The biggest question Largo had entering the spring concerned the health of high-profile quarterback Juwan Brown.
Brown, a rising junior, tore the lateral meniscus and had a stress fracture in his right knee during the fifth game last season and was lost for the remainder of the year.
He finished his shortened sophomore season with 516 yards passing and 230 rushing. But the Packers had to rely almost exclusively on the ground game after he was sidelined and lost in the first round of the playoffs to Hillsborough.
Since his surgery, Brown has been working out and was back with the team for the first practice Monday.
“Juwan is back to where he is supposed to be,” Largo coach Rick Rodriguez said. “It looks like he hasn’t missed a beat out there.”
The Packers, though, will be without another rising junior this spring.
Derrick Doss, a running back/linebacker, is recovering from surgery after a slight tear in his meniscus. He will be out two to three weeks.
“Derrick’s itching to get out there, but we don’t need him to play right now,” Rodriguez said.
A couple of minutes with rising Canterbury senior RB Brent O’Neal (6-1, 180 pounds), a 1,200-yard rusher who will handle an even bigger workload this season.
What was your reaction when Steve Dudley left as coach and the school hired offensive coordinator Bill Jones to replace him?
I was excited. I knew for a while that coach Dudley was going to leave. If anyone else was going to take over, I’m glad it was someone from the staff. There is some familiarity there and we won’t have to start over.
Last year you split most of the carries with James Goodwin, who is graduating. Do you expect to be the focal point of the offense?
I think so. We have a big graduating class. There are some sophomores who can step up. There’s some pressure, but I’ve been working hard since the offseason.
You’ve been to a lot of combines this spring and recently picked up an offer from Wofford. How active do you plan to be with camps this summer?
I’m going to try to get to a lot of camps at different such as FSU, Wake Forest and Wofford. I want to go to as many combines as I can, too.
With so many changes with the coaching staff and the turnover among players, did you ever think about transferring to another school?
I kind of did. But the education here is so much better than anywhere else. The academics are a big thing that made me want to stay. Plus, I know if you’re good enough, schools will find you no matter where you play.
The Marauder shuffle
If there’s one thing Clearwater Central Catholic has on offense, it is a surplus of running backs. Justin Goodloe is the returning starter at tailback and coach John Davis expects big things from Michael Stevenson and Eric Davis. In fact, Goodloe could see time at receiver because of the depth.
What they’re saying
Every day, we pose a question to our readers on our Facebook page. They’re keen to offer their two cents … and we’re printing the best responses.
Wednesday’s question: Last play of the game. Your team is on the 50, you trail 26-21. Which quarterback do you want taking the snap, and who is he handing off or throwing the long one to?
• You could have any QB hand the ball off to (St. Petersburg Catholic’s) Ryan Green. He had a touchdown run of over 50 yards in I believe every game last year except for against Robinson. That is including against (Berkeley Prep’s) Nelson Agholor, (Holy Trinity Episcopal’s) Marcus Maye and Jesuit’s defense. Maye and Agholor are both big-time prospects and Ryan Green out ran both of them. Watch his highlight tape. — Justin Miller
• Rayshawn Jenkins (of Admiral Farragut) throwing to … Rayshawn Jenkins — Chris Parker
Next up: Okay, the pads go on Thursday. Who’s the first person you plan on leveling?
What’s your call? Go here, become a fan and give us your thoughts.