The Battle for #1
This race for number one may be the hottest since Devin Gardner and William Gholston a few years ago. Right now, Warren DeLaSalle quarterback Shane Morris and Midland's offensive tackle Steven Elmer are, in my book, neck and neck.
Morris is a fireball thrower with an exceptional arm and two years of varsity experience under his belt. He has also been great at national events this summer, impressing nearly every where he goes. If I had to choose right now, he would get my early nod.
That said, Elmer has been gaining. He has had a great summer as well, adding multiple offers after great camp performances. He's a 6'6, nearly 300-lb kid who ran a 5.04 forty at Wisconsin and moved as well in drills at Michigan and Michigan State's camps as any other big man I've seen this year. He also began showing that mean streak we wanted to see from him in 1-1s.
The great thing about both guys is, they're great kids and student athletes as well who will represent the state of Michigan well. Left tackle and quarterback are typically two of the most sought after, important positions in football, and both of these guys have the goods.
As I see it, in no particular order, the next few guys are Cadillac offensive tackle Riley Norman, Detroit Catholic Central fullback-linebacker-lineman Wyatt Shallman, and Grand Blanc linebacker-defensive end Luke Maclean.
Norman is a 6'7, 320-lb kid who moves very well and already has a Michigan State offer. He has quite the green and white background, with both parents as alums, so we expect he will be a Spartan come due time. Shallman can play all over the field and has offers from Michigan, Cincinnati and Syracuse. He will have to find a true position, but he's an impressive athlete. Maclean recently received his first offer from Buffalo, and we do not think it will be the last for the nearly 6'4, 235-lb Maclean. He also did very well at Michigan and Notre Dame's camps and could play inside, outside or put his hand down come college.
Right on their heels are Birmingham Brother Rice linebacker Jon Reschke, and Detroit Cass Tech's offensive lineman David Dawson and defensive tackle Kenton Gibbs. Reschke had a good summer, receiving an offer from Toledo. He moved well when we saw him in drills and although he played defensive end last year, looked like a true linebacker when we saw him over the summer. Dawson, an offensive tackle, is a guy we think may end up at guard, but always does well in camp settings and has good overall technique for a young guy. Gibbs is athletic and fluid with great feet. He will need to get a little bigger (6-2, 275), but he's a Division-1 prospect.
Lansing Eastern offensive tackle Joshua Crim has a great frame at 6'8, 255-lbs, and we believe he could be a BCS level prospect. Grand Blanc's Daniel Davis, a 6'3, 230-lb defensive end put himself on the map after a nice summer camp performance at Michigan State.
On Their Way
- Detroit Cass Tech's Jourdan Lewis recently earned offer number one from Toledo. He stands 5'8, 165-lbs, so he isn't huge, but he's a good athlete who played corner, receiver and returned kicks for Cass last season.
- Detroit Country Day's Poet Thomas is a 6'6, 295-lb defensive tackle who is nimble and has good film, but showed he still had technical work to do this summer. We think he could have a future on offense as well. Another potential two-way lineman to watch is Crockett's Jalen Dandridge, who will end up as a four-year starter and can play either side of the ball at 6'2, 290-lbs. One offensive lineman already holding an offer is Canton's Cameron Dillard (Eastern Michigan), a run blocker extraordinaire who has improved his pass blocking by leaps and bounds as the summer has gone on.
- Portage Central's Nate Jeppersen, a 6'3, 265-lb guard already has offers from Central Michigan and Western Michigan. Detroit Cass Tech's 6'7, 305-lb Dennis Finley has great potential, and this will be his frist year seeing major playing time, so we're excited to see how he develops. Another offensive lineman we like is Vinnie Palazeti, a 6'4, 280-lb guard from Flint Powers. Ann Arbor Skyline's 6'4, 270-lb Dvon Ballard is receiving some Division-1 (FBS) attention.
- Farmington Hills Harrison receiver Gairus Coleman has two offers (Cincinnati, Bowling Green) already and has had a great summer. He's quick, has great hands, and creates separation despite being just 5'9. Other receivers on the radar include Montague's Brandon Moore, who is a legit 6'3, 190-lbs and is a mismatch for most of his competition. Macomb Dakota's Bryan Basilico has good ball skills in a 6'2, 175-lb frame. Brandon Bean from Southfield had a nice sophomore year and has solid size aat 6'0, 185.
- Farmington safety Isiah Gourdine has burst onto the scene this summer. 6'2 with good ball skills, he could be a receiver as well, but has proven to be a Division-1 prospect. Another who has emerged this summer is Manchester quarterback Nate Bossory, who has performed well and put himself on the map.
One more quarterback who fits into that boat is Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard's Mason Sarosi, a 6'3, 180-lb kid who started hearing from a lot of schools this summer.
- Flint Carman-Ainsworth running back Gerald Holmes is a good looking prospect at 6'0, 190-lbs. We have to see more of him, but he passes the eye test and looked like a player in the film we've seen so far.
- On the west side, watch out for Holland's Corey Willis, a 5'10, 165-lb athlete who could play defensive back or slot receiver. Muskegon Orchard View offensive tackle Dillon Laase has a nice, 6'5, 265-lb frame and was busy on the camp circuit this summer. His teammate, cornerback Marcus Smith is another to watch.
- The best overall prospect in West Michigan might just be West Ottawa's strong legged kicker Bryan Holmes though.
- Detroit Crockett's Desmond King is playmaking cornerback who had nine interceptions as a sophomore. Detroit Frederick Douglass' Demetrius Stinson is another Motor City defensive back we like.
- Two linebackers we've liked in person and on tape are Grosse Pointe South's Jack Doyle and Jackson Lumen Christi's A.J. Abrams.
Early Names for 2014
Chance Stewart - QB - Sturgis (6-5, 210)
Damon Webb - WR - U of D Jesuit (5'11, 165)
Jake Khoury - DT - Traverse City St. Francis (6'3, 272)
Byron Bullough - DB - Traverse City St. Francis (5'10, 170)
Connor Hayes - OL - Traverse City West (6'3, 260)
Jordan Van Dort - TE - Zeeland West (6'5, 240)
Derek Brown - OL
- Yale (6'4, 280)
William White - LB - Detroit Cass Tech (6'1, 215)