World-Herald prep recruiting specialist Mike Sautter attended Lincoln Southwest football practice on Wednesday.
Here are his observations:
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Lincoln Southwest made a playoff appearance in 2017 with a strong group of seniors. The Silver Hawks return key pieces in 2018 and look to improve on their 6-4 record a season ago.
When healthy, senior Caden McCormack is one of the better players in the state. In 2017, he missed three games with a foot injury. McCormack is a strong, physical player that is a sure tackler at linebacker. He will also work into the rotation at running back.
Senior running back Frazzie Wynn transferred from Lincoln High. Wynn brings a different element to the running game that Southwest didn't have last season. On Wednesday, Wynn showed good vision and balance in the running game. He and McCormack should provide a nice one-two punch. Listed at 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, Wynn will start at defensive back for the Silver Hawks.
TaeVyn Grixby is an underrated all-around athlete in the senior class. He started at free safety last season, collecting 25 tackles and four interceptions.
Two other seniors standout at tight end and defensive end. Nick Leader (6-2, 210 pounds) and Brett Lenners (6-3, 215) are similarly built. In the Silver Hawks' system, the tight ends are displaced or split out wide. Both are big targets and have good hands.
Depth and size on the lines will be the biggest questions in 2018. 6-6, 315-pound senior offensive tackle Kenzer Saunders is not only the biggest player on the team, but he is one of the biggest players in the state. Saunders and junior Drake Sherman (6-1, 265 pounds) are the team's best linemen. Sherman, who started at center last season, is a versatile lineman and was playing left guard on Wednesday.
Senior quarterback Brady Bickford had a strong summer, coach Andy Sherman said. He has control of the offense and is accurate passer on the short and intermediate routes. However, Bickford has thrown one pass at the varsity level in his career. He will need to have a strong season if the Silver Hawks are going to make a return trip to the playoffs in 2018.