Charlotte Catholic will begin the 2018 season as the #1 team in the preseason FFN Top 10.
A big reason is the returning starters on the offensive and defensive lines.
This year's O-line averages 275 pounds and will be anchored by 325 pound tackle Malik McGowen. Also on the line is Billy Hambrook who has offers from Coastal Carolina and Middle Tennessee.
The defensive line is just as stout with 285 pound nose tackle Ari Rodriguez. He has verbally committed to Navy.
He will be joined up front by Kevin Coss who had 15 sacks last season and Nick King who transferred in from Providence.
It also helps that the offense has starting quarterback Chris Walton returning and 2 dynamic running backs in Lameague McDowell and Michael Neel.
South Pointe out of Rock Hill ended the 2017 season as the FFN Team of the Year, but start this season at #2. When you have to replace guys like quarterback Derion Kendrick who is at Clemson, defensive end Eli Adams who is at Virginia Tech, kicker BT Potter who is at Clemson, and wide receiver Steve Gilmore who is at Marshall, there will be a step back.
But they certainly have the weapons to be Team of the Year in 2018 and to win their 5th straight state championship. Something no other program in South Carolina has ever done.
On defense, Wake Forest commit Jaylen Mahoney returns. The senior cornerback had 82 tackles and 3 interceptions last season.
The offense also has D-1 talent as running back Joe Ervin returns. The Coastal Carolina commit rushed for 12 hundred yards last season with 16 TD.
The big question for the Stallions will be at quarterback as it is Tyleek Steele's turn to step up as the starting signal caller. Last year in mop up duty for Kendrick he played in 13 games and threw for 5 TD so the moment will not be too big for him.
Here is the rest of the preseason FFN Top 10.