The personality of the students he's worked with so far at the start of his second tenure with Ready has had a familiar feel for coach Joel Cutler.
What he calls the west side "attitude" centered on toughness is just as he remembered from when he guided the Silver Knights to a 19-5 record in 2012 and 2013, which included a Division VI state semifinal appearance in his second season.
Over the last five years, Ready went 30-22 with two playoff appearances under Brian Cross, while Cutler was leading Upper Arlington to a 29-21 mark and a Division I playoff berth in 2015.
Now back with the Silver Knights, who finished 4-6 a year ago, Cutler is bringing in a few new ideas without scrapping everything that took place while he was gone.
"There are some significant changes, but I've known Brian Cross for a long time and he's a good coach," said Cutler, who went 5-5 in his final season with the Golden Bears. "They were always physical, and that's kind of the attitude of us on the west side, that we're tough. I feel good about it moving forward, that we'll be physical and run the football."
Cutler, a 1994 Jonathan Alder graduate who served as an assistant at UA for 12 years before taking over at Ready for Larry Wolf (101-51 record in 14 seasons), has added several of his former UA assistants to his staff at Ready.
In addition, former Silver Knights standouts Brady Taylor and Matt Yoho also will be assistants after playing under Cutler. Taylor spent the last five years competing for Ohio State and will coach the offensive line, while Yoho will coach the quarterbacks after playing that position at Ready in 2012 and 2013.
Cutler has focused on "being very detailed" as he has re-installed his system at Ready, which will compete in Division V..
There are about 50 players in grades 9-12, including 11 seniors, as Ready prepares for a schedule that will include five playoff teams from a year ago.
The Knights open Aug. 30 at Genoa Area, which went 12-1 and beat Ready 28-0, so progressing quickly has been a crucial part of the plan.
"It's been a big transition," senior offensive lineman Josh Baum said. "I've had the same coach the past three years, but I've seen a lot of things I like about coach Cutler. I feel like with coach Cutler, the tempo is a lot faster. We're overall doing the same things, but right now we're moving at a much, much faster pace."
At quarterback, Cutler has chosen junior Darius Parham, a basketball player who is one of the best athletes in the school but has limited football experience. Parham replaces Austin Aiello, a 2019 graduate who threw for 900 yards and seven touchdowns.
The top skill-position returnee is senior running back Jack Foley, who rushed for 1,640 yards and 17 touchdowns on 265 carries.
"What I want for this year is to have 2,000 rushing yards, but as a team our goal is that we want to win," Foley said. "I could have five carries and 50 yards and if we win, I'll be happy. We don't want to go 4-6 again."
Senior Donovan Sanders was at fullback last season but is expected to be at tight end along with junior Cole Matthews.
Junior Tyrese Hudson and senior P.J. Daniels should lead the receiving corps. They will try to replace the production of 2019 graduate Jaishan Norris, who had 32 receptions for 612 yards with five touchdowns.
Baum is a returning starter on the offensive line and is expected to be at center.
Senior Gabe Hawkins and junior Cale Dent should be at tackle, with seniors Jacob Robinson and Thomas Stiltner at guard.
Cade Canter is a 2019 graduate who was a four-year starter on the line. His brother, junior Cole Canter, was expected to be in the mix at quarterback but transferred to Newark Catholic.
Stiltner is a returning starter on the line who will lead the defense.
According to Cutler, Stiltner along with Dent, Robinson, junior Mario Skidmore and sophomore Marvin Sutton all could rotate on the line.
Daniels and Matthews will be at outside linebacker, with junior Jacob Metz and Kamer on the inside and Sanders seeing time at both spots.
Junior Oumar Dia, who was a Division III regional qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles for the boys track and field team last spring, will be at cornerback with Hudson.
Junior Aiden Aiello and sophomores Andy Schulze and Malachi Washington all should see action at safety.
The biggest losses on defense were in the secondary, where Norris had three interceptions, and up front where Cade Canter had 42 tackles and 2019 graduate Sam Hardenbergh had 85 tackles and two sacks.
Austin Aiello also was one of the top defensive backs.
Senior A.J. Craddock returns at kicker after making 27 of 30 extra points and three field goals.
He also will take over at punter in place of Austin Aiello, who averaged 36.5 yards on 38 kicks.
Hudson and Dia are expected to return kickoffs and punts.
Quarterbacks: *Darius Parham (jr., 6-3, 170), Kaleb Schaffer (fr., 6-3, 170), Andy Schulze (so., 5-9, 160)
Running backs: *Jack Foley (sr., 5-7, 165), Brian Fitzsimmons (fr., 5-10, 160), JeJuan McGowan (jr., 5-9, 195), Conor Moore (so., 5-8, 165)
Receivers: *P.J. Daniels (sr., 5-10, 170), *Tyrese Hudson (jr., 5-9, 160), Schulze
Tight ends: Cole Matthews (jr., 6-2, 180), Donovan Sanders (sr., 5-9, 215)
Linemen: *Josh Baum (sr., 6-0, 250), *Cale Dent (jr., 6-2, 275), *Gabe Hawkins (sr., 6-0, 280), *Jacob Robinson (sr., 5-10, 220), *Thomas Stiltner (sr., 6-2, 240), Nik Kamer (sr., 5-8, 200)
Linemen: *Robinson, *Stiltner, Dent, Mario Skidmore (jr., 5-9, 180), Marvin Sutton (so., 6-2, 240)
Linebackers: *Daniels, *Kamer, *Matthews, *Jacob Metz (jr., 5-9, 215), Sanders
Secondary: *Oumar Dia (jr., 5-10, 170), *Hudson, Aiden Aiello (jr., 5-6, 130), Schulze, Malachi Washington (so., 5-8, 130)
Kicker: *A.J. Craddock (sr., 5-7, 160)
Returners: *Dia, *Hudson
Long snappers: *Robinson, Dent
(*Denotes projected starter)