Class of 2014
Wyatt Batdorff 5-10 180 Sr DB/LB Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
The Huskies have had one of the real lock-down defenses in the Lake Area, a big reason they went 7-2 in the regular season and won the O-K Bronze. And it wasn’t all Jacob Howe. While safety-size for the next level, Batdorff is a terrific high school middle linebacker averaging 11.5 tackles a game. He uses his size and speed to his advantage, with a knack for appearing untouched in opponents’ backfields. Also a running back, last Friday against Grand Rapids Northview he caught two passes and made them count, totalling 92 yards and two TDs.
Byron Bullough 6-3 225 Sr DB/LB Traverse City St. Francis Michigan State
If St. Francis’ roster is accurate, Bullough has to be one of the biggest safeties in the state. Back from a two-game absence to play against Muskegon Catholic Central, he had the loudest hit we’ve heard this year. Always in the right place, and a sure tackler. Largely played clean-up duty on the back line as the Gladiators were pretty slow and stiff up front, so the opportunities were certainly there. Wasn’t necessarily the kind of dynamic playmaker you’d expect of a BCS recruit playing against a Division 8 team.
Kaleb Hauser 6-2 220 Sr RB/LB Kalkaska
Harbor Springs’ David Walker isn’t the only dominant big back in the Lake Michigan Conference. In eight regular season games (he didn’t play against Boyne City because of an injury), Hauser ran 178 times for 1,342 yards and 16 TDs to go along with nine catches for 167 yars and three TDs. He did that running behind an offensive line that only returned on starter and started a freshman and sophomore. No worries, the Blazers are back in the playoffs. He also plays linebacker, his possible college position. Hauser is a workout warrior too. At our Traverse City camp in May he ran a 4.75 40 and did a dozen reps at 225 pounds; at last March’s Grand Rapids combine, he was top 5 in the medicine ball toss.
Alex Lewandoski 5-11 180 Sr DB/RB Muskegon Catholic Central
Big-time hitter and the Crusaders’ leading tackler. Covers a lot of space quickly, squares and levels ball-carriers. He comes by it naturally, his dad Frank Lewandoski is Northern Illinois’ all-time tackle leader. He can do more than that though, Alex’ best play against Traverse City St. Francis was where it looked like he missed on the tackle, only he’d gone after the ball, stripped it, then recovered the fumble to return it 23 yards. Legit speed for the defensive or offensive backfield. Lewandoski has over 1,000 all-purpose yards and has rushed for 15 TDs. He rarely leaves the field, as he’s also a kick returner and plays on coverage special teams too.
Ethan Lussky 6-4 285 Sr OL Rockford
He plays right tackle for the Rams, but he’s not a dominant athlete in space so is likely headed to the interior in college. Lussky is the largest man on what is a younger, smaller line than we’re maybe used to from Rockford. Good combo blocker. Needs to remember to plant his heels in pass block. A project, but one with size and the pedigree of an elite program.
Julian Munday 6-1 195 Sr RB Muskegon Reeths-Puffer
Call him Office Space. He’s been giving defenses a case of the Mundays all season. Almost more like a college than high school running back, with his size and ability to get the tough yards. He hits the hole so hard and fast, negative yardage is anathema to Munday. That he’s good in tight space is no surprise, as he had the top pro agility performance last March at our Grand Rapids combine. Munay heads into the playoff opener Muskegon rematch having rushed 150 times for 1,173 yards and 11 TDs, while sharing carries with two other very good backs, senior Corey Plitchta and junior Dereko Riley.
Class of 2015
Jarrad Whited 6-2 220 Jr DL/TE Vicksburg
He passed the look test at our combine in March, then had a junior season where he didn’t just pass but aced the actual playing test. Whited is like a magnet to the ball and has strong instincts, which explain how a defensive end has two interceptions. One of them he returned for a TD, which he did once as a sophomore too. Can dominate bigger offensive tackles because of his motor, instincts and 4.9 speed. Tough to lock him up. Whited averaged nine tackles a game for Vicksburg, and had six sacks. He’s typically in a 4-3 and that’s the best fit for his size, though Vicksburg also had some 3-4 looks. Real all-around football player, not just an athletic pass-rush specialist. Thus, he’s easily one of the top 10 defensive line prospects in the junior class.
Lake Area’s Top 10 2015 D-Line Prospects
1. Mitchell Quakkelaar 6-3 260 Jr Grand Rapids South Christian
2. Bryce Witham 6-4 220 Jr Grand Rapids West Catholic
3. Malik Swain 6-2 280 Jr Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills
4. Jarrad Whited 6-2 220 Jr Vicksburg
5. Dakota Scholten 6-4 220 Jr Grant
6. Juwan Jarnegan 6-0 220 Jr Grand Rapids Christian
7. Tommy Brown 6-2 265 Sr Grand Rapids Northview
8. Chase Harrington 6-3 215 Jr GReenville
9. Mike Egeler 6-3 205 Jr Comstock Park
10. Mike Rautio 6-4 210 Jr Big Rapids
Class of 2016
Nate Jones 6-1 210 So OL/DL Muskegon Catholic Central
The perks of playing at a small-school, Jones is a sophomore but already a two-year starter. Part of a line that last Friday whupped a bigger Traverse City St. Francis and won 42-0. Jones is MCC’s center and already a pretty good one. Active hands, good technique.