Top 10 storylines for Baton Rouge football in 2014

1. Keep an eye on these possible record-setters.

University High running back Nick Brossette has 127 career touchdowns, including 112 in grades 9-11. He’ll be looking to add to Louisiana’s highest totals ever. Catholic High coach Dale Weiner has 288 career wins to rank eighth on Louisiana’s all-time list and is one of two coaches closing in on 300. Notre Dame-Crowley’s Lewis Cook is at 298.

2. University High should again be BR’s most successful team

With Brossette, sophomore phenom Dylan Moses and DBs Tre’ Jackson and Malik Antoine help lead a star-studded roster. The Cubs should play with a chip on their shoulders after being shut out by John Curtis in last year’s Division II select title game.

3. Running backs will again be Baton Rouge’s strong suit

Catholic’s Derrius Guice and Brossette, both LSU commitments, lead the senior class. The 219-pound Guice put himself in an elite class by running a 40-yard dash in 4.32 seconds at LSU’s July camp. U-High’s Dylan Moses, Dutchtown’s Kajuan Coleman and Parkview Baptist’s Houston Robert are others to keep an eye on. Don’t be surprised if one or two newcomers burst into the spotlight.

4. Tall receivers will be a tall order for opposing defenses

West Feliciana 6-foot-5 senior receiver Jazz Ferguson and Donaldsonville 6-6 junior Stephen Sullivan are committed to LSU. The Tigers and Class 3A don’t have the market cornered. Central’s 6-4 senior Terrell Chatman, a Miami commitment, is another receiver reaching for new heights.

5. Yes, the 3A teams have it again

Last year, U-High played in the Division II select final, and Parkview Baptist was a semifinalist. Livonia was the runner-up in Class 3A. With the addition of players from now-defunct Pointe Coupee Central, Livonia will be solid again. Donaldsonville, with Sullivan leading a bevy of receivers, is another formidable challenger.

6. Southern Lab and McKinley may be the biggest breakout teams

Don’t let McKinley’s 3-8 record from a year ago fool you. Offensive lineman Keeyon Smart (Tulane commitment), linebacker Kirk Louis Jr. (Arkansas State) and defensive lineman Daniel Green (interest from all Ivy League schools) lead a talented senior class. Quarterback Bladrick Veal leads a formidable Southern Lab team that was a Division IV select semifinalist last year.

7. There will be more teams surging forward

Top candidates include Class 2A Northeast, Class 1A Madison Prep and Class 5A Woodlawn. Northeast returns 10 starters on offense and eight on defense. The addition of several transfers and players who sat out last year should help Madison Prep take a quantum leap. Woodlawn graduated some key players but is settling into a comfort zone with second-year coach Brett Beard.

8. New challenges and pressure to win for coaches in new jobs

How David Brewerton (Class 5A Zachary), Guy Mistretta (3A Livonia) and Neil Weiner (2A Dunham) perform will be scrutinized. Ditto that for longtime defensive coordinator Jay Mayet, who takes over at 3A Parkview Baptist.

9. Northeast’s Darryl Adams may be the best player few people know

A skilled 6-foot-2 receiver/defensive back, Adams looks to be this year’s breakout player in the mold of Redemptorist’s Russell Gage, who signed with LSU.

10. On the spot: U-High, Southern Lab, Parkview and take your pick in 5A

U-High broke through and advanced to the title game last year, and Parkview has won four titles already. Catholic, Central, Zachary and Dutchtown have made deep playoff runs in Class 5A, but only Catholic has appeared in a title game — and that was in 4A in 1990.

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