Lee, Carelock expected to start both ways for Jackets
Forest Hills will use up to six two-way starters this football season, and fourth-year quarterback Jared Lee is among them.
In addition to taking the snaps, Lee will also play in the secondary this season, according to Jackets coach John Lowery.
"We haven't done that but we're going to do that because we think Jared can help us back there," Lowery said. "Jared's kind of a low-key guy. He's an example setter. He goes to practice and works his tail off. He's not messing around. He's paying attention and staying focused."
The Yellow Jackets, coming off an 8-4 season, got more than 1,000 rushing yards out of Lee and rising junior running back C.J. Carelock last season.
Lowery will continue to use Carelock as a workhorse on offense, but will also play him at linebacker.
Lee lost a lot of his receivers to graduation, including tight end Roderick Poag, who signed with Western Carolina.
Lee does have some speed on the perimeter, though, including returning starter BJ Ashcraft (11 receptions, 131 yards, two touchdowns), Tyler White (seven catches, 90 yards and one touchdown) and Jaquan Davis (four receptions for 108 yards).
Lowery also speaks highly of rising sophomore Kendrick Barrino (6-1, 170).
"He runs really, really well," Lowery said of Barrino. "He's a good-sized kid and he's not afraid of contact. He also has great hands.
We feel pretty good about our receivers. If we get our line to come around on offense and defense, we feel we have enough skill people."
Barrino is also expected to start at outside linebacker, and Lowery expects Tyler White to start at receiver and in the secondary as well.
Lowery has been pleased with how the Jackets have looked in the offseason, and looks forward to seven-on-seven scrimmages this summer.
"The kids are doing pretty good," Lowery said. "We have a lot of skill people that can play. Obviously it is a bonus to have Jared back for a fourth year to play quarterback. We have good receivers. We have some young kids that are coming off the junior varsity team that skill-wise are real talented. I feel pretty good about where we're at right now."
Lowery's biggest offseason concern is the inexperience along the line.
"They're not young, young kids they just didn't get to play as much last year," he said. "They'll know what to do but if you're looking at inexpereienced players then you have to do some things to help them. You have to move them around, not just play muscle games with people.
"I think that what we'll end up doing, because we have skill people, we'll probably not just slam it right up the gut. We're going to have to do some fenagling here and there and see if we can't help those guys up front. To me the hardest place to play on the whole field is the offensive line today because of all the different looks thru give you defensively."
Because the Rocky River Conference is down to six teams, the Jackets have six non-conference games to prepare — mostly against the 3A Southern Carolina Conference.
"We like to play good people," Lowery said. "We lost Union Academy and added Pageland Central, who has an outstanding football program. We lost North Stanly and added North Rowan, which was a playoff football team last year."
Forest Hills opens the 2013 season on Aug. 23 at Anson County.
Forest Hills 2013
Aug. 23 at Anson Co.
Aug. 30 Weddington
Sept. 6 Pageland Central
Sept. 13 at Piedmont
Sept. 20 Cuthbertson
Sept. 27 North Rowan
Oct. 4 OPEN
Oct. 11^ at Mt. Pleasant
Oct. 18 Parkwood
Oct. 25 West Stanly
Nov. 1 at CATA
Nov. 8 at Monroe