Bennie Coney is losing one of his biggest targets in the passing game, but the Plant City High junior quarterback couldn't be happier.
Jordan Prestwood, who excelled last season as the Raiders' tight end, has moved to offensive tackle, meaning Coney will have a 6-foot-6, 280-pounder protecting him from the opposition's top pass rusher.
Trading a pair of soft hands in the passing game for the security blanket Prestwood provides against hungry defenders was a trade Coney was more than willing to make.
"I was waiting on it. He got too big trying to run seam routes anyways," Coney said jokingly.
The move is one that essentially sends Prestwood home.
The hulking senior spent his first two varsity seasons as a tackle before playing tight end, where coaches hoped to best utilize his athleticism. The moved paid dividends as Prestwood caught 26 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns, earning all-state honors and helping Plant City reach the Class 5A state playoffs.
With a plethora of capable pass catchers in the mix for 2010, however, sending Prestwood back to tackle was a way for the Raiders to fortify their strength at the line of scrimmage.
Plant City returns four starting offensive linemen, and senior Mike York, the best player from that group, is shifting from center to guard, next to Prestwood. That gives the Raiders one of the county's best blocking tandems.
Prestwood, a Notre Dame commitment, is looking forward to getting accustomed to the tackle position again.
"You're going up against the biggest freaks on the field," he said, "and I like taking on that challenge."
New Raiders coach Wayne Ward praised Prestwood for his positive attitude and tireless work ethic, and has no doubt that his skill set is above par. But Prestwood also has a bit of a mean streak, the coach said, which Ward believes can benefit the team while Prestwood is working this season in the trenches.
"He's nasty," Ward said. "You look at Jordan, he has a baby face. But when that helmet goes on, that light comes on, I tell you what, he's a gamer."
STADIUM: Raider Stadium, One Raider Place, Plant City
CLASS-DISTRICT: 5A-6 (with Bloomingdale, Durant, Newsome and Riverview)
COACH: Wayne Ward (first season)
LAST SEASON: 7-4
Sept. 3: East Bay
Sept. 10: Middleton
Sept. 16: Brandon
Sept. 24: at Newsome
Oct. 1: Chamberlain
Oct. 8: Bloomingdale
Oct. 15: at Gaither
Oct. 22: at Riverview
Oct. 29: Durant
Nov. 12: at Jefferson
No.NamePos.Ht.Wt.Yr.2Kyle PazWR5-9149Sr.3Lamarlin WigginsWR6-2182Jr.4Antwon ArmstrongWR-DB5-10154Jr.5Landon GallowayQB6-0164Fr.6Samuel GreenDB6-0179Jr.7Derrick AndersonRB5-8180Jr.8Jabari MckenzieDB5-6139So.9Hassen BaileyWR-DB5-9150Fr.10Bennie ConeyQB6-2205Jr.11Jay MeyersTE-LB5-10202Jr.13Cory EdinsDB5-5125Jr.14Lopes LuisK5-5130Jr.15Nick RodriguezQB-WR5-11155So.16Omar MolinaWR6-0160Sr.20Javonte SykesRB-DB5-9177Sr.21Kaidrick RichardsonDB5-8161Jr.22Colby DiersWR5-9166So.24Matthew BentonDB5-10140Jr.25Joseph BentonLB5-10170Jr.28Dazmond PattersonRB5-8165Jr.29Abraham CancioDB5-8133Jr.32Jontavia SykesLB-RB5-8212So.34Kayvious CampbellRB-LB5-8170Sr.36Jalen ButlerLB6-3190Jr.37Daequan HarrisonWR5-9140Fr.38Trenton WilliamsRB5-8142Fr.40Art KnightLB-RB5-11189Sr.42Damon BrownRB5-6135So.44Matt ChangeyRB5-8140Fr.45Mike HashDL5-11175Jr.46Edgar GarnadosDL5-5171Jr.48Nick PriceDL5-6193Sr.50Colton BoxOL6-1256Jr.52Chris RobinsonOL-DL5-8231Sr.53Quincey RobinsonOL6-2175Fr.54John BroomeLB6-0174Fr.55Tyley ReevesLB5-9212Jr.56Jared HendersonDL5-9186Sr.57Cesar AbediaLB5-7170Fr.58Jose GuerreroOL-DL6-2214Sr.60Travis HartOL-DL5-9246Sr.64Seth CrowellOL-DL6-1216So.65Mike WallaceOL-DL6-2250Sr.66Benson CainLB-OL6-0209So.68Martin GarciaDL5-8210Sr.69Michael YorkOL-DL6-3310Sr.70Brandon CalvoOL6-1222Sr.72Bill PenglerOL-DL5-11276Jr.73Tavares PriceOL-DL5-10197Sr.75Jacob GoadOL5-8201So.76Reyes AguileraOL-DL6-0298Jr.77Jamaree ArgoOL6-0210Jr.78Jordan PrestwoodOL-DL6-6280Sr.80Travis CannolesDL6-0205Sr.81Rodrick PettisDL6-1201Sr.83Jarett StudstillTE-P6-3181Sr.86Joe DavisWR5-7142Sr.90Artuil DroneDL6-0241Jr.99Avery HilleryDL5-6287Sr.Chris CasellaOL-DL5-8206Jr.Matt GuzmanWR-DB5-9164Jr.Cody HayesLB5-10181Sr.Quinton RobinsonLB6-0207So.