"I missed three games last year due to a torn ligament," Shannon Cage said. "I'm 100% healthy now and practice is going great.
"We look solid and our whole offensive line, including the tight end, will be returning senior starters."
With former backfield mate Miquel Toefield having transferred to district rival Loranger, Cage expects to shoulder the load for the Class 3A Tigers.
"I hope to get 20 to 30 carries a game, but we will have two running backs in the backfield," he said. "I gained 389 yards and scored eight touchdowns last year."
Cage didn't camp at any colleges during the summer, although he wasn't idle.
"I competed in the National Underclassmen Combine in Lafayette," he said. "From there, I made it to the Ultimate 100 in Atlanta and I was invited to the NUC Top Prospect Camp in Oklahoma.
"The coaches at the NUC and Ultimate 100 told me to keep my head up, and they said I have a bright future. I do well in school. I have a 3.6 to 3.8 grade point average. I'm planning to take the ACT in September. I'm also on the student council and will be in Beta (Club)."
Cage reports interest from Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Northwestern State.
"I like the SEC," he said. "I love Alabama. I like LSU, too, but they're so loaded at running back.
"I visited Mississippi State last week with a teammate. I was supposed to meet the coaches, but they were going into a meeting when we were leaving."
While Cage is currently at 230 pounds, he plans to slim down a tad and play at 220 to 225 pounds. He has a 525-pound squat.
Independence has a scrimmage against Kentwood scheduled for September 16th. The Tigers open the regular season on the road at Baker (Aug. 31).
Cage and his teammates went 7-4 last year. The four schools (East Jefferson, Amite, Loranger and Port Allen) that beat the Tigers had a combined record of 40-10.