The New Manchester offense will definitely have a different look this season.
Jaguars rising senior Vanquez Wheeler and rising junior Quran Beacham add a different dimension to the offense.
Both are small shifty runners and pass receivers, which is a different style displayed by former running backs Brian Herrien and Ronald Bradley.
“We are running some things different this year to fit our personnel,” New Manchester coach Myron Terry said. “We are not really build for that type of running game we had with Brian and Ronald. We made the changes to fit the personnel.”
The offense will be led by co-offensive coordinators Steve Robinson and Ben Ford. Robinson will be in charge of the passing game while Ford is handling the running game duties.
Wheeler is a transfer from Villa Rica and Beacham played on the JV squad last season. Now both step into the spotlight as Wheeler will start in the backfield and Beacham will play mostly the slot position.
The 5-foot-7, 160-pound Wheeler played in seven games in Villa Rica’s Wing-T offense. He rushed for 180 yards on 32 carries. His best game was a 58-yard rushing performance against Central-Carrollton last season.
He transferred in April and had a chance to go through spring drills with his new team.
“It was an easy connection with the team,” Wheeler said. “I think I bring some energy and enthusiasm to the team. This offense is different from the Wing-T, and I think I’ve been able to pick up on it. I’ve had my ups and downs in it.”
Wheeler has a few more weeks to get adjusted before the Jaguars take on Lithia Springs in a scrimmage game. New Manchester is trying to recover from a 1-9 season last year.
“It is a lot more work playing on the varsity,” Beacham said. “I’ve been working on my hands, and getting my timing right.”
Last season, the Jaguars only averaged 93 yards per game on the ground and 112 through the air. Jahrell Polk is back for his second season as quarterback and Destin White has moved to the wide receiver position to give the team more depth.
Bradley led the team with 627 yards and three touchdowns, the team’s only rushing scores from last season. He is now an incoming freshman at Morehouse. Aerin Horton (43 yards) and K.J. Johnson (173 yards) have also graduated.
Markus Johnson, who rushed for 173 yards last season, transferred to Westlake.
Terry says he likes the combination that Wheeler and Beacham will add to the offense.
“We got two guys we feel can stick it inside and can turn the corner,” Terry said. “We are talking two guys with high IQs. Neither is exceptionally tall but they have a lot of heart.”