Monthly Archives: March, 2013

“Lake Michigan Football Exposure Camp” brings top prospects to Traverse City on Friday, May 10th!


Ira Childress, Director of Football Operations for the Lake Michigan Football Report, is interviewed by CBS/9&10 News about the football combine coming to Traverse City on May 10th.

We’re less than a week out from the Lake Michigan Football Exposure Camp! Join us under the lights at Traverse City’s Thirlby Field on Friday, May 10!  Players from the Classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016 are invited to showcase their skills in front of college coaches and top competition. The event is open to players from throughout Michigan and the Midwest.

UPDATE: This event is rain or shine! No rain is scheduled in the evening forecast, so we’re looking forward to a great night!

For complete information on the event, please click here.


Standout Bigs from The Lake’s Combine

From Joe Staley and Jared Veldeer in the pros, to Jake Fisher in college, it’s no secret that the Lake Michigan area produces some of the best line talent in the country. So it’s no surprise that the line drills were a major attraction at the Lake Michigan Football Report’s March 17 combine in Grand Rapids. There, future college talent went head-to-head, with some players justifying their status, others earning theirs.

Muskegon’s Kenneth Finley, a 6-3, 270 junior, came into the Grand Rapids event with a significant reputation, including a Toledo offer, and didn’t disappoint. His throw of 40’3 was the second best mark in the medicine ball, and he put that strength to practical use bull-rushing the opposition in one-on-ones. Finley twice ran 4.8 40s, and if he maintains those wheels while adding the weight needed for his likely D tackle destination, watch out. With an academic tweak, look for the recruitment to really take off for Finley, the top defensive prospect in the Lake Michigan area.

Jacob Howe, a 6-2, 240 junior from Forest Hills Northern, turned in his second strong performance at a Lake event. I one-on-ones he came in fast, low, with myriad free-up moves. He was in attack mode, and understood more than most of the athletes that in this kind of environment you have to be able to turn it on quick, and he had no problem getting from 0-100. You could tell just how desperate the O linemen were against Howe’s inside/outside moves from how ripped-to-nothing his shirt was by the end of the day. He performed well in the testing portion too, running a 4.78 40, jumping 27″ and finishing just outside the top 10 in the medicine ball throw and shuttle. Coaches have thought of Howe as a tweener, but he’s continued to show his potential as a hand-down rusher and would be good in that role at the MAC level.

Another versatile end rusher who helped himself was Mitchell Stanitzek. He’s a 6-4, 215 junior who missed most of the 2012 season with a back injury, but played and made an impact for Grand Rapids West Catholic in the Division 5 state final. He showed just how under the gun, testing as well as anyone all-around with a 4.7-second 40, 4.4-second shuttle and 33″ vertical. He could play tight end as well. While a lot of the local Dutch boys look “country strong,” 6-4, 225 Traverse City St. Francis junior Eric Coggon provided a different look with longer, more defined musculature. Coggon was really slippery getting off blocks. Ivy-type grades just sweeten the deal. Kenowa Hills’ 6-2, 240 two-way lineman Zach Evans was one of the most productive rushers we saw last fall. At the combine he had a 4.88-second 40 and 4.78-second pro agility. Comstock Park had a solid contingent of players at the combine. A pleasant surprise from that group was 6-3, 210 junior Ryan Gruzka, who ran a 4.85 40 and could also play tight end.

Grand Rapids South Christian junior Todd Postma looked like a classic end, bigger than his listed 6-4, 235. He doesn’t have great straight-line speed, but was quick off the line and pretty nimble in small spaces. His South Christian teammate and another starter from the Sailors’ state championship team, Mitchell Quakkelaar, is an imposing sophomore at 6-3, 260.

Muskegon nose guard Jacob Sims is an outstanding player, it’s just hard to project him as a 5-6, 220 junior. Muskegon Orchard View’s 6-1, 285 junior Demere Ramey has intriguing video, but didn’t see him much in one-on-ones. Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix’ 6-0, 250 junior Joe Boggan has some promise as a defensive tackle. He’s quick off the line and has that wrestler’s mentality in the pits. 5-11, 250 East Grand Rapids junior Conor Conaboy doesn’t have ideal size, but is a smart, versatile two-way lineman with the EGR pedigree that goes a long way in recruiting circles. His Pioneers teammate Troy Gotch is a 6-2, 195 junior guard who got by with smarts and technique.

Like Finley only on the offensive side, Malik King came in as a Muskegon kid with a big rep, and the 6-4, 275 junior went out and competed for his good name. A number of D linemen came in pumped and gave King problems at first. But he regrouped and IHOP was open for business, as he started dealing out those pancake blocks. He’s a naturally big mauler who is at least a MAC level guard.

King led a promising contingent of junior interior offensive linemen. 6-5, 265 West Branch Ogemaw Heights junior Alec Stevens is coming off a shoulder injury but didn’t play timidly. He’s raw but trim for his size and athletic, with a 20-point, 20-rebound basketball game to his credit last month. Stevens was top 10 in strength, with a 5.19 40 and 27″ vertical. He was quick and sure to lock up and a good run-blocker. He plays tackle for his high school team, but laying in space is where Stevens needs work. On physical potential he’ll likely be yet another Big North lineman with multiple offers. Also from up North, but a much smaller school in the Ski Valley, was Tristen Fleet. A 6-3, 275 Mancelona junior, Fleet’s a grinder who helps his recruiting chances because he’s an actual center. Another Northerner, Grayling’s 6-4, 270 junior Lucas Walesky, was much improved from his December camp performance. He’s improving athletically and as a player, though he still needs to remember not to duck his head. Walesky unfortunately injured his knee, but not before earning an NAIA offer.

Kirk Hautau is another potential center at 6-2, 280. He’s an all-conference junior from Marshall. Hautau has good feet and technique, and played Kenneth Finley as well as anyone.  Liked how he loaded up and delivered hits. 6-2, 280 South Christian junior Travis Steenwyk didn’t post great measurables. But he knows how to play, has a wide base and worked well off leverage rather than raw strength. Another South Christian kid is 6-2, 220 sophomore Casey Elzinga, a promising young center.

There were a couple O-K Red tackle prospects with potential. East Kentwood junior Elliot Jordan, who could end up at tackle or tight end at 6-7 , 227. He ran a 5.13-second 40 and 4.7-second pro agility. It was great to see how Jordan responded to coaching and got more confident as the day progressed. He went from getting schooled by the top ends, to competing with and even stoning them.  Hudsonville’s 6-6, 280 junior Eric Atkins has the right frame and terrific grades. His center of gravity rides high, but most importantly he just needs to get some nasty going.

Other than going against Kenneth Finley, and there’s no shame in that, Ryan Egan, a 6-5, 265 Montrose junior, acquitted himself well in drills. Connor Smith flashed some potential for Three Rivers’ playoff team last fall, and the junior could play either side of the ball at 6-5, 265.

Two talented young prospects that were profiled on the all-underclassman team, 6-5, 248 Mendon sophomore Logan Slaughter and 6-3, 260 Petoskey freshman Tommy Roush. At this age, it’s hard to project them to offense or defense, but both have nice physical tools. Slaughter already played as hard as anyone at the combine, while Roush is fundamentally sound, quite strong, and didn’t seem to mind taking his lumps, knowing that it served a larger, long-term purpose.

Combine All-Underclassman Team

1. Logan Slaughter  6-5  248  So  DL/OL  Mendon
He’s a small town all-stater who would look big time regardless the size of the school he lined up for. Slaughter’s frame is ideal to put on good weight as needed. He tested as one of the strongest players at the combine, then backed it up with execution in drills. Won his matchups thanks to toughness and motor. Business-like, efficient worker given his age.

2. Nolan Meekhof  6-0  200  Fr  RB/LB  Grandville
You don’t necessarily think great running backs and Grandville, that could change with young Meekhof. There’s nothing meek about a freshman this big putting down back-to-back 4.6 40s.

3. LaSavian Majewski  5-7  185  So  RB/WR  Grand Rapids West Catholic
A transfer from Alabama who proved that Southern legs travel. Majewski had the second-fastest 40-yard time. Love his potential in the kick return game. This is a heck of a weapon to add to West Catholic next season, along with essentially an all-state newcomer in Mitchell Stantizek, who was one of the top overall juniors at the combine. Another West Catholic junior who played well was linebacker Max Boorsma, small for college but terrific right now.

4. Tommy Roush  6-3  260  Fr  OL/DL  Petoskey
His technique was sound in footwork drills. It got tougher for Tommy when upperclassman all-staters started beating on him in one-on-ones, but he kept his head in there and competed. Tested very well, and strength is no surprise he was a middle school all-American thrower in AAU track and field. Coaches love recruiting linemen out of the Big North, and in 2016 the league may have two more high-end recruits up front with Roush and Traverse City West’s Thiyo Lukusa.

5. Tucker Kloote  5-10  150  So  QB  Coopersville
West Michigan is crowded with talented, varsity veteran soph QBs. Kloote ended the season with a 200-yard, 2 TD game against Allendale, and the hot hand carried over to the off-season as he made a move to keep himself right in that top 5 for 2015. The coaches liked both his arm and his confidence.

Mason Banbury  6-2  200  So  DL/TE  East Grand Rapids

Jay Brower  6-2  195  So  LB/TE  Stevensville Lakeshore

Devin Butler  6-1  175  So  WR/DB  Zeeland

Ethan  Campbell  5-9  180  So  RB  Traverse City Central

Mitchell Coler  5-9  160  So  RB/DB  Mendon

Nate Couturier  5-10  140  WR/DB  Allendale

David Cutts  5-11  163  So  WR/DB  Grand Rapids Prep

Brandon Davis  5-10  150  So  RB/DB  Holland

Matthew Denby  5-10  148  So  RB/DB  Freeland

Stanley Fink  6-3  237  So  OL/DL  Pewamo-Westphalia

Jakob Frederick  6-1  190  So  LB/QB  Spring Lake

Austin Gregory  6-0  190  So  QB  Ionia

Andrew Homik  5-10  200  So  RB  Grand Rapids Northview

Elijah Klepper  6-2  180  So  RB/LB  Mendon

Chase Lalla  5-10  182  So  LB/RB  Avondale

Jonas LaMont  6-1  170  Fr  LB/TE  Onekama

Adam Maynard  6-2  237  So  DL/OL/TE  West Ottawa

Brett Miller  5-9  170  So  QB  Forest Hills Central

Mitchell Quakkelaar  6-3  260  So  DL/OL  Grand Rapids South Christian

Marcus Ramirez  5-8  145  Fr  RB/DB  Montague

Daniel Shanley  6-1  210  So  LB/RB  Grandville

Kylan Sherman  6-1  265  OL/DL  Fruitport

Logan Soule  6-0  160  So  DB/RB  Caledonia

Jared Whited  6-2  220  So  LB/TE  Vicksburg

Danil Young  5-10  168  So  DB/QB  Grandville

Team selected based on performances in both tests and drills.

All-Combine Team: 2014 Defense

DL  Jacob Howe  6-2  240  Jr  Forest Hills Northern

DL  Kenny Finley  6-3  260  Jr  Muskegon

DL  Todd Postma  6-4   235  Jr  Grand Rapids South Christian

DL  Eric Coggon  6-4  225  Jr  Traverse City St. Francis

LB  Mitchell Stanitzek  6-4  215  Jr  Grand Rapids West Catholic

LB Kaleb Hauser  6-1  225  Jr  Kalkaska

LB  Derek Lodholtz  6-3  200  Jr  Reed City

DB  Kyler Shurlow  6-1  195  Jr  Lowell

DB  Zachary Shepard  6-0  172  Jr  Prairie Heights, Ind.

DB  Demetri Trice  5-10  168  Jr  Gladwin

DB  Julian Munday  6-0  190  Jr  Muskegon Reeths-Puffer

UTL  Mason Rosado  5-9  170  Jr  Holland

Team selected based on performances in both tests and drills.

All-Combine Team: 2014 Offense

QB  Drew Marion  6-1  196  Jr  Lake City

RB  Zach Stephen  5-10  187  Jr  McBain

RB  Danny Bauder  5-9  180  Jr  Zeeland West

WR  Colin Prominski  6-1  210  Jr  Ionia

WR Camm LaPeen  6-3  180  Jr  Powers Catholic

OL  Tristen Fleet   6-3  275  Jr  Mancelona

OL  Kirk Hautau  6-2  280  Jr  Marshall

OL  Malik King  6-5  275  Jr  Muskegon

OL Alec Stevens  6-5  265  Jr  Ogemaw Heights

OL  Elliot Jordan  6-6  235  Jr  East Kentwood

TE  Mitchell Stanitzek  6-4  215  Jr  Grand Rapids West Catholic

UTL  Javon Cooney  5-8  145  Jr  Lansing Sexton

Team selected based on performances in both tests and drills.

Combine Results: Top Pro Agility times

4.32 seconds
Julian Munday  6-0  190  Jr  RB/DB  Muskegon Reeths-Puffer
Danil Young 5-10 168 So DB/QB Grandville

4.35 seconds
Tristan Matthews 5-10 150 Jr RB/DB Grandville

4.39 seconds
Caleb Schley  5-9  170  Jr  RB/DB  Paw Paw

4.4 seconds
Ethan Campbell 5-9 180 So RB Traverse City Central
Javon Cooney 5-8 145 Jr WR/DB Lansing Sexton
John Hall 5-11 170 Jr RB/DB Muskegon
Jurquan Harris-Taylor  5-7  140  Jr  DB/WR  Wyoming
Nate Holt 5-9 155 Jr DB/WR Lake City
Austin Kent  5-11  175  Jr  DB/WR  Holt
Drew Marion  6-1  196  Jr  QB  Lake City
Nick Miller 5-8 160 Jr ATH Gull Lake
Colin Prominski 6-1 210 Jr WR/DB Ionia
Marcus Ramirez  5-8  145  Fr  RB/DB  Montague
Chase Smith 5-9 175 Jr QB/DB Muskegon Reeths-Puffer
Mitch Stantitzek 6-4 215 Jr ATH Grand Rapids West Catholic
Demetri Trice 5-10 168 Jr WR/DB Gladwin
Austin Vandygriff 5-9 148 Jr RB Fruitport
Jacob Wenzlick  Jr  5-11  170  Jr  WR  Sanford Meridian

Top 10 Vertical Jump Performers from LMFR Combine

No, it’s not to see if players can dunk over the goal posts after scoring. The vertical jump is to test explosiveness, and is a great event for the smaller players to shine. Which makes the performance of Grand Rapids West Catholic junior pass-rush ace Mitchell Stanitzek that much more impressive, as at 6-4, 215 he is the largest player in the top 10. Another guy with good size and ups is Reed City junior Derek Lodholtz, second at 38 1/2″.

Vertical jump Top 10

1. William Brockman  6-1  165  Jr  ATH  Central Lake  39″
2. Derek Lodholtz  6-3  200  Jr  LB/TE  Reed City  38 1/2″
3. Mason Rosado 5-9 170 Jr RB/DB Holland 36″
4. Drew Marion 6-1 196 Jr QB Lake City 35 1/2″
5. Kyler Shurlow 6-1 195 Jr QB/DB Lowell 35″
Jawuan McGough 6-0 183 Jr DL/WR Muskegon 35″
6. Danny Bauder 5-9 180 Jr RB/DB Zeeland West 34″
7. Ethan Campbell 5-9 180 So RB Traverse City Central 33 1/2″
Zachary Shepard 6-0 172 Jr WR/DB Prairie Heights, Ind. 33 1/2″
9. Mitchell Stanitzek 6-4 215 Jr DL/LB/TE Grand Rapids West Catholic 33″
10. Dan Shoop 5-10 185 Jr RB/DB Muskegon Oakridge 32 1/2″
Devin Butler  6-1  175  So  WR/DB  Zeeland East  32 1/2

Medicine Men: Combine’s top 10 tosses

As they do for the Nike SPARQ scores, at the Lake Michigan Football Report’s March 17 combine the medicine ball toss was used as the strength component rather than bench press. Judging from the top 10 scores recorded at the Grand Rapids event, it’s hard to think of a test better representative of the top talent in attendance. There are D1 linemen on the list, naturally. There are also a couple of QBs, including fourth-place Drew Marion. The 6-1, 196 Lake City junior threw 39’4. Marion really helped himself, showing a superior physical profile to match his outrageous 2012 season, in which he rab or passed for 50 TDs. His vertical leap of 35 1/2″ was the second best at the combine, his pro-agility drill of 4.4 seconds tied him for third best, and he ran a 4.8-second 40. The event was won by a guy who plays some QB, too, Lowell junior Kyler Shurlow, who also partnered it by tying for third with a 35″ vertical.

Medicine Ball Top 10

  1. Kyler Shurlow  6-1  195  Jr  QB/DB  Lowell  41’6
  2. Kenneth Finley 6-3 270 Jr DL Muskegon 40’3
  3. Logan Slaughter 6-5 248 So DL/OL Mendon 40’2
  4. Kaleb Hauser 6-2 225 Jr  LB/RB Kalkaska 39’8
  5. Drew Marion 6-1 196 Jr QB Lake City 39’4
  6. Brett Miller  5-9  170  So  QB  Forest Hills Central  39’0
  7. Troy Gotch 6-2 195 Jr OL/DL East Grand Rapids 38’9
  8. Dan Shoop 5-10 185 Jr RB/DB Muskegon Oakridge 38’4
  9. Tommy Roush 6-3 260 Fr OL/DL Petoskey 38’2
  10. Alex Stevens 6-5 265 Jr OL Ogemaw Heights 38’1

Austin Gregory 6-0 190 So QB Ionia 38′

Top 40-yard dash performers from Lake Michigan Football Report Combine

danny bauderZeeland West junior Danny Bauder was the 2012 O-K Green champion in both the 100 and 200 meters. So with those track bonafides, it wasn’t too surprising he blew away the field in the 40-yard dash at the Lake Michigan Football Report Combine held March 17 in Grand Rapids. He twice finished in 4.4 seconds, two-tenths ahead of the next fastest. Bauder the football player? Last fall he was a reserve running back for the Dux behind the potent triumvirate of Marcus Lambert, Jon Pung and Braden Werley. But he showed just how talented he was in Zeeland West’s playoff loss to state champion Grand Rapids Christian, when he ran 11 times for 159 yards, including TDs of 31, 73 and 23 yards.

4.4 seconds
Danny Bauder 5-9 180 Jr RB/DB Zeeland West

4.5 seconds
LaSavian Majewski  5-7  185  So  RB/WR  Grand Rapids West Catholic

4.59 seconds
Wyatt Batdorff  5-10  175  Jr  DB  Forest Hills Northern

4.6 seconds
Mitchell Coler 5-9 160 So RB/DB Mendon
Nate Couturier 5-10 140 So WR/DB Allendale
Eddie Kelly 6-0 195 So RB/DB Caledonia
Chase Lalla 5-10 182 So LB/RB Auburn Hills Avondale
Tristan Matthews 5-10 150 Jr RB/DB Grandville
Nolan Meekhof 6-0 200 Fr RB/LB Grandville
Seth Nyberg 6-1 170 Jr DB/WR Zeeland East
Colin Prominski 6-1  210  Jr WR/DB Ionia
Marcus Ramirez    5-8  145  Fr  RB/DB  Mongague
Mason Rosado 5-9 170 Jr RB/DB Holland
Zach Stephen 5-10 187 Jr RB McBain

Line It Up: Combine full of up front talent

kenneth finley muskegon

Muskegon’s Kenneth Finley

Kenneth Finley spent considerable time in opponents’ offensive backfields during Muskegon’s state runner-up season. We’ll get a closer look at how he did it March 17 at the Lake Michigan Football Report’s combine in Grand Rapids. Finley is such a dangerous playmaker because he combines obvious physical tools at 6-3, 270 with the motor of an older player. The Lake Michigan area is deep with line talent in both 2014 and 15, with Finley part of a talented contingent that has already registered for the combine.Though he was one of only a couple juniors participating, the coaches considered Forest Hills Northern’s Jacob Howe the best lineman at our December camp.

“He is really quick off the edge and has great body lean,” the camps D-line coach said. “Jake has quick and explosive hands and kept his hands busy while pass rushing and made it really hard for the offensive linemen to get their hands on him.”

The 6-2, 240 junior had one of the most complete seasons in the Lake Michigan area, as a TD threat and KO blocker at fullback, stopper on the D line and … punter.

While Muskegon came up just short to Brother Rice in the D2 instant classic, Grand Rapids South Christian brought the hardware West in Division 4. The Sailors thrived with physical line play. A pair of their D ends will be at the combine. 6-4, 235 junior Todd Postma and 6-3, 230 sophomore Mitchell “Double Vision” Quakkelaar. Q flashed enough playmaking ability throughout South Christian’s playoff run to earn early top 10 consideration for 2015.

Anchoring the offensive side is a prospect that could really help himself. Between basketball (had a 20-20 game) and injuries, Ogemaw Heights 6-5, 265 junior Alec Stevens hasn’t been on the camp/combine circuit like a player of his potential typically would. On raw power and potential, he’s a top 10 junior in the entire state.

Like Finley, Mitch Stanitzek  played on a 2012 state runner-up. He’s a 6-4, 215 junior from Grand Rapids West Catholic. He missed most of the past season but was activated and made an impact in the state final. Stanitzek is one of the impact edge rushers for the 2014 class.

O-K Red linemen will rightfully attract coaches’ attention. It’s still an emerging group in the junior class, with a couple interesting ones with 6-6, 230 Elliot Jordan of East Kentwood and 6-6, 280 Evan Akins from Hudsonville. Jordan could also conceivably be a tight end, but EK didn’t use one.

Few 2015 players can match the prep resume of Logan Slaughter, a 6-5, 250 sophomore and already an all-stater small school power Mendon. He was a two-way standout for the 11-1 Hornets.

Other potential standout linemen who have already registered for the combine include:

  • Eric Coggon  6-4  235  Jr  Traverse City St. Francis
  • Christian England  6-4  210  Jr  Plainwell
  • Tristen Fleet  6-3  265  Jr  Mancelona
  • Benjamin Fox  6-1  210  Jr  Pewamo-Westphalia
  • Kirk Hautau  6-2  280  Jr  Marshall
  • Matt Hoover  5-11  289  Jr  Muskegon Reeths-Puffer
  • Kyler Kregel  6-2  265  Jr  Forest Hills Northern
  • Tommy Rousch  6-3  260  Fr  Petoskey
  • Connor Smith  6-5  265  Jr  Three Rivers
  • Lucas Walesky  6-4  270  Jr  Grayling
  • David Walker  6-3  215  Jr  Harbor Springs
  • Douglas Wyman  6-0  270  Jr  Mason County Central