his relative youth would suggest. He featured on varsity for two years at South Forsyth, earning first team All-FCN honors last fall on the War Eagles’ region champion squad, and now moves on to a first-year program at Denmark. The high-caliber offers he already holds – from programs like Clemson, Arkansas and South Carolina – suggest his potential, and he should continue his year-to-year improvement in 2018.
But there’s reason to believe that Capers can make an even bigger jump than expected. He was certainly a threat for South in 2017 – his dominant seven-catch, 120-yard performance against West Forsyth was the best demonstration was that – but the War Eagles were unabashedly a run-first team, whether that be the combination of Jared Honey and Jordan Brunson at tailback or the slipperiness of quarterback Cal Morris. Denmark head coach Terry Crowder has already spoken to the Danes’ aspirations of being a true spread-based team, and that system could make considerably more use of Capers’ strengths and presence.
Jordan Brunson, South Forsyth, Jr.
Brunson’s youth made him an outlier on the senior-heavy War Eagles last year, but South’s coaching staff clearly recognized his talent and made the then-sophomore a clear No. 2 option behind Jared Honey. He had the third-most touches among South’s offensive players, and his average of 4.9 yards per carry wasn’t so far off from Honey’s 5.7. Brunson had a particularly strong performance in South’s 38-0 shellacking of Lambert, carrying 11 times for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
With an extra year of experience and growth, along with what will likely be a much more prominent role in the War Eagles’ offense, Brunson is another strong breakout candidate and one of the main names South is counting on to move on from losses caused by the opening of Denmark.
Bryson Trigg, North Forsyth, Sr.
Trigg is one of the longest-tenured, most experienced offensive players in the county, with two seasons of starting experience under his belt, and his output of 928 yards and 12 touchdowns on 185 carries last year made him one of the most productive, too. There’s every reason to believe that Trigg’s improvement will continue in 2018, given that the Raiders are getting most of their offensive line back, including Ole Miss commit Jeremy James. North will have a new quarterback this fall, but the stability provided by Trigg and others should help the Raiders keep moving forward.
Nicky Dalmolin, North Forsyth, Jr.
Dalmolin might have had a recruitment as fevered as teammates Jeremy James’, but he cut that story short by committing to Duke this past spring, giving him two more years to direct more focus to North. Even surrounded by more experienced names in the Raiders’ receiving corps last year, Dalmolin was plenty productive, hauling in 51 passes for 585 yards and four touchdowns, enough to earn him a place on the All-FCN second team. At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Dalmolin’s could conceivably transition to being a pass-catching tight end in the future, but his role as receiver has worked out just fine for North so far.
Drew Morris, South Forsyth, Sr.
For the second straight year, the War Eagles are planning on going with a quarterback that is less new than he looks. Cal Morris, Drew Morris’ brother and South’s QB1 last season, had seen the field for a short time before breaking his collarbone in 2016, and Drew Morris has even more experience, albeit two years removed. With both Cal Morris and initial starter Davis Shanley sidelined in 2016, Drew Morris wound up playing under center in three games and completing 37 of 57 passes. How Morris compares to his brother has yet to be fully determined – he has said that Cal is faster, although Drew ran 11 times in one game and nine in another in 2016 – but the possibility of a Morris taking the county by storm out of seemingly nowhere is certainly feasible. It’s already happened once.
Others to watch: Jeremy James, North Forsyth, Sr.; Charlie Aiken, North Forsyth, Sr.; Garrett Woodall, West Forsyth, Sr.; Stephon Bland, West Forsyth, Sr.; Devran Orsan, Forsyth Central, Sr.