For his first head coaching job, Todd Langrell is coming home and well seasoned.
"I’ve been an assistant coach under coaches with a combined 210 years of experience," he said, noting Don Dyer, Arch Jones, George Jones, Bobby Tiner and Randy Tribble. "I hope I learned a little bit from all of them."
Langrell is a former Mayflower quarterback who served eight years as an assistant under George Jones. For the last seven, he has been the offensive coordinator at Greenbrier and played a large role in the development of quarterbacks Neal Burcham (SMU) and Seth Peters (Greenbrier).
"It’s a great to come home to a great situation," he said. "We have 18 seniors and they are solid. Everyone of them will contribute at some point in the season. We’ve got the weapons; we just have to utilize them."
Under Jed Davis, the Eagles were more of a vertical passing team. Langrell will still run from the spread and throw a lot and the attack will resemble what Greenbrier has used.
"It’s more of a possession attack with more screens and short passes," he said. "We’ll try to be balanced, but we’ll throw a lot but we’ll be more attacking what the defense gives us."
One reason is Mayflower returns one of the top quarterbacks statistically in the state and nation. Adam Dycus completed 63 percent of his passes last season for 4,345 yards and 51 touchdowns.
The leading returning receivers are speedster Josh Woodham, who caught 82 balls for 1,438 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, and Drew Duncan, who had 1,041 yards on 72 catches.
Justin Bailey, who rushed for 1,020 yards last season, is a major breakaway threat.
"He’s probably the fastest back I’ve ever coached and maybe the fastest ever at Mayflower and that’s saying a lot when you consider Raphael McCuien and Lerinezo Robinson and Herb Grigsby and the type of backs we’ve had here."
Riley Norman, Stephen Fuller, Justin Case, Austin Grundy and Jeffrey Wilson are stalwarts in the offensive front.
Grundy, Fuller and Braylen Carter are set to give the Eagles a presence on the defensive front.
Kelton McCuien, Raphael’s son, may man one linebacker post with seniors Case and Tyler Roberts alongside him.
The secondary will be led by safety Trey Lasker, who had 57 tackles and three interceptions last season. Bailey will also double in the secondary to add to the speed on the back end. Cornerbavks are slated to be Duncan and Stuart Faught.
Can the Eagle defense slow opponents down?
Oct. 10: Barton at home
Oct. 31: at Harding Academy
PLAYER ON THE RISE
Bailey, a senior, could become one of the top running backs in the state.