Farmington High School’s football team will adapt and move forward in the 2015 season, according to coach John Bechtel, despite losing one of its best players.
The Falcons’ arsenal of talent took a hit when star wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick moved to Waterford and transferred to Mott High School.
The senior-to-be is one of the top-rated players at his position in the Midwest and maybe the country. Fitzpatrick committed to the University of Louisville at the end of last season.
Bechtel said he knew the move was a possibility after talking with Fitzpatrick’s father earlier this year. He hasn’t spoken with Fitzpatrick himself since that time.
The 6-foot-2, 192-pound Fitzpatrick, who also started at cornerback on defense for the Falcons, did not return phone calls from the Observer.
“It’s just like every season,” Bechtel said. “You take the players you have and you do your best. Would we like to have him? Yes. If he’s not there, we don’t worry about it or dwell on it.
“We coach the next kid. We’ve got a lot of good players. We’ve got a lot of kids who can fill in, and I’m sure they’re going to be great.
“I can’t wait to start working with them when two-a-days start and we see what we have. We’re excited.”
Fitzpatrick caught 32 passes for 511 yards and scored a total of 11 touchdowns last season, helping the 7-3 Falcons win the OAA Blue Division championship.
Mott will be the third high school Fitzpatrick has attended. He began his prep career at Harrison and transferred to Farmington before his sophomore year.
The Falcons, who will be back in the OAA White this year with crosstown rivals Harrison and North Farmington, have at least two other NCAA Division I recruits on their roster.
Senior fullback and linebacker David Reese has commited to Michigan, senior running back/wide receiver/kick returner Jakkar Jackson to Central Michigan.
Senior tailback Kyle Brunson, whose brother, Curtis, plays at Ohio University, hasn’t decided on a school yet but is being recruited by D-I schools, too.
“I think we have a whole bunch of scholarship kids,” Bechtel said, citing receivers Zeb Noble, Andre Sarfoh and Justin Collins, tackle Andrew McLeod and linebacker Philip Norris.
“A couple other kids could well be, too. We’ve got a lot of really good players. We’re highly optimistic. We’ll be just fine.”