Prep football preview: Detroit PSL capsules

Prep football preview: Detroit PSL capsules

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Prep football preview: Detroit PSL capsules

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Detroit Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher leads his team out for their regional semifinal game against Macomb Dakota in Detroit on Nov. 16, 2013.

Detroit Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher leads his team out for their regional semifinal game against Macomb Dakota in Detroit on Nov. 16, 2013.

Teams listed in order of

coaches’ poll finish.

All

seniors unless noted.

Division I

East

Coaches’ poll: 1. Cass Tech 38; 2. (tie) King and East English 35; 4. Denby 28.

Cass Tech (12-1, 6-0)

Strength: Offense.

Top players: OT/NG Michael Onwenu; DB/WT Demetric Vance; junior Donovan Peoples-Jones; junior DB Jalen Kelly-Powell; DB Donovan Johnson; LB Tim Walton; DE Edrick Matthews; OT/DT Jordan Reid; WR Dwight Blakely; junior QBV Rodney Hall; C/NG Alvin Clemens; WR Marcel Paul.

Outlook: The Technicians will be gunning for their third straight PSL title and their sixth consecutive spot in at least the Division 1 semifinals. Onwenu will be a force on both sides of the line. Vance will be a stabilizer in the young, but extremely talented secondary. Hall has a better understanding of vthe offense and Peoples-Jones gives him a reliable target.

King (8-2, 6-0)

Strength: Defense.

Top players: WR/DB Donnie Corley; sophomore C Josh Mayberry; OG Melvin Sylvester; RB Martel Pettaway; sophomore QB Eljulian Jordan; junior RB Kevin Willis; DB Lavert Hill; DE/OT Leon Page; junior DB/WR Amber Thomas; DB/WR Dontre Boyd.

Outlook: This could be the year of the Crusader as King looks for a long playoff run in Division 2. Corley and Pettaway are both offensive game-breakers and Hill is a lockdown corner. There is strength in both the offensive and defensive lines.

East English Village (7-4, 5-1)

Strength: Offensive line.

Top players: OT/DE Chauncey Golston; TB/DB Nate Bowleware; WR/DB Lindrell Mitchell; DB/WR James Cesear; TE/DE Cedric Latimore.

Outlook: The Bulldogs weren’t far away from a sensational season a year ago, losing to eventual Division 2 state champ Warren De La Salle, 28-21, in the district final. East English has a pair of dominating linemen in Golston and Lattimore, who have both committed to Iowa. Mitchell is one of the top receivers in the PSL.

Denby (5-5, 3-3)

Strength: Defense.

Top players: Junior RB Adente Calhoun; LB Otis Grimes; LB Calvin Mooro; DB/WR Jakhal Thompson; RB/DB Demetrius Washington; WR/DB Lamont Montgomery; DT Michael Curry; DT Ed O’Brien; DE Rheim Al; DB Brian Hopson; WR/DB Michael Knox; OG William Goodwin; OG Andre Thompson.

Outlook: A state playoff team a year ago, the 790-student Denby is ridiculously the smallest team in this division by a landslide _ about one-third the size of Cass, half the size of King and 500 fewer students than East English. Calhoun rushed for over 1,200 yards last season and is the key to the running game.

West

Coaches’ poll: 1. Mumford 39; 2. Cody 36; 3. Western 31; 4. Renaissance 30.

Mumford (6-4, 4-2)

Strength: Offensive and defensive lines.

Top players: WR/DB Teeondre Harvey; NG Keirell Castleman; WR/DB Antone Ramsey; junior OT Andre Bailey; OT Carlton Bowers; LB Dhani Boyd.

Outlook: The Mustangs will have to find a quarterback if they hope to make the state playoffs for the third straight season because they have the rest covered. There is good depth on both lines. Teams will have difficulty moving the ball on the ground against the Mustangs.

Cody (5-4, 4-2)

Strength: Speed.

Top players: WR/DB Rodney Graves Jr.; WR/DB Kevin Mahone; DB Michael Drayton; Robert Pinkston; DT/OT Davonte Lyman; QB Cornelius Kellogg.

Outlook: The Comets have a pair of deep threats in Graves and Mahone and Mahone will find himself lining up at multiple position on offense. Kellogg is a talented enough passer to be able to get them the ball. The defense should be improved this fall.

Western (4-5, 2-4)

Strength: Athleticism.

Top players: DB/TE-WR Jaye Patrick; junior QB/LB K’Lari Sweeny; OT/LB Venard Norris; sophomore OG/DB Calvin Smith.

Outlook: The Cowboys will have to find a way to get the ball to Patrick, who has emerged as a game-breaker. Sweeny has shown good potential as a passer. The defense should be typically tough.

Renaissance (6-4, 5-1)

Strength: Running game.

Top players: OT/DE-DT Alaric Jackson; OG/DL Dejuan Rooker; DB/WR Mark Wilson; RB/DB Alante Thomas.

Outlook: The former offensive coordinator at Cody, Lou Beatty takes control of the Renaissance program. He has an excellent guy to build around in Jackson, who will be a force on both the offensive and defensive lines. With an offensive line that averages 6-feet-3, 300 pounds, the Phoenix will be able to run the ball.

Division II

East

Coaches’ poll: 1. Central 39; 2. Pershing 35; 3. (tie) Osborn and Southeastern 31.

Central (6-4, 3-3)

Strength: Offensive line.

Top players: Junior quarterback Darius Lynaum; junior OT/DT Keyshawn Evans; WR/DB Devin Hamilton; junior DB/WR-RB Davon Pitts; LB Deontre Cheatham.

Outlook: Former Detroit Crockett Dream Team all-stater is the first-year head coach here. He has only six seniors on a team that was a state playoff qualifier a year ago. Lynaum is a good passer and Pitts and Hamilton will be reliable receivers.

Pershing (4-5, 2-4)

Strength: Offensive line.

Top players: Junior OT/DT Airon Reeves; junior TB Nyassinu Crowell; WR DeMari Morgan; DB Karontae Neal; junior Amani Fielder.

Outlook: The Doughboys improved by three games a season ago, shoring up what was a leaky defense. With a solid offensive line in place, look for Crowell to improve upon last season when he compiled over 1,400 all-purpose yards.

Osborn (3-6, 2-4)

Strength: Skill positions.

Top players: DB/WR Cortez Chisolm; QB-RB/DB Ortez Coleman; QB-WR/DB Lavell Boyette; sophomore OT/DT Emmanuel Stevens; OT-OG/DT Javon Jackson; junior DE/OT Ken Holloway.

Outlook: Former River Rouge and Flint Southwestern coach Bert Henderson takes over a program that has totaled nine wins over the last five seasons. Look for a physical running attack from the Knights, who have the offensive line to push around a defense.

Southeastern (0-9, 0-6)

Strength: Defense.

Top players: EB/RB DeAndre Loyd; DB/WR Raymond Blevins; junior Kyron Williams; junior LB/TE Marico Johnson; LB/OG Jamal Woodruff; sophomore QB Curtin Murphy.

Outlook: After four years as the defensive coordinator at University Prep, Jason Smith inherits a Southeastern team that gave up an average of over 36 points a game. The roster is filled with underclassmen that will need to mature quickly.

West

Coaches’ poll: 1. Northwestern 38; 2. Henry Ford 35; 3. Douglass 32; 4. CMA 31.

Northwestern (4-5, 3-3)

Strength: Skill positions.

Top players: QB Danny Whitt; TB/LB Chris Dennis; DB/WR Michael Marion; LB-DB/TE-RB Jaquez Williams; OT/DT Symian Jenkins; OG/DT Monterrio Jackson; DE/TE Austin Felder; OG/LB Raysean Lipscum.

Outlook: With 16 returning starters, this could be the best Northwestern team in several seasons. Scoring was not a problem last season and Whitt could be one of the top QBs in the PSL. Jenkins will lead a defensive line that should be tougher against the run.

Henry Ford (1-7, 1-5)

Strength: Running game.

Top players: RB Keonte Lott; RB Trevon Williams; LB Deonte Stewart; junior WR Ricky Garner; OT/DE Treawan McKay.

Outlook: The Trojans have totaled only three victories over the last three seasons. They should be able to move the ball on the ground with Lott and Williams carrying the load. The defense should be improved.

Douglass (1-8, 1-5)

Strength: Defense.

Top players: DE/TE Kamar Graves; DB/WR James Moore; junior RB Deon Butler; OG-C/DT William Hawking.

Outlook: Phil Sherman moves from defensive coordinator to head coach at Douglass. The Hurricanes are coming off consecutive one-victory seasons, but are expecting a breakout junior year from Butler.

CMA (1-8, 1-5)

Strength: Offensive line.

Top players: Junior WR/DB Hakeem Muhammad; LB/TE Antonio Willis; QB/LB Brian Pickins; WR/DB Cody Beatha; OG/DT Emmett Long; C/NG Michael Corbin.

Outlook: This is only the second year of varsity football at the school, but unlike last season there are some experienced players off a team that scored only 27 points last season. An experienced offensive line should make the running game more effective.

Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or mmccabe@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @mickmccabe1. Be sure that you follow Freep Sports on Twitter (@freepsports) and Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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