Don't let Houston (Texas) Yates coach Clarence McKinney fool you -- the one-time Houston Independent School Distict power is stacked with talent.
"We don't have anybody over here," he says with a smile. "We're just trying to survive."
After finishing 8-5 last season and reaching the Class 4A quarterfinals, Yates returns nine defensive starters and five on offense. He does, however, have to replace quarterback Orie Lemon, who signed with Oklahoma State this February.
Article Continues Below
The Lions are loaded on defense, led by tackle Patrick Dorsey (6-0, 270 pounds). Dorsey currently favors Texas, Michigan, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and LSU.
"He's a nose guard," defensive coordinator Jeff Ceasar said. "He may seem undersized but he's a terror out there. He gets off the ball so quick and his technique is tremendous."
"I'm willing to say that if Texas offered right now, he'd go ahead and take it," he said.
Dorsey is supported by senior-to-be Marcel Owens (6-2, 220-pounds) and upcoming juniors Kenneth Frankson (6-3, 225-pounds) and Damian Square (6-3, 230-pounds) on the defensive line.
"All four should be Division I kids," McKinney said. "Owens is our pass rushing end who runs a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash."
Anchoring the secondary is Preston Davis (5-11, 180 pounds) who led the district with five interceptions last year.
"He's a great cover corner with great hands," McKinney said. "He is always around the ball and is physical."
While losing Orie Lemon to graduation hurts, McKinney will move wide-out Stacy Williams (6-0, 180 pounds) to quarterback in 2006.
"Stacy is a Division I receiver -- not a quarterback," he said. "He's our big play guy. He can go get it with the best of them and can run after the catch."
Williams had 611 yards and six touchdowns last season, averaging 19.7 yards per catch.
Running back Eli Lemon also returns, who rushed for 956 yards and 16 touchdowns on 150 carries.