E: Cody White
Walled Lake Western, senior, 6-3, 205 pounds (captain)
Highlights: Plans called for White to catch passes, but he was pressed into service as the Warriors’ QB to start the season. Also plays slot and running back, returns kickoffs and punts, and is the team’s punter. “We can line him up at several positions. There are a lot of ways he helps us,” coach Mike Zdebski said. Rushed for 443 yards, passed for 597, had 669 yards receiving with 15 TDs. Committed to Michigan State.
OL: Ja’Raymond Hall
Oak Park, senior, 6-5, 280
Highlights: Was the Knights’ top choice as a blocker at right tackle, and was instrumental in helping develop younger teammates on the line. “He’s played pretty well in his three years on the varsity, but I think I still see a lot of untapped potential,” coach Greg Carter said. “He’s got long arms, his quickness is outstanding, he blocks equally well for the run as well as for the pass.” Committed to Michigan.
OL: Larry Borom
Birmingham Brother Rice, senior, 6-6, 325
Highlights: Began playing football as a raw ninth grader, but has taken his game up several notches. “He got better and better each year, because he has the skill and size,” coach Dave Sofran said. “He’s very athletic, has great feet, and can move really well for a big man — that’s what’s going to make him a great player. He’ll get good coaching and they’re going to tap into his potential.” Committed to Missouri.
OL: Nick Novak
Lake Orion, senior, 6-3, 250
Highlights: Coach Chris Bell calls Novak “one of the best lineman we’ve ever had” at Lake Orion. “He’s a driven, young man who sets high goals and high standards; he’s very demanding of himself,” Bell said. “He’s committed on and off the field; he’s become the player he’s become through hard work and determination. He’s everything you’d want in a student-athlete.” Accepted at U.S. Naval Academy.
OL: Blake Bueter
Detroit Catholic Central, senior, 6-4, 275
Highlights: A 2-year starter at guard, Bueter shifted up to line to left tackle this fall and did not disappoint. “He’s got the ability to move, trap, and lead a play,” coach Tom Mach said. “He’s very dominant on both sides of the line and showed great ability to improve and lead other kids.” Has offers from schools in the Big Ten, including Michigan State and Purdue, and the Mid-American Conference.
OL: Rob Hudson
Walled Lake Western, senior, 6-8, 305
Highlights: “He’s just physical,” coach Mike Zdebski said. “Once his motor’s running, he just flattens people. He likes to hit people; he’s getting used to his body.” Sticking with commitment to Purdue despite a coaching change there. “He loves the school. He’s comfortable with the members of counseling department and academics, the professors, the structure and he loves the campus,” Zdebski said.
E: Anthony D’Annibale
Novi, senior, 6-1, 190
Highlights: The Wildcats’ jack-of-all-trades caught 87 passes for 1,223 yards (averaging 13.1 yards per catch) with 18 touchdowns. Also scored by rushing (twice), on a kick return and on a fake punt. Had three interceptions. “He’s a freak of an athlete; he’s strong, he can jump and he attacks the ball in the air. When it’s a 50/50 ball, he’s going to win those matchups,” coach Jeff Burnside said. Uncommitted.
E: Taj Mustapha
West Bloomfield, junior, 6-0, 185
Highlights: Caught 47 passes, 15 of those going for 20 yards or more, for 879 yards and nine TDs. “At first we weren’t sure if he was going to be a possession guy,” coach Ron Bellamy said. “He moved himself to be our number-one receiver in his first season on varsity, and he’s still scratching the surface. He’s got ability to make plays, and he’s going to be one of the better receivers in the state of Michigan next year.”
QB: Kyle Wood
Rochester Adams, senior, 6-0, 185
Highlights: A four-year starter under center, Wood was the right fit for the Highlanders’ Triple-option, rushing for 11 TDs and throwing for four. “His knowledge of both running and passing has been so valuable to us,” coach Tony Patritto said. “He really developed his throwing motion and his ability to hit the targets. He’s a great kid and a hard worker. We’ll miss him a lot.” Considering multiple Div. II offers.
RB: Derek Lynch
Bloomfield Hills, senior, 5-5, 140
Highlights: This quick, shifty back helped lead the Black Hawks to their first undefeated regular season by gaining 1,165 yards on 126 attempts. He also had 281 receiving yards, returned kicks and scored 16 TDs. “He is fearless and he has a natural ability to make cuts. You think a play is dead, and then you see him pop out of a hole,” coach Dan Loria said. Considering Ferris State and several Div. III schools.
RB: Keith Fields
Waterford Mott, senior, 5-7, 170
Highlights: The transfer from Lake Orion accounted for 2,400 all-purpose yards, including 1,300 on the ground, 700 catching passes and 400 returning kicks. Rushed for 17 touchdowns, caught eight touchdown passes and had another four scores called back. “He’s what you call a true ‘slash’ back because he’s a dual threat,” coach Chris Fahr said. “He is electrically fast and he is also shifty.” Uncommitted.
K: Jack McKenna
Walled Lake Northern, senior, 6-0, 175
Highlights: Made 44 of 46 extra points, 8 of 12 field goals (longest of 47), had 38 touchbacks out of 56 kickoffs and averaged 39.6 yards per punt. Also played goalkeeper for the Knights’ soccer team. “Ever since he was a freshman he wanted to be a high school kicker,” coach Brett Moore said. “He helped us win the field position battles. We haven’t had a guy like that in nine years.” Considering Div. I or Div. II offers.
DL: Ovie Oghoufo
Farmington Hills Harrison, junior, 6-feet-3, 210 pounds
Highlights: The Hawks’ second-leading tackler had five sacks, three forced fumbles. Played tackle, end and outside linebacker, as well as tight end, where he led team in receptions. “He’s probably the most athletic guy on our team,” coach John Herrington said. “He’s very quick and is getting bigger and bigger. We’ve got him for one more year as a Hawk, and that’s good.” Committed early to Notre Dame.
DL: Ralph Holley
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, senior, 6-2, 285
Highlights: Helps the Eaglets control the tempo in the trenches as nose tackle and offensive guard. “He’s a big, strong kid with a great first step; he plays with his hands and gets off blocks,” coach George Porritt said. “His work ethic is excellent. He’s worked on triggering himself off the ball. He worked at his game and worked himself into his position.” Committed to Western Michigan.
DL: Cole Bearden
Detroit Country Day, senior, 6-5, 225
Highlights: A field general up front, Bearden led the Yellowjackets to the Division 4 state finals with 75 tackles and eight sacks. “He’s a tough, hard-nosed kid who plays hard and who’s going to keep going after it,” coach Dan MacLean said. “He’s strong and lean with a good football IQ. He’s like an extra coach on the line.” A three-sport athlete (basketball, track) and 4.0 student, Bearden is committed to Cornell.
DL: Jackson Ross
Detroit Catholic Central, senior, 6-3, 240
Highlights: Ross is a 3-year starter and one of the key elements on the Shamrocks’ defense, which held seven opponents to seven points or less this year. “He’s one of our toughest guys on defense. He’s an everyday player who sets a great example. The other players look up to him, as do the coaches,” coach Tom Mach said. With a 3.9 GPA, Ross is considering Ivy League schools.
LB: Nate Wagner
Birmingham Groves, senior, 6-1, 215
Highlights: A ballhawk sense helped Wagner make 122 tackles and recover two fumbles this season. Also caught two TD passes and had a 37-yard punting average. “He’s intelligent and intense,” coach Brendan Flaherty said. “His instincts are incredible. He just reads plays extremely well as an inside linebacker, especially defending against the option.” A 4.0 student, Wagner aspires to attend an Ivy League school.
LB: Nick Stalworth
Clarkston, senior, 5-10, 210
Highlights: A mainstay of the Wolves’ defense for three years, Stalworth had 52 tackles and 33 assists to go with one interception. “He’s a tough kid, he moves very well and is a very intelligent player,” coach Kurt Richardson said. “He’s our captain and calls our defenses for us. He’s just an awesome kid; a great person.” Also Clarkston’s starting fullback. Undecided; receiving offers from MAC and GLIAC schools.
LB: Lorenzo McCaskill
Southfield A&T, senior, 6-2, 210
Highlights: A repeat All-North selection, McCaskill made 141 tackles, including 17 for loss and nine sacks. Batted down four passes. “He’s very physical on both sides of the ball,” coach Tim Conley said. “He’s one of those players that can be described as an ‘athlete.’ He can play linebacker, safety or defensive line; we had him on offense too. There is a lot of versatility with him; a lot of upside.” Committed to Cincinnati.
LB: Josh Ross
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, senior, 6-1, 235 (captain)
Highlights: His instincts set the tone for the St. Mary’s defense and helped the Eaglets win the Division 3 championship for the third year in a row. “He’s got a great knowledge for the game,” coach George Porritt said. “He has all the other attributes, too: he’s big, strong, fast for his size, he has that extra-quick step, he’s good at making that read and finding the ball.” Committed to Michigan.
DB: Mark Patritto
Rochester Adams, senior, 5-11, 175
Highlights: Was the vocal leader of the Adams defense as the Highlanders advanced to the district final. “He does so many things well; he’s my voice on the field in the secondary,” coach Tony Patritto said. “He loves the game, he’s very passionate about it. Nobody outworks him, either in practice or in the off-season.” May walk on at MSU or CMU; also with offers from GLIAC schools and Butler.
DB: Jack Dodge
Walled Lake Western, senior, 6-1, 175
Highlights: Had 16 career interceptions, including seven this year with 81 return yards. “In his sophomore year we groomed him to be our free safety,” coach Mike Zdebski said. “He’s very fast; he’s able to play deep enough and we don’t give up the big plays.” An all-state track runner in three events (110m hurdles, 4x200m and 4x400m relays), Dodge plans to run track at Central Michigan.
DB: Ryan Flaherty
Birmingham Groves, senior, 6-2, 195
Highlights: Had five interceptions and 64 tackles as the Falcons closed out their best season in school history. “He’s like another coach on the field. He sets our alignments and makes every necessary check — that’s half the battle,” coach Brendan Flaherty said. “His biggest improvement was his range, and he had key interceptions against Oak Park (two) and Brother Rice.” Drawing interest from GLIAC schools.
Coach: Mike Zdebski
Walled Lake Western, 19th year, 153-57
Highlights: Led Warriors to the MHSAA Division 2 finals and won Kensington Lakes Activities Association conference titles in the past four seasons. “We scheduled some tough teams early,” Zdebski said. “We kind of figured Canton and Northville would be the best teams in the other divisions. We were really nervous in the beginning, but it ended up really grooming us for the playoffs — teams aren’t used to being tested three weeks back-to-back.”
E: Kam Ford, Walled Lake Western
OL: Marquan McCall, Oak Park
OL: Dante Little, Berkley
OL: Kyle Sassack, Notre Dame Prep
OL: Adam Fakih, Country Day
OL: Noah Nicklin, Clarkston
E: Thomas Loftus, Rochester
QB: Johnny Tracy, W.L. Western
RB: Zoser Little, Ferndale
RB: RaShawn Allen, O.L. St. Mary’s
RB: Michael Fluegel, Clarkston
K: Evan Finegan, Bishop Foley
DL: Jaleel Anderson, Groves
DL: John-Paul Morris, W. Bloomfield
DL: Jack Morris, Novi Detroit CC
DL: Darius Lynum, Oak Park
LB: Guam Lee, Farm. Hills Harrison
LB: Dwayne Chapman, O.L. St. Mary’s
LB: Tyler Vestrand, Lake Orion
LB: Chris Bergin, Country Day
DB: Nicholas Capatina, Detroit CC
DB: Nick Seidel, West Bloomfield
DB: Steve Mann, Country Day
Receivers: Drew Sheckell, Groves; Jeremy Cooper, Harrison; Kiewuan Graham, Bloomfield Hills; John Adams, Ferndale; Garrett Winn, West Bloomfield; Ryan Prisby, Clarkston; Marquise Thorns, Southfield; Matthew Gilbert, Southfield; Brady Campbell, Stoney Creek; Matt Jordan, Brother Rice; Brendan Thelen, Lakeland; Josh Johnson, Notre Dame Prep; Jeremy Cooper, Harrison; Michael Niehaus, Shrine.
Linemen: Lindon Ivzezic, Harrison; Alex Laverenz, Lakeland; Joey George, W.L. Western; Mitch Wochoski, Athens; Jaleel Anderson, Groves; Carter Stagner, Seaholm; Marsello Gashaj, Athens; John Paul Morris, West Bloomfield; Tristan Leinen, Stoney Creek; Jack Saylor, Brother Rice; Bryce Chamberlain, Ortonville Brandon; Tim Jackson, Country Day; Johnny Davis, Novi; Adam Guirey, Novi; Josh Jones, Bloomfield Hills; Jack Sape, Bloomfield Hills; Aaron Samson, Troy; Brady Anderson, Groves; Tyler Wineke, Adams; Divine Filemu, Harrison; Trevor Shankin, Bishop Foley.
Quarterbacks: John Paddock, Bloomfield Hill; Brent Burtrau, Rochester; Ross Herron, Berkley; Joey Stark, Athens; Bryce Vesley, West Bloomfield; J.T. King, Clarkston; David McCullum, Waterford Mott; Eli McLean, Notre Dame Prep; Carlos Zoratti, South Lyon; Alec Bageris, Novi; Dewan Mathis, Oak Park.
Running backs: Naje Trinity, Oak Park; Zoser Little, Ferndale; Davion Johnson, West Bloomfield; Ethan Williams, Oxford; Lew Nichols, Southfield; Amarae Kittles, Ortonville Brandon; Luke Adams, Notre Dame Prep; Nathan Hankerson, Novi; Elijah Sherman, Bloomfield Hills; Teron Kinnard, Troy; Dylan Trudo, Stoney Creek; Earnest Allen, Groves; Dylan Stackhouse, Oak Park; Devon Pressley, Harrison; Jay Hester, Shrine; Paris Partee, Holly.
Linebackers: Brendann Brown, Harrison; Victor Van Almen, Stoney Creek; Keith Powe, Southfield; Kyle Piotrovsky, Waterford Kettering; Jon Moffett, Walled Lake Western; Joey Lovasz, Ortonville Brandon; Braxton Blackwell, South Lyon; Isaac Darkangelo, Detroit Catholic Central; Patrick Najor, Bloomfield Hills; Chris Kroll, Troy; Jake Zanolli, Groves; Chase Kareta, Adams; Danny Machs, Lutheran Northwest.
Defensive backs: David Long, Berkley; Joe Slayton, Lake Orion; Marcus Fuqua, Southfield; Chris Jakubic, Catholic Central; Nick Powell, Walled Lake Northern; Matthew Harding, Detroit CC; Robert Daniel, Oak Park.
Kickers/punters: Taylor McCarty, Lake Orion; Zach Clements, Ortonville Brandon; Cam Cotter, Oakland Christian.