"I figure I'm going to stay at running back. Without Tre Cox this season, I'm probably going to get more carries, too," D'Annunzio said. "We'll even run some wildcat like we did last year at times."
Carey surprised many prep fans by not importing the stick-I offense he used at Bridgeport throughout his 13-year stint with the Indians. Instead, the Eagles mostly operated out of a pro-set with multiple formations.
Then again, Carey inherited the stick-I at Bridgeport from prep coaching legend Wayne Jamison, who he replaced there following Jamison's retirement in 1996.
"If he had his way, Coach Carey would just rather pound the ball down your throat," D'Annunzio said. "We don't have the same kind of personnel as Bridgeport, though. I think we have more skill players, but at the same time we don't have guys to line up at fullback and at the upback position to just run through the line and hit people in the mouth."
In 2012, Byrd made use of All-State wide receiver Iziah Hill, receiver Mason Compton and quarterback Aaron Taylor to complement D'Annunzio's 1,450 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns to score 499 points in 13 games. The Eagles outscored their opponents by an average of 38-13 per game in going 11-2.
With a new quarterback in Nick Lanham, the Eagles might stay closer to the ground in 2013, but figure to be in the playoff hunt again under D'Annunzio's leadership.
"I think a double-A team will win the Big 10 again this year," he said of Byrd's conference, which includes Fairmont Senior and East Fairmont, North Marion, Bridgeport, Lincoln, Liberty (Harrison), Grafton, Philip Barbour, 2012 Class AAA playoff quarterfinalist Lewis County, Buckhannon-Upshur, Elkins and Preston.
"The team I'd look out for is Fairmont Senior," he said. "They've got a lot coming back and with Coach (J.L.) Abbott back there, they're going to be more like they were when they had Logan Moore, Remington Skarzinski, Kyle Allard and those guys."
It's fitting that D'Annunzio's attention is fixed to the Polar Bears. Byrd opens its regular season against Fairmont Senior at East-West Stadium in Fairmont on Aug. 30.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.tay...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT.