Post 56 – HS Football – Preview: Shabazz

August 24, 2018

2017 In Review:  The Bulldogs were 12-0, winning the North Jersey Section 2 Group 1 championship by beating Weequahic after beating Roselle Park and Newark Collegiate.  They scored 411 points for a 34.25 average, while allowing 63 for a 5.25 average, including five shutouts.  Wins included Weequahic, Newark Central, Hoboken, Cedar Grove, and Glen Ridge.

Graduation Losses:  RB/LB Michael Fields – Nassau CC (NY), WR/LB David Orduson – Nassau CC (NY), OL Sha-Quan Hollins – Nassau CC (NY), WR Nasir Collins – American International, DB Javis Hanks – Rutgers as a preferred walk-on, WR Sean Sanders – William Paterson, DB Shakee Pearson – William Paterson, DE Nafreese Wright – Rowan, LB Andrew Robinson-Johnson – Kean, LB Yusef Mapp – Shaw U (NC), WR Dajuan Carr – Caldwell sprint football, RB Cyrus Harbin – Caldwell sprint football, DB Dante Artis – Delaware State for track

Offense:  Shabazz runs a multiple spread and returns four starters and another who started some games.  The incumbent at quarterback is senior Anthony Travis (6-2, 200).  The running back will be senior Hudson Catholic transfer Aziz Wilson (5-10, 205) and senior Raekwon Robinson (5-9, 180) will also get carries.

The wide receivers will include junior Brandon Shaw (6-1, 180), junior Nasir Williams (5-8, 160), junior Alshaquan Floyd (5-6, 145), and senior Byron Whitehead (6-3, 200), a transfer from Virginia.  Also in the mix will be senior Rajore Johnson (6-2, 180).  Playing tight end/h-back will be seniors Michael Bright (6-4, 215) and Marques Salley (5-10, 215).

Returning to the line are three seniors: Marquisc Concepcion (6-2, 270) at right tackle, Rajhan Mozee (6-2-1/2, 250) at center, and Jepthaw Derrick (6-0, 260) at left guard.  Junior Antonio Williams (6-3, 315) will be the left tackle after starting several games and senior Hudson Catholic transfer Khaleem Lawson (6-3, 320) at right guard.  Playing at guard, tackle, or as a second tight end is senior Charles Yost (6-1, 303).

Defense:  The Bulldogs run a 3-3 stack and return two starters and others who played.  Mozee returns at end with Bright playing opposite him.  The nose guard will be Lawson.  Rotating in will be some of the offensive linemen.

Returning at the strong side linebacker is junior Shakon Cummings (5-10, 190).  He will be joined by junior Elliott Idemudia (6-1, 210) in the middle and junior Aazi Bembry (6-0, 190) on the weak side.

Shabazz employ two free safeties, known as dogs, and they will be Shakur Williams (5-8, 160) and Shaw.  The free safety will be Whitehead and the corners will be seniors Khyree Smith (5-11, 170) and D’Shaun Reed (6-0, 170).  Also getting action will be senior Nasir Barnes (6-3, 175) and Robinson.

Special Teams:  Shakur Williams returns as the punter and Robinson will be the kicker.  Wilson will return kicks and punts, while Shakur Williams will return kickoffs.


Friday, 8/31, at Glen Ridge, 1 PM
Friday, 9/7, West Side at home, 7 PM
9/14-15, Bye Week
Friday, 9/21, at Hoboken, 7 PM
Friday, 9/28, Verona at home, 7 PM
Saturday, 10/6, at Lincoln, at Lincoln Park, 4 PM
Friday, 10/12, at Cedar Grove, 7 PM
Friday, 10/19, Newark Collegiate at home, 7 PM
Friday, 10/26, Hudson Catholic at home, 7 PM
Thursday, 11/22, at Weequahic, 10:30 AM

Recruits:  Whitehead has been under the radar, with interest from Rutgers, Syracuse, and Virginia.  Bright has an offer from Howard, plus interest from Albany and Monmouth.  Concepcion has an offer from Assumption and interest from American International.  Travis has interest from Howard, Monmouth, and Morgan State, while Lawson has interest from Morgan State, Delaware State, and Albany.  Wilson is a 1-AA candidate and Shakur Williams is D2.

Among juniors, Shaw and Antonio Williams will draw interest.

Concerns:  The team has to gel; they are a talented group that must play together and play within the system.

Coach’s Comments:  “We are very talented and explosive.  The quarterback is a seasoned leader who keeps improving and it’s a matter of everyone being on the same page.” – Head Coach Darnell Grant

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