With a solid group of linebackers returning, and Joseph Ross taking over as defensive coordinator, Westmoore is switching to a 3-4 look.
“I think its more flexible with all the different formations we see and the spreads we face,” Jaguars coach Billy Langford said. “It lends itself to being multiple in doing some different things and we've got more linebackers than we do defensive linemen, so that was a big factor as well.”
The most prominent of those linebackers is Josh Morgan, who returns for his fourth year as a starter after making 158 tackles last year to lead 6A.
“He's a kid that loves football,” Langford said. “He loves to practice and practices hard. He loves the weight room. He's a state championship powerlifter. Football was made for him.”
Morgan is one of seven returning defensive starters for Westmoore, which went 7-4 last season.
Another on the defensive side is defensive back Addison Staggs, who had 82 tackles and five interceptions as a junior.
Westmoore returns even more of its offense, with eight starters returning.
One of the holes, though, is at quarterback, though Langford feels very good about the job Jhames West has done shifting back to quarterback after spending most of the last two years at wide receiver.
“There wasn't a doubt as soon as Trevor (Thompson) graduated,” Langford said. “Jhames and I had a long discussion and he wanted to play quarterback and I wanted him to. He wants the ball in his hands.”
While West gives the Jaguars a strong running presence at the position, Langford has also been impressed with the development of his arm since shifting back to the spot.
One of the few areas where Westmoore is inexperienced is at receiver, where West's shift and graduation left the Jaguars needing to fill holes.
Junior Lexus Lee returns at the slot position.
“He's not super super fast but he's really athletic,” Langford said.
Junior Austin Dodd and sophomore Colin Morris are among the players Langford is looking toward to fill the other holes.
“We've got some good prospects there but until I see them do it during the Moore War or Southwest Showdown or games like that, we won't know for sure,” Langford said.
The Jaguars also return both of their starting running backs, including Austin Richards, who ran for more than 1,350 yards as a junior. Kieron Hardrick also returns there.
“Austin might not have that big of a number this year because Jhames is going to get some of those carries but I look for his average, which has been right at five yards per carry, to creep up a bit,” Langford said. “We don't have to bang on him and we'll be able to keep his fresh this year.”