World-Herald prep recruiting specialist Mike Sautter attended football practice at Millard South on Thursday. Here are his observations.
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Millard South made it to the state quarterfinals in 2017. With a core of young talent, the Patriots look to build off of that experience in 2018.
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The offensive line returns four of five starters. Led by Kohl Herbolsheimer at left tackle and Jayden Merriman at center, the offensive line looks to be the team's best position group. Six-foot, 270-pound sophomore Beau Wendt looks as though he will take over starting duties at left guard. Wendt saw significant playing time near the end of 2017. The right side of the offensive line should be solid with senior Jack Towne and senior Jake Mayville. All five added weight in the offseason, led by Towne's 14 pounds of muscle.
At running back, Isaiah Harris might just be one of the most unheralded backs in the state. The 5-8, 165-pound junior has great vision and speed. He should significantly improve on his 507 yards and nine touchdowns from a year ago.
Sophomore defensive end Brynden Anderson wreaked havoc in the backfield Thursday. He did the same in the Patriots first-round state playoff win last season against Lincoln High when he recorded three sacks. He could have a handful more in 2018.
Andy Reel, the 2017 starting quarterback, graduated. That leaves the position up for grabs with three players vying for the starting spot. All three players have not started a regular-season game much less completed a pass in a varsity game. Junior Cole Marcsisak and sophomores TJ Urban and Conner Braley split reps Thursday and all three could see time early in the season.
Junior Tyson Gerdes is the team's leading returner receiver, totaling 25 receptions for 352 yards last year, and also totaled 96 tackles at free safety in 2017. Junior Chase Perchal brings experience and a winning pedigree to the receiving corps after transferring from Yutan. Perchal looks as though he will be an asset at receiver and the defensive backfield.