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