"He throws the ball well," Favero said of Falk, who won't pose the running, scrambling threat on the ground that Nelson did. "Luke's more of a pro-style guy. His strength is throwing the ball."
Falk will be backed up by Jesse Braddy, Chase Nelson and Kincade Wildman.
Braddy, a senior, will start at one of the Grizzlies' receiver positions, and Chase Nelson, a junior who's D.J.'s younger brother, will share the running back duties with senior Chasen Andersen and junior Taylor Compton.
On the offensive line, senior Dito Marin is the man in the middle and a returning starter at center, flanked by seniors Vincent Lalau and Trevor Anderson at the guard spots, with Bryce Skabelund providing depth. The starters at offensive tackle will be junior Logan Rice and senior Luis Velazquez.
While Logan has enough offensive weapons and defensive experience to make another strong league and state title run, Favero isn't taking anything for granted.
"There's some experience coming back, and any time you have experience coming back, you're a little further along than you'd be if you were inexperienced," he said.
"We have the same concerns anyone else has in high school. We've got a number of positions that will be filled with kids that haven't played varsity ball, so it's our job to grow 'em up quick and try to gain a lot of experience as quickly as we can with our inexperience."
Sizing up the Region 5 race, Favero figures all league opponents are going to be gunning to shoot down the defending state champion Grizzlies.
"Mountain Crest is very strong. Box Elder is strong. Sky View is very talented," he said. "Bonneville's got a new coach (Tyler Gladwell) and Freddy (Fernandes) is in his second year at Roy, so I think those two teams will be improved."
And Logan? Well, it looks like they're loaded for bear — pardon the pun — again this year.
Logan Grizzlies at a glance
Coach: Mike Favero begins his 14th season as Logan's head coach. He has compiled a 112-50 record in 13 seasons at the school. He is a graduate of Helix (Calif.) High.
(5 returning starters; Spread offense)
QB Luke Falk takes over the controls of an explosive offense that averaged 44 points per game last season, and Chase Nelson, Jesse Braddy, Chasen Andersen, Hagen Andersen, Beau Artist, Taylor Compton, Jake Thompson and Zach Rich give him plenty of potent weapons. Dito Marin will anchor the O-line. Though they lost some great players off last year's state championship team, it doesn't look like the Grizzlies will miss a beat.
(7 returning starters; Base 4-2-5 defense)
With seven returning starters, Logan's opponents will have a tough time moving the football. The Grizzlies will certainly miss injured all-state defensive end Caden Andersen, but with Nelson, Dallin Dahl, Hunter Ballam, Compton and Josh Wilson patrolling the secondary, and guys like Jacoby Wildman, Jaxton Birky, Sam Bennion, Casey Coe, Shawn Gudmundson, Chasen Andersen and Jaden Connor up front, Logan will challenge opposing teams to put many points on the scoreboard.
Coaches preseason Region 5 straw poll: First
Deseret News Region 5 prediction: First
Bottom line: If Falk steps up as expected and the defense does its job the way it should, it looks like Logan has all the components of another possible championship team. The only thing that could stall the Grizzlies' mauling would be injuries or complacency, and the fiercely competitive Favero won't ever let the latter happen on his watch. But the remaining teams in Region 5 all appear to be improved over a year ago, and if Logan looks past anyone, the Grizzlies could pay dearly for it.
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