There were two big changes this spring at Warner Robins, one of the state’s iconic football programs that has finished second in the state the last two seasons.
The first was a change in head coaches. Marquis Westbrook, the team’s defensive coordinator, was promoted after Mike Chastain took the job at Jones County. In his three seasons the Demons went a combined 29-12 and won two region championships. Westbrook, who played at the University of Florida, has been on the Warner Robins staff for three years as defensive coordinator. Westbrook was also promoted to athletics director.
The other change is at quarterback, where Dylan Fromm graduated and signed with Mercer. Fromm leaves quite a legacy and threw for 4,362 yards and 46 touchdowns as a senior. He leaves some large shoes to fill and that has been one of the main areas of focus for Westbrook this spring.
“We’ve got a quarterback capable of running the offense,” Westbrook said. “He’s not had a lot of snaps. He’s starting to get his feet wet and beginning the process of learning the system.”
The heir apparent at quarterback is Jaylen Addie, who played a few snaps at the position last year but was used mainly as a receiver.
“He has to be the leader now,” Westbrook said.
At least he won’t be starting from scratch. Warner Robins is loaded with talent at receiver and running back.
The bounty begins with Marcayll Jones, the Region 1 Offensive Player of the Year in 2018 – Fromm was the overall region player of the year – who caught a state-record 115 passes for 2,046 yards. Ty’larrious Carr (63 catches) and Devin Brown (34 catches) add to the quality depth at the position.
And the running backs return 1,000-yard rusher Jahlen Rutherford and Deandre Duehart (735 yards).
“We should be pretty solid on offense,” Westbrook said.
The Warner Robins defense, overlooked in the wake of its offensive success, has a good group returning, too. There are six returning starters, including three-year starter Ahmad Walker and two-year incumbent Malachi Weatherspoon.
The biggest question marks are in the secondary, where the team suffered some key losses.
The Demons spent spring practice, which ended last week, trying to avoid any dropoff in intensity and success.
“The biggest thing is to keep them focused,” Westbrook said. “They’ve got to remember this isn’t 2017 or 2018. This is a new football team.”
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