ESPNDallas.com counts down the top area football teams in our spring rankings.
5A NO. 6: COPPELL
Spring game: 7 p.m. May 26 at Coppell’s Cowboy Stadium
Coach: Joe McBride
2010 record: 13-1, 7-0 in District 7-5A (champions)
2010 playoffs: Lost in Division I region finals to Euless Trinity, 41-40
Returning starters: 5 on offense; 4 on defense
Key losses: RB Cam McDaniel, QB Joe Minden, DL Tanner Rice, LB Brandon Mullins, WR Tyler Landis, LB Cody Marr, LB Preston Odette, DB Bennett Okotcha
Key returnees: OL Leighton Light, OL Jake Williams, OL Sam Rice, DE William Udeh, DT Austin Buss, DB David Busby
Key newcomers: QB Jake Larson, RB/WR Gavin McDaniel, LB Tanner Masters, DL Soloman Thomas
Overview: Coppell’s excruciating loss to Euless Trinity in the playoffs ended the careers of an extremely talented senior class, but the cupboard is hardly bare. The team returns a considerable amount of talent, and McBride is confident in the young players moving up to the varsity team. ... Larson takes over under center and has a tough act to follow in Minden, who blossomed in the playoffs. McBride describes Larson (6-foot-4, 205), who will be a senior, as having a big arm and being a mobile athlete who can run with the ball. ... Protection shouldn’t be a problem for Larson as all but one starter returns from an exceptional offensive line, including Division I prospect Sam Rice. ... Coppell was hit hard at the skill positions by graduation, but McBride has high hopes for a to-be sophomore with a familiar name -- Gavin McDaniel, Cam’s little brother. ... Jacob Logan, who started at safety last year, will also play slot receiver in 2011. ... McBride believes Coppell is as deep as it’s ever been across the board, but nowhere is that more evident than at defensive line, where the Cowboys can go six deep. ... One question mark for Coppell is at linebacker, where the Cowboys graduated all four starters. Masters is expected to be a strong contributor.