DL David Walker 6-3 225 Sr Harbor Springs
He’s one of the elite athletes in the state regardless of class. Up North Walker can manhandle opponents, as a defensive end with 4.6 speed or as a running back who rushed for 1,300 yards as a junior. Walker originally committed to WMU after blowing up on the college camp circuit, but lay down his oar and now will likely end up at Harvard or a BCS school.
DL Mitchell Stanitzek 6-4 215 Sr Grand Rapids West Catholic
Last year West Catholic dominated the interior line thanks to Daniel Green, who was the Lake’s Small School MVP in 2012. Now the Falcons’ strength up front is a pair of overwhelming ends in Stanitzek and junior Bryce Witham. A terrific athlete and tight end who missed most of 2012 with a back injury, Stanitzek is getting widespread MAC looks with an offer from EMU.
DL Jhonathon Williams 6-6 235 Sr Berrien Springs
In Berrien Springs of all places, not only is there a BCS offensive line recruit Nick Padla, there’s a BCS talent at defensive end in Williams. He blew up at MSU’s one-day camp. In raw measurables this is a guy who may have a better chance of being drafted as making all-state. There can’t be any larger wide receivers. Certainly none have Williams’ pop. He’s a super-soft Toledo commitment after getting an offer from Missouri, and late pushes from MSU and UCLA.
LB Adam Armour 6-0 208 Sr Traverse City St. Francis
There’s another Glad on the All-Lake D, Byron Bullough, and another, lineman Jake Khoury, who has committed to Buffalo. But it was Armour, not Bullough or Khoury, who was St. Francis’ defensive MVP in 2012. He has 4.6 speed and able to fill the gaps just as ably as drop back into coverage.
LB Byron Bullough 6-2 195 Sr Traverse City St. Francis Michigan State
It’s a cute Internet meme in this state to say Bullough is overrated and gets his rep because of his name. If anything he’s underrated, since he was never a compelling recruiting story outside of Spartan nation, since it was a done deal where Byron would end up. Recruiting stories sell subs, that’s the real hype. And anyone still parroting that agenda most not have seen Bullough dominate 7-on-7s at MSU’s one-day camp, picking off passes like so many Traverse City cherries.
LB Brad Fall 6-0 215 Sr Marion
A class D player delivering hits at that size with 4.6 speed will leave an impression. He was a standout at both our Traverse City camp and Ithaca combine.
LB Kaleb Hauser 6-2 225 Sr Kalakaska
He’ll be the defensive playmaker for Kalkaska after the graduation of all-state DB Zach Hill. He’s a rangy linebacker with 4.7 speed. He’s also one of the top running backs and kick returners in the Lake Michigan Conference, with 10 TDs as a junior.
DB Trevor Apsey 5-11 185 Sr Maple City Glen Lake
It will be a tougher go all-around for Glen Lake defenders, without Mike O’Brien taking up so much attention up front. But Apsey has the kind of speed to thrive regardless the circumstance. Last season he led the Lakers in rushing, rushing TDs, special teams TDs and pass breakups.
DB Drew Marion 6-2 195 Sr Lake City
As athletic as anyone on this list, having scored atop the charts at both our Grand Rapids and Big Rapids combines. Assertive playmaker in defensive backfield, taking advantage of size and instincts to freelance while teammate Kevin Kunkel is the lockdown cover guy. Dominant high school QB with a junior line of 1,700 yards and 22 TDs passing, 900 yards and 21 TDs running.
DB Alex Lewandowski 5-10 180 Sr Muskegon Catholic Central
Even on a team with a lot of speed for Division 8, Lewandoski stands out with his playmaking ability. After starting at linebacker as a sophomore, as a junior he evolved into the star MCC needed back there after the graduation of Jacob Budde. He had 70 tackles and ran for over 800 yards in 2012.
DB Nick Swore 6-2 192 Sr Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian
Such a tough kid he still started on defense when a shoulder injury kept him out of some games at QB as a junior. Coach’s son who plays with a high IQ reading the offense. Standout QB, a terrific runner.