Lake Michigan Prospect Watch: Week 6

Class of 2013
Derrick Diver  6-3  218  Sr  LB  Traverse City West   
The kind of true competitor who will knock your teeth out then shake your hand when the game’s over, and mean both with as much sincerity. Diver controls the middle of the field for the Titans and also is the team’s emotional leader. He’s an old school middle linebacker with great football instincts and a motor that doesn’t quit. He’s also an ace in the classroom with a 3.6 GPA and 26 ACT. Diver is drawing interest from Division 1 and Division 2 schools. It’s telling that in TC West’s big win over Cadillac, when there were any number of D1 prospects on the field, Diver was out there making plays and turning heads.

Trent Karcher  6-1  185  Sr  WR  Chippewa Hills
Karcher is one of the few high school wide receivers that consistently catches the ball with his hands and not with his body. He has great speed — track guy who runs a true 4.5 — and good body control. He has been a major offensive weapon this year for the Warriors with nearly 700 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in five games. He’s drawing interest from D1 and D2 schools and could  be a player that contributes early at the next level.

Class of 2014
Chris Hendricks  6-5  265  Jr  OL  Fruitport
Hendricks is one of the myriad D1 lineman prospect in the Lake Michigan junior class. While it would’ve been nice from a scouting perspective had he stayed at Mona Shores, where he could be seen against the likes of the line from Muskegon, Mona’s Friday opponent, no one can say the move to Fruitport has gone poorly. Fruitport is 5-0 with Hendricks starting at left tackle and on the D line. Fruitport has a decent run-pass ratio, so Hendricks is able to practice both disciplines. He has a nice kick when pass blocking, while just swallowing Lakes 8 defenders in the run game. It’s no coincidence that in Dakota Gordon‘s 13 carry, 133 yard game last Friday in a win against Ludington, the majority came on the left side. With his 5.1 speed, Hendricks is able to get to the second level and keep plays alive, helping Fruitport be a big-play offense with Gordon and senior QB Tyler Feler. Hendricks’  best attribute: Balance. Needs work: Explosive hitting through his man, both offensively and defensively.

Jake Kaczynski  6-5  240  Jr  TE  Ludington
Last week we talked about a big, all-around athlete, Plainwell’s Tyler White, who is somewhat overlooked because he doesn’t get many touches, just plays his role. Kaczynski is the opposite. Playing tight end, H-back and linebacker for Ludington, he tops the Orioles in tackles and receiving, and is their third leading rusher. In Ludington’s only win, against Muskegon Orchard View, Kaczynski  ran for two TDs and caught another. Catching the ball, he’s rarely brought down by either the first or second hit. He probably projects as a MAC recruit if: as a linebacker, he can turn and cover; as a tight end, he can get a respectable 40 time at a combine. For his size, Kaczynski doesn’t look to have a particularly long or smooth stride like you see from a down-field tight end threat.

2016 Watch
Malik Smith  5-10  190  Fr  ATH  Boyne City
Smith is a really good two-way player, a physical specimen starting at fullback and linebacker for undefeated Boyne City. On offense, he runs with power but also has really good feet and enough speed to break away. On defense, Smith is a sure tackler and stays around the ball, and doesn’t shy away from physical contact.

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