Class of 2013
Brandon DeWitt 6-5 305 Sr DL Three Rivers
Not the most agile guy along the line, but DeWitt is a space-eater and run-stopper. Was impressed last Friday that even as South Christian went into blowout mode, DeWitt kept playing hard and eventually made a play in the backfield.
Class of 2014
Jake Bush 5-10 175 Jr RB Comstock Park
From the midway point of the season, Bush has given Comstock Park two all-state caliber offensive performers named Jake. He and senior QB Jake Brown have a nice chemistry, and Jake is a big-play threat catching the ball out of the backfield. That spelled doom for Ogemaw Heights on Saturday, as they couldn’t catch up to his swivel when Bush got the ball in space. He had a 42-yard TD run that was beautiful to behold. CP basically has two tight-end sized juniors, Drake Baar and Ryan Gruska, and Bush does a good job reading their blocks in the open field. For the year he has over 1,000 yards from scrimmage, averaging 10 yards a catch, 7 yards a carry.
Demere Ramey 6-1 300 Jr DL Muskegon Orchard View
A slender silver lining to missing the playoffs, you can get your season highlight video out sooner. In the case of Ramey, that’s some pretty intriguing footage. So much so that this raw potential D tackle is one of the top 10 defensive line prospects in the Lake’s junior class. He swallows up high school guards in the 2 technique and is somehow able to slip that torso through the B gap from the 3 technique to wreak havoc in the offensive backfield. He keeps his feet alive and driving after the initial engagement with the offensive line. He moves well laterally and has a knack for finding the ball — even if he’s not always the first one there (straight on pursuit speed needs to improve). Perhaps what is most exciting about Ramey he’s not just some fat kid slogging it through the motions. He’s got a good motor and some swagger. He plays through the whistle and through the fourth quarter, which couldn’t have always been easy during OV’s 2-7 campaign. Ramey is wrestling this winter, and if he sticks with that and arrives in the spring as an ever better athlete, most D1 schools in the Midwest should be trying to get him to summer camp. Here’s where Ramey fits among junior defensive linemen in the Lake Michigan area:
Class of 2014 D-Linemen
- Kenneth Finley 6-3 265 Jr Muskegon
- Jordan VanDort 6-6 280 Jr Zeeland West
- Zach Evans 6-3 240 Jr Kenowa Hills
- Chris Hendricks 6-5 270 Jr Fruitport
- Jake Khoury 6-3 265 Jr Traverse City St. Francis
- Demere Ramey 6-1 300 Jr Muskegon Orchard View
- Tommy Doles 6-5 245 Jr Grand Rapids Christian
- Jake Kaczynski 6-5 240 Jr Ludington
- Mitchell Wynkoop 6-3 220 Jr Traverse City Central
- Mitchell Stanitzek 6-3 215 Jr Grand Rapids West Catholic
- Carl Grant 6-2 220 Jr Dowagiac
- Dayton Wierenga 6-2 210 Jr Allendale
- Jeremy Stygstra 6-1 255 Jr Grand Rapids Christian
- Travis Steenwyk 6-2 280 Jr Grand Rapids South Christian
- Jack Brodeur 6-2 215 Jr Traverse City St. Francis
- Todd Postma 6-4 230 Jr Grand Rapids South Christian
- Hunter Sipperly 6-3 230 Jr Newaygo
- Ryan Gannon 6-2 230 Jr North Muskegon
- Zach Poppema 6-2 210 Jr Zeeland West
- Andrew Blok 6-1 255 Jr Saugatuck
Connor Smith 6-5 250 Jr OL Three Rivers
Yet another offensive lineman to track in the junior class. He had his hands full last Friday against a big, deep, active South Christian defensive line, but kept competing. He started at right tackle (playing out of a two-point stance) and looked better as a power run blocker than a pass blocker, though when the pocket did collapse (and it did, a lot) it was usually from another direction than Smith’s.
Travis Steenwyk 6-2 280 Jr OL Grand Rapids South Christian
Steenwyk is considered the outstanding member of a South Christian offensive line that gets better and better. Soph QB Jon Wassink can really scramble and create, but hasn’t had to much during the Sailors’ 3-0 postseason domination of the Wolverine Conference as his boys up front have kept him clean. Steenwyck is the right guard, and also plays defensive tackle when South Christian goes to four down linemen. He has a strong base and balance, and shows polished technique with his hands.
Deshaun Thrower 5-11 180 Jr ATH Muskegon
Even while Muskegon was rolling to an 8-0 start, the defensive backfield was considered the weakest unit of a strong team. It was bolstered late in the regular season with the entry into the lineup of Thrower, a junior transfer from Muskegon Heights who had broken his foot. Now healthy, Thrower glides around the field with the greatest of ease, and somehow always ends up around the football. He has great ball skills and is very sticky with his man-to-man coverage. He’s also not afraid to stick his nose in there and become a tackler when he has to. Thrower has a great front seven in front of him, so he’s not often forced to make a lot of plays. But, with his speed and playmaking ability, offenses must always know where he is on the field. Ironically though, as good as he is at defensive back, he could be even better at quarterback. With a really good arm and good pocket presence, he has already shown flashes of brilliance. He orchestrated a thrilling comeback against Lowell to win their district championship. Expect more of that excitement next year as he learns the veer offense and officially takes the quarterback mantle. Thrower’s athleticism will also be on display this winter as he’ll play an integral part of a loaded Big Reds basketball team.
Alec Stevens 6-5 270 OL Ogemaw Heights
Stevens is one of the most highly recruited of what is a promising group of Lake Michigan offensive linemen in 2014. Coaches like that he’s naturally big and strong, without being soft around the middle. Like the rest of his Ogemaw Heights’ teammates, Stevens wasn’t necessarily ready for the speed and pace of Comstock Park, who blew out the Falcons on Saturday. But he was able to show something as a run blocker against a tough, but smaller, defensive line. Though he didn’t do it often, when pass blocking Stevens showed a nice kick and slide. In either scenario though, Stevens too often found himself like Dr. Smith — lost in space. You want your best player finding someone to block and knocking heads on every play, and that didn’t happen.
Sophomore Mike Egeler is listed on Comstock Park’s roster as a 6-2, 205 “WR/T/DE/DT.” He was outstanding as the fourth of that list against Ogemaw Heights, as he was just too quick for their interior offensive line and repeatedly put his nose in there to stymie the Falcons’ heretofore potent running attack.