Category Archives: Features

Elk Rapids QB Adam Trautman named 2014 LMFR Exposure Camp MVP

QB Adam Trautman 6-5 210 2015 Elk Rapids
RECAP: Trautman first caught our eye with a solid performance at our Grand Rapids combine back in March, but he delivered an MVP performance on Friday night in Traverse City. At QB, the 6-5 210lb Trautman showed a strong arm and made all the throws. Very rarely did the ball hit the ground when he was under center. Trautman also displayed great mobility when asked to move out of the pocket, which backed up his respectable 4.76 40-yard dash time and 4.4 pro-agility shuttle. He not only looks the part of a Division I quarterback, but he also plays it very well. As he embarks on the summer camp circuit, expect MAC schools to come calling. He reminds us of recent Jacksonville Jaguars pick and former University of Central Florida QB Blake Bortles. Trautman also excels in the classroom, maintaining a 3.8 GPA and 28 ACT. Congratulations to Adam on his MVP performance!
SEASON HIGHLIGHTS: http://vimeo.com/89570211

Adam Trautman 2013 Season Highlights with off-season training from TMB Athletes on Vimeo.

#ThrowbackThursday Alumni Edition: Catching up with TJ Schepperly (TC Central / Northwood University)

All-State QB TJ Schepperly (Traverse City Central) is among the host of talented prospects who will attend Sunday's Senior Exposure Camp.

All-Lake performer TJ Schepperly is continuing his football career at Northwood University after starring at Traverse City Central.

T.S. Quick Facts:

Height / Weight: 5’8 / 185

Current College: THE Northwood University

Current/Projected Position: Wing Back(running back)

Major: Marketing/Sports Management

High School Career Highlights: My number one highlight was being able to play my senior year with my little brother. Watching him grow and develop into something special makes me a proud brother. He was a huge part of our team’s success. The other highlight would just be doing what I love with the people I love. An amazing team, a great crowd and student section, and a community that came together as one big family. The support our team  received throughout high school is what made it special. 

LMFR: What positions did you play at the high school level? What position did you believe you would be playing at the collegiate level?

TS: In high school I went to Traverse City Central and played quarterback my junior and senior year. At the college level I had no idea what I wanted to play. Didn’t have much height for QB, never really played the DB position all that much and never showed that I could run between the tackles because most of my runs were to the outside. I guess I just went in with the mindset that I was willing to play anywhere. I currently play wing back after switching over from strong safety during the fall.

LMFR: What is your current major and what do you plan to accomplish with that major once you graduate? How do you balance academics and athletics?

TS: My current major is marketing. My plan is to double major with sports promotion management and hopefully do something where I’m involved with a major sports franchise. Balancing academics with athletics is tough if you don’t stay on track. You have to be disciplined in knowing that you’re at school, number one for an education and number two, to play football. There are study halls and tutors and the coaches are always there for you if you need help. But the biggest thing is constantly reminding yourself of why you are here, and that is school and football.

LMFR: How is college football different compared to the high school level?

TS: College football is definitely tough. Not only is everyone bigger, faster, and stronger, but the overall time commitment is very intense. It’s a year round game. some days are 12 hours of just football. Offseason does not exist in college. Between the regular season and spring ball you have winter conditioning and winter workouts. The summer is the only short time away from your team and that time is used to gain a step on your opponents while they’re enjoying their summer vacation. That’s also what makes it special, because the guys that do commit to it have a true love for the game of football and want to be successful.

LMFR: Weight lifting is such a vital part in transferring from high school to college athletics, how has weight lifting helped you perform better on the field and at your specific position?

TS: In high school I was lucky enough to have some of the best strength coaches at that level for the state of Michigan. They worked extremely hard to get our weight room where it’s at today. It’s definitely up there for one of the best facilities in high school in the state. They take their job very seriously and prepare us everyday just like they do at the collegiate level. If you want to compete on the field, then you have to work hard in the weight room. College is the exact same way. The workouts are slightly more position directed. For example, the running backs, receivers, and defensive backs are more speed and explosive lifts, while the lineman have heavier, more powerful lifts.

LMFR: As a high school student-athlete attending the Lake Michigan Football Report combine, what were some things you experienced during the event that helped you reach the collegiate level?

TS: Exposure. Getting your name out for coaches to see is a huge part of the recruiting game. If they recognize you as a junior, they will be able to see how you can perform come fall. The drills at the combine are the same type of drills the coaches ask you to do when you come for your workouts so that is another huge benefit. If you know what they are asking of you, you can practice it and perform well for the coaches.

On the Line: Meet Muskegon’s Unsung Heroes

L to R: Antwan Billings, Malik King, Quincy Crosby, Noah Tozer, Chandar Ricks

Among the many artifacts in Muskegon head coach Shane Fairfield’s office hangs a special picture: the Big Reds offensive line sitting on a bulldozer.  And just like a bulldozer, the 2012 Muskegon O-Line has paved the way for its team, all the way to Ford Field.

The Big Reds are averaging 400 yards rushing a game.  They’ve had many 100-yard rushers, including a breakout year for All-Lake fullback John King. They’ve had thrilling plays from quarterback Jalen Smith. But, the players you rarely read about in the paper or watch on the highlights are the ones who make it possible: the Big Reds offensive line.

These guys are nasty and for our money, the best offensive line in the state. Week in and week out, the Big Reds offensive line has provided the consistency all great teams search for.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this group of guys,” Fairfield said after Muskegon’s 34-21 semi-final win over Caledonia. “I have no problem giving our offensive line the credit; they’re the reason why we’re here.”

Not only do they play with great technique, but they have a chemistry about them like a great symphony orchestra; everyone is on key.

Offensive line coach, Matt Bolles, has seen this synergy up close and personal. “These five kids are the best offensive line I have ever coached.  I had the pleasure of coaching the 2008 State Championship offensive line and those kids were really good, but these five are collectively better.”

They’re also standouts in the classroom; each of the starting five boast a 3.2 or higher grade point average.

As the Big Reds prepare for this weekend’s state championship game against Birmingham Brother Rice, let’s meet the big guys up front:

Antwan Billings RT 6-4 275 SR
Billings is the most physical lineman for the Big Reds; he’s just plain nasty. The offensive tackle plays the game with great passion and a motor that never quits. He has 70+ pancake blocks on the season and has not allowed a single sack. He’s also a gem in the classroom, ranking in the Top 10 of his class with a 3.9 GPA. Billings is currently being recruited by many of the GLIAC schools, and has potential to get a late MAC offer.

Chandar Ricks LT 6-4 290 SR
The biggest member of the Big Reds OL may also be the most underrated. Physical, tenacious, and smart, Ricks has protected QB Jalen Smith’s blindside well. Like Billings, Ricks has not given up a sack this year. He’s very strong (330 lb bench/450 lb squat) and also carries a 3.2 GPA. He’s being recruited mostly by Division 2 schools, but has visited Northwestern.

Quincy Crosby C 6-3 290 SR
Put in the game film from when Muskegon faced Orchard Lake St. Mary’s earlier this season, and Crosby gives a clinic on how to play Center. Playing with good pad level and the ability to finish blocks with the best, Crosby has tallied 62 pancake blocks and zero sacks on the year. He is not only the leader of the Big Reds line, but of the whole team. He is being recruited by Division 2 schools and has an offer from Ferris State. He has also visited Harvard, and carries a 3.7 GPA.

Noah Tozer G 6-1 275 SR
What Tozer lacks in height, he makes up for with his passion and tenacity for the game.  After transferring to Muskegon in the middle of his sophomore year, Tozer has made big gains over the last two years. A very physical interior lineman, Tozer has great strength (335 lb bench, 500 lb squat). He’s a versatile player that also plays back-up Center when needed. Tozer is drawing interest from both Division 2 and Division 3 schools, and carries a 3.2 GPA.

Malik King G 6-4 275 JR
The only non-senior in the starting five, King’s development has been a delightful surprise for the Big Reds. Only 15 years old, the Jamaican-born King plays with the highest motor on his offensive line. He’s a great athlete with the ability to run side-by-side with skill players while blocking downfield. He’s aggressive and loves to “flatback” opposing defensive linemen. With 41 pancakes on the year, King has given up only 1 sack. His freakish athleticism and on- and off-field smarts (3.6 GPA) are a draw for BCS schools like Iowa, Wisconsin, TCU, ECU, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois, Baylor, Florida, and Ohio State. As his frame fills out, he could move to tackle at the next level.

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