Recruiting: Where Michigan's top 25 football players are going

Recruiting: Where Michigan's top 25 football players are going

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Recruiting: Where Michigan's top 25 football players are going

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All statistics are through Week 8.

1. Donovan Peoples-Jones

Detroit Cass Tech, 6 feet 2, 202 pounds, wide receiver/defensive back

Stats: Had one interception and four TDs, including two on punt returns, one receiving and one passing, in Week 8.

Coach Thomas Wilcher: “He likes to compete and is a hard worker. He’s very athletic, big, fast, strong, quick and has great athleticism. He does whatever it takes to win. He focuses on the ball. He knows how to run to the ball, and he has good hand positioning and good hand-eye coordination. Wherever he ends up in college, he’ll increase the social skills of the team and the competitiveness of the team because he’s such a smart young man.”

Next year: Undecided (offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Florida).

Detroit King's Ambry Thomas

Detroit King’s Ambry Thomas

2. Ambry Thomas

Detroit King, 6-0, 174, DB/WR

Stats: 10 total TDs, including three on punt returns. One interception.

Coach Tyrone Spencer: “On top of his elite speed and quickness, he’s very competitive and is always working to perfect his craft. He affects the game on offense, defense and special teams.”

Next year: Undecided (offers from Michigan, Michigan State).

3. Antjuan Simmons

Ann Arbor Pioneer, 6-1, 215, LB/RB

Stats: 73 rushes for 433 yards and two TDs. 10 receptions for 155 yards and one TD. 73 tackles (43 solo, two for loss), one interception, one TD, two field goals blocked.

Coach Jari Brown: “His preparation in the off-season and game-week preparation separates him from a lot of players. He’s a coach on the field, a coach off the field and understands every position and whatever everybody is doing. I think that’s what makes him special. He reads things quickly, defensively, and he plays extremely fast to the front side of the play or the backside of the ball. Offensively, he’s a dynamic player who can play any position — playing tight end, fullback, receiver — and picks up things right away and sees the whole picture of why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

Next year: Committed to Ohio State.

Michigan high school football playoffs: First round scores

4. Josh Ross

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 6-1, 225, LB/RB

Stats: 99 tackles (56 solo, 13 for loss), 61/2 sacks, three fumble recoveries, one interception.

Coach George Porritt: “He’s a complete package. His work ethic is unbelievable, as far as that goes. He’s a great leader, and his instincts on the football field and strength and power are about the best I’ve ever had here. He’s such an instinctive player, and he works hard. Everything he does, he does 110%, and he’s been a pleasure to have as a four-year starter for me. He’s just been great.”

Next year: Committed to Michigan.

Walled Lake Western's Cody White

Walled Lake Western’s Cody White

5. Cody White

Walled Lake Western, 6-3, 190, QB/WR/DB

Stats: 30 of 54 passing for 597 yards and eight TDs. 31 rushes for 310 yards and four TDs, 16 receptions for 310 yards and three TDs. Eight tackles and five passes defended.

Coach Mike Zdebski: “Cody has been Mr. Everything for us. He has played slot, split end, quarterback and a little running back. He punts for us and placekicks. He knows safety, if we need him there. He’s the Walled Lake version of Jim Thorpe. He can do it all, and that’s why he’s such a good player because he understands the game. He’s got to be one of the most valuable kids in the state to step in and play QB and keep you undefeated on the field.”

Next year: Committed to Michigan State.

6. Phillip Paea

Berrien Springs, 6-4, 287, DT/OT

Stats: 30 tackles (10 for loss), four sacks, two fumble recoveries and two batted balls. Started on an offensive line that has helped rushers total 3,067 yards and 32 TDs and a 7.6 per-carry average.

Coach Tony Scaccia: “I think it comes down to his athleticism and work ethic. He’s almost 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, and he has the athleticism of someone who is 6-foot, 220. At the end of the day, it’s about his raw ability and physical toughness. I don’t know what he’s made out of, to be honest, because he’s such a tough kid. He’s super coachable. You tell him, ‘Hey, look, this is how I want this done,’ and you know it’s going to get done that way. He’s a high school kid, so you know he’s going to make mistakes, but he’s going to go 100 m.p.h. at all times. We like that about him.”

Next year: Committed to Michigan.

7. Deron Irving-Bey

Flint Southwestern, 6-5, 271, DE/OT

Stats: 64 tackles (16 for loss), eight sacks, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

Coach Chane Clingman: “He’s been as advertised. The kid works really hard. He had a great off-season, and it has equated to his play on the field this year. He’s faced a lot of double- and triple-teams he wouldn’t have faced last year because of the notoriety he has gotten this season. He’s played through it and still has had a very stellar year. He’s a coachable kid. He plays well off the ball and is explosive. He plays both sides of the ball, so he never leaves the field. He’s an in-shape kid, a tough kid. His biggest asset is he’s always willing to get better because he wants to be a great football player.”

Next year: Undecided (offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Maryland, Tennessee).

Cass Tech's (2) Donovan Johnson runs the ball to scores a touchdown during Cass Tech's 35-7 win over Dearborn Fordson Saturday in Detroit.

Cass Tech’s (2) Donovan Johnson runs the ball to scores a touchdown during Cass Tech’s 35-7 win over Dearborn Fordson Saturday in Detroit.

8. Donovan Johnson

Detroit Cass Tech, 5-11, 177, DB/RB

Stats: 30 tackles and one interception, nine rushing TDs.

Coach Thomas Wilcher: “He’s quick, fast and elusive. He’s smart. He has a great skill set playing football. He has tremendous speed. He has great hips. Offenses tend to stay away from him, and he hasn’t had a lot of balls thrown at him this year. He’s picked up on offense a lot and helped out on the offensive side, especially running the ball.”

Next year: Undecided (offers from Penn State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia).

9. Allen Stritzinger

Warren De La Salle, 6-0, 184, RB/DB

Stats: 37 carries for 222 yards and four TDs, six receptions for 98 yards and two TDs, 12 total tackles.

Coach Mike Giannone: “Allen is a superb athlete with outstanding skill who has great potential at the next level. He is explosive and has great agility that allows him to move laterally without slowing down.”

Next year: Committed to Syracuse.

10. Bryce Wolma

Saline, 6-4, 250, TE

Stats: 29 catches for 435 yards and four TDs.

Coach Joe Palka: “What makes him special is his blend of speed and skill and physicality. He can play on the line as a traditional blocking tight end, or you can split him out as a receiver. He does both equally well. He is our hardest-working player. He has the speed to run away from DBs. He is the complete package.”

Next year: Committed to Arizona.

11. Hunter Rison

Ann Arbor Skyline, 5-11, 197, WR/DB

Stats: Nine receiving TDs and one special-teams score, averages five catches and 88 yards per game.

Coach Andrew Sorgatz: “He’s got that killer instinct. Coming from the pedigree from what his dad (former Michigan State receiver Andre Rison) has done, he puts in a lot of work with his dad individually, so he knows the ins and outs of that wideout position. The thing that impresses me the most is his blocking. It’s been impressive for us this year, with us having to run the ball more than anyone in the passing game would hope for. He’s got the ultimate confidence in himself, and that shows in the way he plays in the game.”

Next year: Committed to Michigan State.

12. Jaylen Kelly-Powell

Detroit Cass Tech, 6-0, 185, DB/slot

Stats: 35 tackles and one interception.

Coach Thomas Wilcher: “He has quick feet and a great skill set. He’s a smart player. He has great hand-eye and hand-feet coordination. He’s fast and quick. His primary focus is on defense, but he’s played a lot of different positions. He has a lot of pass breakups while playing corner. We put him at corner and nickel a lot.”

Next year: Undecided (offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Alabama, Nebraska).

13. Mustafa Khaleefah

Dearborn, 6-6, 282, OT/DT

Stats: Hadn’t allowed a sack or missed an offensive snap all season; nine tackles (one for loss).

Coach John Powell: “He gets better and better every game. Honestly, I don’t even know if he’s been challenged, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The best work he gets is in practice against our defensive end, Ali Fayad, who is an Eastern Michigan commit and has 16 sacks on the year. Defensively, he’s a run-stopper and gets double-teams all night each game.”

Next year: Committed to Michigan State.

14. JaRaymond Hall

Oak Park, 6-5, 280, OT

Stats: Missed one start with an injury, hadn’t allowed a single sack.

Coach Greg Carter: “What makes him special is his ability to be a great pass protector and run blocker. You have a lot of kids who can do one or the other, but he’s gifted and extremely good at doing both. He’s very athletic, long and uses his body and understands body positioning. He’s worked extremely hard on it. It’s something you have to work on and continue to master. He understands hand placement and is very quick, agile. He can change directions. He’s a battler and will battle the entire game with phenomenal technique for a kid his age.”

Next year: Committed to Michigan.

15. Jordan Reid

Detroit Cass Tech, 6-5, 305, OT/OLB

Stats: 95% run-blocking and pass-protecting efficiency, seven tackles for loss.

Coach Thomas Wilcher: “Right now, he’s doing a great job at offensive end and outside linebacker since moving him there from the nose. He utilizes his technique, size and speed. He’s fast. He’s going to Michigan State, and they’re getting a guy who is got a very good skill set and will be very fast.”

Next year: Committed to Michigan State.

16. Corey Malone-Hatcher

St. Joseph, 6-3, 248, DE/LB

Stats: 63 tackles (10 for loss), six sacks, one forced fumble, one blocked kick.

Coach Gandalf Church: “His size and athleticism (makes him stand out). He has worked hard to come back from injuries and develop himself as an athlete.”

Next year: Committed to Michigan.

17. Kalil Pimpleton

Muskegon, 5-7, 160, QB/slot

Stats: 29 of 56 passing for 542 yards and 13 TDs, 80 rushes for 879 yards and 15 TDs, 10 receptions for 120 yards and one TD.

Coach Shane Fairfield: “He’s explosive and a hard worker. (Ferris State coach) Tony Annese described him being as one of the most explosive, fast-twitch athletes he’s seen in the state. He’s a dynamic football player. He’s strong and has a work ethic that is unquestioned and untouched. His start-stop ability makes him unbelievable, and he wows you every time he touches the ball. He’s a great leader. He does so many things right, no one wants to ever let him down. He’s a great person who is so full of life, and he enjoys every day.”

Next year: Committed to Virginia Tech.

18. Scott Nelson

U-D Jesuit, 6-2, 184, WR/DB

Stats: Missed time with an injury, but still had 10 TDs (four passing, four rushing and one punt return, one kick return), 510 yards passing, 228 yards rushing and 45 yards receiving; 14 tackles, six pass breakups.

Coach Oscar Olejniczak: “He’s a coach on the field. Whether it’s the offensive side of the ball or defensive side of ball, he gets us into the right place on the offense, gets us into the right checks on defense. He’s a student of the game, and that makes him better than so many others because he knows what’s going to happen before it actually happens. He has outstanding athleticism and explosiveness, which makes him extremely dangerous. On defense, that gets him turnovers and helps him make stops. Offensively, he always has a chance to score every time he touches the ball.”

Next year: Undecided (offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin).

19. Rob Hudson

Walled Lake Western, 6-8, 310, OT/DT

Stats: 41 pancake blocks, four total tackles.

Coach Mike Zdebski: “Big Rob, all throughout the season, has been getting his feet wet with the offensive line. If you were to pull practice film of him from last year and compare it to now, he’s playing offensive line a lot better now. He worked all spring, summer and finally got to play live this season. You look at his feet, hips, knee bend, hands and the angulation of his body, and he’s a big-time kid.”

Next year: Undecided (offers from Iowa State, Purdue, Syracuse).

20. Carter Dunaway

Birmingham Brother Rice, 6-5, 231, TE

Stats: One game played (injured Weeks 1-7).

Coach Dave Sofran: “Carter has the size, athleticism and intelligence to be a high-caliber collegiate player. When healthy, he is a solid run blocker and has the tools to be a playmaking tight end with good hands and route-running ability.”

Next year: Undecided (offers from Nebraska, Indiana, Purdue).

21. Jordan Ulmer

Belleville, 6-2, 190, DB/WR

Stats: 60 tackles (37 solo, three for loss) and two interceptions.

Coach Jermain Crowell: “I think he plays his best football on instincts instead of thinking. He’s one of the better safeties I’ve coached, and he’s a very physical football player with a really high ceiling. He’s the hardest hitter on the team with the best ball skills. He’s pretty versatile. The thing that stands out about him is his physical presence and feeling for the run — he’s a Ronnie Lott.”

Next year: Committed to Iowa State.

22. Keegan Cossou

Greenville, 6-5, 230, TE/DE

Stats: Seven receptions for 183 yards and one TD, 24 tackles (20 solo, 10 for loss).

Coach Eddie Ostipow: “He’s a two-way player who hardly comes off the field and is also our punter and kind of does it all for us. He’s a great blocker and a big, rangy athlete and really athletic in the slot, too. We’re a run-oriented team, but he’s made some big plays in the passing game for us as well, and it changes the scope of how the defenses play us, depending on where he lines up. Defensively, he’s had a tremendous year. It’s been great coaching Keegan, and he’s just been getting and better as the season goes on.”

Next year: Committed to Central Michigan.

23. Ralph Holley

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 6-2, 290, NG/OT

Stats: 39 tackles (nine for loss), 41/2 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries.

Coach George Porritt: “Ralph is an explosive player and a big, strong kid at nose tackle. He has good technique and uses his hands well. He has good quickness for a kid at 290 pounds and can go side to side, and he brings a lot to the game.”

Next year: Committed to Western Michigan.

24. Davion Johnson

West Bloomfield, 6-0, 195, RB

Stats: 600 yards and five TDs rushing, 28 catches and five TDs receiving.

Coach Ron Bellamy: “He’s versatile, not only running the ball but catching it. He’s a total package. No one can bring him down. He faces a lot of eight-man boxes. That’s why our quarterback has done so well because we face so many eight-man boxes to try and stop Davion. For a 200-pound back, he runs a 4.4 and is one of the fastest players out on the field. He’s got great vision and can bounce runs.”

Next year: Committed to Miami (Ohio).

25. Jarius Grissom

River Rouge, 6-2, 204, QB/DB

Stats: 62 of 99 passing for 1,365 yards, 17 TDs and two interceptions. 34 carries for 636 yards and nine TDs rushing.

Coach Corey Parker: “He’s a phenomenal athlete who loves competing. With his body changing so much over the off-season with weight lifting and the things we do, he’s able to run through guys and run past them if we’re running zone read or power read. He’s a great teammate, and his teammates play hard for him, and they know he’s behind them 100% to open up holes for him and pass protect for him. He’s a great athlete, but a better teammate.”

Next year: Committed to Eastern Michigan.

Detroit Cass Tech has four of the top-15 seniors in the state, including No. 8 Donovan Johnson, left, and No. 1 Donovan Peoples-Jones.

Detroit Cass Tech has four of the top-15 seniors in the state, including No. 8 Donovan Johnson, left, and No. 1 Donovan Peoples-Jones.

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