Monday, February 16, 2015

In-State Preview of 2016 Recruiting

Detroit (MI) King wide receiver Donnie Corley
In past years I've listed the upcoming class's prospects in alphabetical order, but this year I'm going to try something different. Based on their junior film, I'm going to rank the prospects in order of their talent level. Things can always changed based on spring/summer camps, fall performance, body maturation, etc., but this is how I see these guys here in the winter of 2015. Note that I ranked these players before compiling their recruiting rankings from other services, although I am aware of rankings peripherally since I cover recruiting quite a bit. There is also a dearth of linemen on the list, partly because linemen take a little longer to mature and pop up on the radar.

1. Donnie Corley - WR - Detroit (MI) King: King is 6'2", 180 lbs. and a 247 Composite 4-star, the #24 wide receiver, and #111 overall. As a junior in 2014, he had 47 receptions for 1,087 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also made 9 picks on defense. So far he has offers from LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Wisconsin, among others. I do think he could play corner at the next level, but I think he's such a strong north-south runner and a natural pass catcher that he would be best served playing offense.

2. Lavert Hill - CB - Detroit (MI) King: Hill is a 5'11", 170 lb. prospect who committed to Penn State recently; he also holds offers from Miami, Michigan, and Ohio State, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #21 cornerback, and #218 overall. He claims a 4.4 forty. He's also the younger brother of Michigan sophomore safety Delano Hill. Lavert himself played at Detroit (MI) Cass Tech through his junior season, but he will be playing for King this coming fall. Lavert is an aggressive corner - perhaps too aggressive, since he gets called or should get called for lots of pass interference - who shows good speed, nice hips, and smooth ball skills.

3. Matt Falcon - RB - Southfield (MI) Southfield: Falcon is a 6'1", 215 lb. prospect with offers from Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Tennessee, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #15 running back, and #219 overall. He also claims a 4.41 forty. Maybe I'm imagining things, but as a junior, it still appeared that he a bit of a hitch in his giddyap after an ACL tear suffered as a sophomore. Falcon runs with good body lean, some violence, and good speed despite the knee injury.

Hit the jump for 35 more prospects from within the state.

4. Michael Jordan - OT - Plymouth (MI) Plymouth: Jordan is 6'6", 285 lbs. and a 247 Composite 4-star, #17 offensive tackle, and #201 overall. He holds offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Penn State. Jordan moves well and packs quite a punch when he stays low, but he needs to work on bending his knees and widening his base. Attending camps and continuing to work in the off-season would probably help him quite a bit with his technique.

5. Khalid Kareem - DE - Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison: Kareem is 6'4", 240 lbs. and a 247 Composite 4-star, the #21 strongside end, and #292 overall. He has offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, and he was briefly committed to the Spartans at the beginning of February. Kareem has a good first step, claims a 4.8 forty, uses his hands pretty well, and shows a variety of moves to defeat blockers. He's not an athletic freak, but he does not have any glaring weaknesses.

6. Stefan Claiborne - S - Clinton Township (MI) Chippewa Valley: Claiborne is 6'1", 168 lbs. and a 247 Composite 3-star, the #25 safety, and #417 overall. He has offers from Cincinnati, Iowa, and a handful of MAC schools so far, although others are surely on their way. He claims a 4.44 forty and a 30" vertical. For a while I liked him as a receiver, but as his body fills out, I'm thinking he looks more and more like a safety. He has decent speed, is a solid tackler, and knows how to take angles and find the football.

7. Thiyo Lukusa - OG - Traverse City (MI) West:
 Lukusa is a 6'5", 300 lb. prospect and a 247 Composite 4-star, the #30 offensive tackle, and #328 overall. He has offers from Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, and Ohio State, among others. Lukusa can sink his hips when engaged with defenders in run blocker, but he does not have the lateral foot quickness to remain at tackle, at least not on the left side, which is where he plays in high school.

8. Martell Pettaway - RB - St. Clair Shores (MI) South Lake: Pettaway is a 5'10", 205 lb. prospect with offers from Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan State. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #22 running back, and #308 overall. He claims a 4.45 forty. Pettaway has good vision, speed, and feet, but he runs a little upright and needs to get stronger in the lower body. He looks more like a change-of-pace guy than a feature back.

9. Demetric Vance - S - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Vance is a 6'1", 193 lb. prospect with offers from Iowa, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Pitt, and Purdue, among others. He claims a 4.5 forty. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #26 safety, and #421 overall. While he has some pass receiving skills, I think he has more of a feel for playing defense. From the safety position, he can come up and support the run, he can go up and get the ball, and he's willing to hit receivers who come across the middle.

10. Desmond Fitzpatrick - WR - Farmington (MI) Farmington: Fitzpatrick is a 6'1", 185 lb. prospect who's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #59 wide receiver, and #339 overall. He committed to Louisville back in the fall and has offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, and Purdue, among others. He claims a 4.5 forty. Fitzpatrick has average size, good speed, and good body control, but he is not particularly or elusive after the catch unless he beats the defense over the top.

11. Bailey Edwards - WR - Chelsea (MI) Chelsea: Edwards is a 6'2", 180 lb. prospect with an offer from Western Michigan. He's the son of former Michigan running back Stan Edwards and the younger brother of both Braylon Edwards (Michigan) and Berkley Edwards (Minnesota). I doubt the 180 lb. thing because he's rail-thin (he's probably close to 170 lbs.), but he has very good acceleration and speed, and he has an advanced understanding of route running. He's not the most natural pass catcher, but that may come with time.

12. Tony Poljan - TE - Lansing (MI) Catholic Central: Poljan is a 6'7", 235 lb. prospect with an offer from Eastern Michigan to play football and one from Central Michigan to play basketball. At one point he was ranked in ESPN's top 300 prospects for 2016 at #263, although he has since dropped off the list. He's currently a 247 Composite 3-star, the #27 athlete, and #446 overall. He was a juggernaut as a junior in 2014, completing 65% of his passes for 2,802 yards, 34 touchdowns, and just 4 interceptions; he also ran 1,017 yards and 22 touchdowns, giving him 56 touchdowns for the season, which is an incredible number. Granted, he does not play great competition, but it's impressive what he can do at his size. He's outrunning people and stiff-arming defenders from his quarterback position, and he also plays some linebacker, where he does a nice job of getting low and tracking the ball carrier. He looks most comfortable with the ball in his hands, so tight end seems a likely landing spot, but I could also see him as a 3-4 outside linebacker or a 4-3 defensive end. You should definitely take a look at his linked highlights.

13. Cameron Kolwich - OG - Muskegon (MI) Orchard View: Kolwich is a 6'4", 270 lb. prospect with an offer from Toledo. He has a good first step and a good initial punch, and while he has the feet to possibly play right tackle, he might be limited by his length. I'm a little surprised that he doesn't have more offers than a few of the other linemen in Michigan, including a couple of the Traverse City West guys.

14. Eric Rogers - LB - Warren (MI) De La Salle: Rogers is a 6'1", 225 lb. prospect with offers from Cincinnati, Toledo, and Western Michigan. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #9 inside linebacker, and #324 overall. He also claims a 4.7 forty, benches 325 lbs., squats 500 lbs., and boasts a 34" vertical. He shows good instincts and overall athleticism, but he does not jump off the screen as an athlete or a hitter. Rogers is the younger brother of former Michigan cornerback James Rogers and a teammate of one of 2017's top prospects, RB Allen Stritzinger.

15. Kalebb Perry - WR - Mt. Pleasant (MI) Mt. Pleasant: Perry is a 6'2", 180 lb. prospect with offers from Central Michigan, Miami-OH, and Western Michigan. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #103 wide receiver, and #678 overall. He claims a 36" vertical and as a junior in 2014, he caught 36 passes for 900 yards and 9 touchdowns. Perry has decent height but needs to get stronger. He's a good athlete who has good acceleration but lacks that extra gear to pull away from defensive backs.

16. Michael Onwenu - DT - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Onwenu is a 6'2", 340 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Miami, Michigan, and Ohio State, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #5 offensive guard, and #191 overall. He claims a 5.5 forty and a 405 lb. bench press. Onwenu has surprisingly quick feet when moving in a straight line, and he obviously has a big body. My qualm with Onwenu is that even on his highlights, he does not go hard all the time. Part of this may be conditioning (after all, he's 340 lbs. and not particularly tall), but he seems to lack some football instincts when it comes to finishing plays. That motivation has to come from somewhere.

17. Jalen Cochran - LB - Canton (MI) Canton: Cochran is a 6'4", 225 lb. outside linebacker/defensive end with offers from Eastern Michigan and Iowa. He claims a 4.79 forty. I think you're going to be impressed if you watch his film, where I see a guy who plays fast and aggressive. He has good length and a frame to carry a good deal more weight. He looks a little uncomfortable with his hand on the ground, which makes me project him as a linebacker for now, but his size will probably make him a defensive end eventually.

18. Trishton Jackson - QB - West Bloomfield (MI) West Bloomfield: Jackson is a 6'3", 190 lb. prospect with offers from Purdue, Toledo, and Western Michigan. He's unranked right now. Jackson is a dual-threat quarterback who's extremely raw and might be more likely to end up playing wide receiver or defensive back at the next level. He does not have a strong arm, throws a wobbly ball, and does not have good mechanics. However, he is very elusive and has good speed. If he plays quarterback, I see him as a developmental guy who might take over in his fourth or fifth season. His older brother, Obbie, signed with Eastern Michigan in the 2015 class.

19. Tommy Roush - OG - Traverse City (MI) West: Roush is a 6'3", 270 lb. prospect with a lone offer from Central Michigan. Roush has not been heavily pursued yet, but I like this kid. One thing he lacks is ideal size, which may be holding some schools back from offering. But he is a very technical, aggressive player who I think could play center or guard for some programs, if not in the Big Ten then in the AAC, ACC, etc.

20. Hunter Broersma - WR - Muskegon (MI) Mona Shores: Broersma is a 6'1", 185 lb. prospect with offers from a handful of MAC programs. He claims a 4.5 forty. As a junior in 2014, he touched the ball 75 times and gained 1,038 total yards with 11 touchdowns, and he made 5 interceptions (including 1 return for a touchdown) and 8 pass breakups. He also had the benefit of catching passes from senior Tyree Jackson (Buffalo), so it will be interesting to see if he can have as much success for what has traditionally been an overlooked program. Broersma doesn't have great speed but has some good balance. He could end up playing slot receiver or perhaps safety at the next level.

21. Jesse Johnson - S - Detroit (MI) King: King is a 5'11", 190 lb. prospect with offers from Illinois and Toledo. The most recent highlights I can find of Johnson come from his sophomore year, in which he looks like a strong safety or maybe an outside linebacker. He's known as a good hitter and tackler, but he lacks the quickness to play much in deep coverage.

22. Joshua Jackson - QB - Saline (MI) Saline: Jackson is a 6'2", 200 lb. prospect with offers from Northwestern, West Virginia, and several MAC schools. He's the son of former Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson and the brother of former Michigan wide receiver Jeremy Jackson. He started his high school career at Ann Arbor (MI) Huron but got pulled from the team in the middle of his sophomore year. While his older brother claimed some SEC and Big 12 offers, Joshua looks like a better athlete, although he's not an elite quarterback prospect and probably doesn't have the speed to play receiver.

23. Jalen Martin - WR - Harper Woods (MI) Chandler Park Academy: Martin is a 6'3", 203 lb. prospect with offers from a handful of MAC programs. He claims a 4.53 forty. As a sophomore in 2013, he caught 44 passes for 1,015 yards and 12 touchdowns. My issue with Martin has always been a lack of explosiveness, and I have not seen a great improvement in that area. While he could stick at wide receiver, I would not be totally surprised to see him add weight and become an H-back or pass receiving tight end, because I believe he has the frame to do so.

24. Mike Robb - TE - Midland (MI) Dow: Robb is a 6'6", 210 lb. prospect with an offer from Eastern Michigan. He claims a 4.7 forty. As a junior in 2014, he caught 58 passes for 710 yards and 10 touchdowns. While Dow uses him effectively as a go-to wide receiver who lines up split wide, he will almost certainly have to learn to play tight end position, but he has the speed and athleticism to make the transition as a pass receiving guy. His long-term future may be determined by how well he adjusts to blocking on the line of scrimmage.

25. Tim Walton - LB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Walton is a 6'1", 225 lb. prospect with offers from Cincinnati and a couple MAC schools. He claims a 4.6 forty. Walton looks like a MAC-level inside linebacker. He plays some offense, but while his defensive instincts aren't great, they're better on that side of the ball.

26. Mikale Washington - QB - Detroit (MI) King: Washington is a 6'4", 190 lb. prospect with no offers at this time. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #24 pro-style quarterback, and #475 overall. Washington has the advantage of throwing to some of the best skill players in the state, so some of his production and highlights should be taken with a grain of salt. He has decent running skills and fair arm strength, but he does not seem to have to make a lot of reads and his windup is reminiscent of Byron Leftwich's elongated motion. I do think he'll get some offers, but colleges are likely waiting until some of the bigger targets start to drop.

27. Cedrick Lattimore - DE - Detroit (MI) East English Village: Lattimore is a 6'5", 241 lb. prospect with offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, and Eastern Michigan. Lattimore also plays tight end, but he looks more comfortable on defense than he does running routes, catching, and running. With his size there's a decent chance that he ends up playing defensive tackle in college, but he needs to use his hands better.

28. Marquis Smith - QB - Ypsilanti (MI) Ypsilanti: Smith is a 6'0", 170 lb. prospect who committed to Eastern Michigan this past weekend. Smith is very unpolished as a quarterback and even looks uncomfortable receiving the shotgun snaps, so I have doubts about whether he'll ever play the position in college. As a runner, he shows good agility and vision and can run through some tackles, but he doesn't have great speed. I would imagine he will end up playing running back or slot receiver in college.

29. Jacob Cerny - OG - Traverse City (MI) West: Cerny is a 6'5", 280 lb. prospect with offers from Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan. He is unranked at this point. Cerny is a little bit thin right now and needs to add a lot of size and strength. He has decent feet when he chooses to use them, but ultimately, he does not appear to have a killer instinct when it comes to blocking and finishing plays.

30. Juanye Johnson - OG - Muskegon (MI) Muskegon: Johnson is a 6'4", 275 lb. prospect with no offers at this time. Johnson plays tackle in high school, but I think his feet are too heavy to play on the outside in college. However, he has a nice frame to add weight and could be a punishing blocker if he can clean up some of his technical inconsistencies. He's a developmental prospect but has significant upside if he can get things to click.

31. Lukas Thompson - CB - Grand Rapids (MI) Catholic Central: Thompson is a 5'11", 170 lb. prospect with an offer from Western Michigan.  He plays receiver, quarterback, cornerback, and kick returner for his high school, but he's a tentative runner without a lot of strength. I see him more as a zone corner, but he has to get stronger and more aggressive.

32. Benji Marshall - CB - Macomb (MI) Dakota: Marshall is a 5'11", 170 lb. prospect with no offers at this time. He doesn't have blazing speed, but he does have good quickness and athleticism that could lead some teams to look at him as either a corner or a slot receiver.

 The players listed alphabetically below might be very good players, but they either haven't played much football recently or they simply don't have much film posted on the internet. For example, Ann Arbor (MI) Skyline's Daelin Hayes is committed to USC and considered by some to be a 5-star, but I can't really rate him if I haven't seen him play.

Brandon Allen - CB - Haslett (MI) Haslett: Allen is a 5'10", 155 lb. prospect with a basketball offer from Central Michigan. There's not much film to go on for Allen, and he is more likely to play basketball at the next level, but I'll throw his name out there as a potential corner prospect.

Dontre Boyd - CB - Detroit (MI) King:
 Boyd is a 5'10", 160 lb. prospect with offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, and Iowa, among others. Without junior film on him, it's tough to make a judgment, but his sophomore highlights show a kid with good speed and nice hips. While he also plays receiver, I think he probably has the most upside at corner. Presuming he grows at least a little bit, I would guess he ends up somewhere in the middle of the Big Ten.

Lawrence Gordon - DE - Bridgeport (MI) Bridgeport:
 Gordon is a 6'6", 260 lb. prospect with no offers at this time. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #52 weakside end, and #868 overall. He claims a 4.6 forty. Gordon transferred from Saginaw (MI) Arthur Hill to Bridgeport in his junior year. While Gordon reportedly has significant athletic talent, there have been consistent reports that he just hasn't put it all together on the football field and looks somewhat lost. Still, at that size and with decent athleticism, he probably gets a chance somewhere.

Daelin Hayes - LB - Ann Arbor (MI) Skyline: Hayes is a 6'3", 225 lb. prospect who committed to USC last July; he also has offers from Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and numerous others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #5 outside linebacker, and #77 overall. He's also ranked as the #1 player in the state. Unfortunately, there's very little film on Hayes, who got hurt as a sophomore at Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's, transferred to California for his junior year but barely played, and then moved back to Michigan before his junior school year finished. He has barely played football over the past two years, but he must pass the eye test and look good at camps, because powerhouses around the country are gunning for him. I regret that I have to take a pass on ranking him, since no film exists.

Ade Ogundeji - DE - Walled Lake (MI) Central:
 Ogundeji was 6'5", 209 lbs. as a sophomore and earned a scholarship offer from Western Michigan, although I have not heard much about him after his junior year. His sophomore film showed a kid who was extremely raw but had a nice frame and inconsistent - but intriguing - aggression. If he can add strength and regulate his aggression, he could be a prospect to watch for some bigger offers. As is, however, he seems to be the type of raw prospect that only MAC-level schools might take a risk on.

Leon Page - DE - Detroit (MI) King: Page is a 6'3", 226 lb. prospect with an offer from Eastern Michigan. His sophomore film shows a kid who's a little bit lanky but shows good quickness and can come off the edge as a pass rusher. He may be more of a 3-4 outside linebacker, depending on how his body develops.


  1. * How 'bout that TC West offensive line? You wonder how big the other two guys are ...

    * Poljan has impressive bloodlines. His dad played football at CMU (All-MAC reference buried here: and his mom was a celebrated softball pitcher at Indiana U (

  2. Where would the proverbial "cut off" be, in your opinion, as far as guys who you think deserve Michigan offers/can play at Michigan?

    1. oh, what proverb is that from?

    2. Well, offers are given for various reasons - position needs, versatility, etc. I think a lot of these guys could be offered in the right situation. I think after #18 is probably where I would draw the line. The guys above that mark could probably be offered if there's a need for another player at this positions. For example, Trishton Jackson isn't a Michigan-caliber quarterback, but if he were open to playing receiver and Michigan has room to take a bit of a flier late in the recruiting cycle, I might not mind seeing the Wolverines extend an offer.

  3. Thanks for the effort in putting this together. It would be pretty cool to see this list a few months from now to see how they move on your board ala McShay and Kiper...

  4. #31 Lukas Thompson goes to Grand Rapids Christian, same school as Drake Harris.

  5. Good stuff and the format is big improvement.

  6. I kept looking for Hayes' name as I was reading through. He was one of the few I had heard of so I was confused. It is indeed curious that he has so many offers despite barely playing. Can't imagine this would have happened 20 years ago.

    Interesting (to me anyway) that the big guys on this list tend to have more impressive offer lists than the similarly ranked skill guys. Maybe it's just about scarcity, or maybe outside the skill positions, football is a lot more like basketball, with coaches constantly on the hunt for size.

  7. Thunder - I'm hoping for some big time safeties to start signing with Michigan

    Can you compare Vance vs. Claiborne for me? Obviously you have Claiborne higher, why?
    Do you see Vance possibly being recruited as an OLB?


    1. I'm not sure how I missed this, but I think Claiborne is a little more athletic and versatile. He looks like a guy who could play corner, safety, slot receiver, wideout, returner, etc. Vance is good in a straight line but limited to safety or wide receiver. I don't really see him as an outside linebacker, at least not in a traditional defense.