Monthly Archives: February, 2014

Lake Area Recruiting Winners in Big Ten, MAC, GLIAC

Big 10: Michigan
While U-M only has one Lake Area recruit, he is one who, the last time he played football, achieved the greatest receiving game in state final history. The only problem for Drake Harris — that was 2012, and he hasn’t played since. The former Grand Rapids Christian two-sport all-stater is already enrolled at Michigan. Harris is the Lake Area’s No. 1 prospect. No. 2 is his former teammate Tommy Doles, an athletic lineman headed to Northwestern. Michigan State has the largest Big Ten class in numbers, with two Lake Area kids St. Francis LB/DB Byron Bullough and Berrien Springs lineman Nick Padla, though both are ranked lower here than on national recruiting sites.

MAC: Western Michigan
It was a regrettable debut on the field for first-year WMU coach PJ Fleck, but he did row the boat the right direction on one front — prioritizing in-state recruiting. That included locking down the Broncos’ own backyard, which was never the case during Bill Cubit’s tenure. WMU landed two of the Lake Area’s top 5 seniors, in defensive tackle Kenneth Finley of Muskegon and do-it-all mammoth athlete Jordan VanDort from Zeeland West. Not only do these guys have Big Ten measurables, but they’re winners. VanDort started on West’s 2011 and 2013 state championship teams, while Finley did the same on the Big Reds squads that twice finished state runner-up to to Brother Rice. WMU also added Asantay Brown, an all-state receiver from Mona Shores who spurned a Minnesota offer to play DB in Kazoo; and Elliot Jordan, a lanky, athletic tackle prospect from East Kentwood. Preferred walk-on Cory Carr is a brawling offensive lineman and linebacker who played on the Portage Central team that went undefeated before losing to Muskegon in the Division 2 semifinals.

HM in the MAC is CMU. The Chippewas have long thrived recruiting the Lake Area, from their first All-American Leo Wisneski, through Jim Bowman, Curtis Adams, Gary Hogeboom, to Ray Bentley or Dan Bazuin, and Rockford’s finest Bryan Anderson and Joe Staley. Central has smaller scholarship numbers in 2014 with a fewer than 20-man class, slow-playing the Lake Area before swooping in to add some quality prospects. They flipped Grand Rapids West Catholic’s Mitchell Stanitzek from EMU and also took Bridman’s Cooper Mojsiejenko. Both have the size, versatility and athleticism to be quality starters. Mojsiejenko’s talent won’t be fully realized if CMU uses him only as a punter, the position his father played in the NFL. Portage Central running back Jerrod Davis made the most of his one season in the Lake Area after moving from Detroit King, and Maple City Glen Lake’s Trevor Apsey is a walk-on with scholarship athletic ability.

GLIAC: Ferris State
The Bulldogs hit up the Lake Area hard for what was a nationally-recognized Division 2 class in 2013, with the likes of Montague’s Brandon Moore, Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s Ryhem Stokes and Rockford’s KC Zenner amongst their dozen local signees. There are eight on Ferris’ board in 2014, and the high quality continues led by the Lake Area’s top running back or linebacker, Zeeland East’s Spencer Viening, and top quarterback, Cadillac record-setter Jalen Brooks. Viening, injured most of his senior season, is a top 10 overall prospect (ahead of three BCS recruits) and Brooks top 20 (ahead of four MAC scholarship players). Ferris State is fond of Division 2 semifinalist Portage Central, taking three Mustangs — RB/LB Jacob Allen; TE/DL Matt Capasso; and TE/OL Hunter Lassiter, originally a CMU commitment. The linebacking corps is impressive — Grand Rapids Union’s Paul Brown; pass-rusher Carl Grant from Dowagiac; and Muskegon’s Will Hunt.

It would be remiss not to mention GLIAC HM Northern Michigan. Marquette came out of nowhere in previous recruiting cycles to enter West Michigan and land one of the best defensive players in Rockford history, all-state linebacker Brent Showers, and the Lake Area’s most explosive running back, Danny Bauder from state champion Zeeland West. NMU also added two guys who didn’t just put up sterling numbers against legit competition, but did it with college bodies, 6-1 195 Muskegon Reeths-Puffer running back Julian Munday and 6-4 240 GR Catholic Central receiver Austin Gordon.

Small College: Siena Heights
The Saints have a sweet star logo and had a number of big recruiting wins in the Lake Area. Ogemaw Heights lineman Alec Stevens, Traverse City St. Francis linebacker Adam Armour, Grand Rapids Christian WR/DB Dwayne Barfield and Forest Hills Eastern receiver Sam Harrison are all in the Lake 100.


Signing Day 2014: The Lake 100

  1. Drake Harris  6-4  170  WR  Grand Rapids Christian  Michigan
  2. Tommy Doles  6-5  260  OL  Grand Rapids Christian  Northwestern
  3. Kenneth Finley  6-3  285  DL  Muskegon  Western Michigan
  4. David Walker  6-4  230  ATH  Harbor Springs  Harvard
  5. Jordan VanDort  6-5  320  OL/DL  Zeeland West  Western Michigan
  6. Jhonathan Williams  6-6  235  DL/TE  Berrien Springs  Notre Dame
  7. Spencer Viening  6-2  220  RB/LB  Zeeland East  Ferris State
  8. Malik King  6-4  280  OL  Muskegon  Ball State
  9. Kyle Steigenga  6-5  185  WR  Holland Christian
  10. Connor Hayes  6-3  300  OL  Traverse City West  Pittsburgh
  11. Nick Padla  6-5  270  OL  Berrien Springs  Michigan State
  12. Asantay Brown  6-1  190  DB/WR  Muskegon Mona Shores  Western Michigan
  13. Byron Bullough  6-3  225  LB/DB  Traverse City St. Francis  Michigan State
  14. Mitchell Stanitzek  6-4  235  DL/TE  Grand Rapids West Catholic  Central Michigan
  15. Elliot Jordan  6-7  260  OL  East Kentwood  Western Michigan
  16. Jacob Howe  6-2  240  DL  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern  Grand Valley State
  17. Evan Akins  6-6  285  OL  Hudsonvile  Navy
  18. Cooper Mojsiejenko  6-4  215  K/WR/TE  Bridgman  Central Michigan
  19. Jalen Brooks  6-3  180  QB  Cadillac  Ferris State
  20. Alex Lewandoski  5-11  185  DB  Muskegon Catholic Central  Saginaw Valley State
  21. Chris Hendricks  6-5  275  OL/DL  Fruitport  Eastern Michigan
  22. Danny Bauder  5-9  185  ATH  Zeeland West  Northern Michigan
  23. Drew Marion  6-2  185  QB  Marion  Michigan Tech
  24. Brent Showers  5-10  225  LB  Rockford  Northern Michigan
  25. Jerrod Davis  5-11  190  RB  Portage Central  Central Michigan
  26. Hunter Lassiter  6-4  255  TE  Portage Central  Ferris State
  27. Austin Labus  6-6  300  OL/DL  Portage Northern  Bowling Green
  28. Will Hunt  6-1  220  LB  Muskegon  Ferris State
  29. Zach Evans  6-2  240  DL  Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills  Michigan Tech
  30. Jake Khoury  6-3  290  DL  Traverse City St. Francis  Buffalo
  31. Ryan Gruszka  6-4  215  DL  Comstock Park  Saginaw Valley State
  32. Wyatt Batdorff  5-10  180  DB/LB  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern  Hillsdale
  33. Paul Brown  5-11  200  LB  Grand Rapids Union  Ferris State
  34. Quinton Sweeney  6-3  220  LB  Wayland
  35. Matt Capasso  6-3  220  TE/DL  Portage Central  Ferris State
  36. Connor Smith  6-5  275  OL  Three Rivers  Cornell
  37. Austin Gordon  6-4  240  WR/TE  Grand Rapids Catholic Central  Northern Michigan
  38. Marquon Sargent  6-1  170  WR  Muskegon Mona Shores  Grand Valley State
  39. Cory Carr  6-1  240  OL  Portage Central  Western Michigan
  40. AJ Tinholt  6-3  245  OL  Zeeland West
  41. Trevor Apsey  6-0  205  ATH  Maple City Glen Lake   Central Michigan
  42. Doug Freeman  5-11  200  DB/RB  Buchanan
  43. Isaak Newhouse  6-0  185  WR/DB  Grand Haven  Butler
  44. Randy Garvin  6-1  210  LB  Rockford  Wayne State
  45. John Hall  6-0  195  LB  Muskegon
  46. Alex Zimmerman  5-11  165  DB/WR  West Ottawa  Hillsdale
  47. Jacob Kaczynski  6-4  230  LB/TE  Ludington  Michigan Tech
  48. Jake Achterberg  6-1  200  LB  Stevensville Lakeshore
  49. Jake Bush  5-11  185  RB  Comstock Park
  50. Jacob Allan  6-3  195  RB/LB  Portage Central  Ferris State
  51. Darohn Scott  6-8  225  DL  Grand Rapids Christian
  52. Kyler Shurlow  6-1  195  ATH  Lowell  Mount Union
  53. Todd Postma  6-5  240  DL  Grand Rapids Christian
  54. Carl Grant  6-2  220  DL/LB  Dowagiac  Ferris State
  55. Connor Conaboy  5-11  260  OL  East Grand Rapids  Butler
  56. Julian Munday  6-1  195  RB  Muskegon Reeths-Puffer  Northern Michigan
  57. Alec Stevens  6-5  270  OL  West Branch Ogemaw Heights  Siena Heights
  58. Adam Armour  6-1  210  LB  Traverse City St. Francis  Siena Heights
  59. Luke Diekeers  6-5  200  TE  Jenison
  60. Buck Tottingham  6-2  220  DL  Muskegon Reeths-Puffer
  61. Shea Whitmore  6-2  190  LB  Petoskey  Hillsdale
  62. Mike Miklusicak  5-9  190  RB  Wayland
  63. Zach Walker  6-0  195  ATH  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central
  64. Dominic Paiz  5-8  175  RB  Grand Rapids Christian
  65. Andy Corey  5-8  175  RB/DB  Grand Rapids West Catholic  Saginaw Valley State
  66. Ian Tyler  6-4  215  DL  Muskegon Catholic Central  Columbia
  67. Matt Reitsma  6-2  260  OL  Lowell
  68. Stephen Hanson  6-4  285  OL  Muskegon Reeths-Puffer
  69. Kaleb Hauser  62-  225  LB  Kalkaska
  70. Colin Beebe  6-2  230  ATH  Alledale  Grand Valley State
  71. Colin Calloway  6-1  185  WR  East Kentwood  Mount Union
  72. Nick Swore  6-2  190  QB  Grand Rapids NorthPoine Christian  Malone
  73. Josh Olson  6-3  185  WR  Rockford
  74. Timothy Wielenga  6-0  215  RB/LB  Paw Paw  Concordia
  75. Tyler Sigler  6-3  200  ATH  Grand Rapids Christian  Wheaton
  76. Trent Kujawa  5-9  190  LB/DB  Zeeland West
  77. Dwayne Barfield  6-2  175  WR/DB  Grand Rapids Christian  Siena Heights
  78. Jordan Waire  6-1  175  DB  Muskegon
  79. Trevor Martin  6-1  265  DL  Cadillac
  80. Rodney Davis  6-1  180  QB  Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills
  81. Jeremy Stygstra  6-3  260  DL  Grand Rapids Christian
  82. Ben Walton  6-0  245  DL  East Jordan  Northwood
  83. Preston Simon  6-3  210  LB  Portage Northern
  84. Alex VanVossen  6-4  245  OL  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central
  85. Ethan Badger  6-1  185  LB  Grand Rapids Christian
  86. Jarret Sobkowiak  6-0  250  DL  Rockford
  87. Jack Phillips  6-3  215  RB/LB  Wayland
  88. Jack Turak  6-2  190  RB/LB  St. Joseph
  89. Brad Fall  6-0  215  LB  Marion  Concordia
  90. Jared McNitt  6-0  200  LB  West Ottawa
  91. Sam Kuiper  5-9  175  ATH  Grand Rapids Christian  Butler
  92. Alexander Lake  6-2  225  DL/LB  Byron Center
  93. Logan Smith  6-4  215  WR/TE  Muskegon Mona Shores  Wayne State
  94. Jacob Compagner  6-5  230  OL  Zeeland East
  95. Kennedy Akins  6-0  175  DB  Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills
  96. Kameryn Kidder  6-2  220  LB  Middleville
  97. Cameron White  6-4  300  OL  Saugatuck
  98. Sam Harrison  5-11  175  WR  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern  Siena Heights
  99. Sam LaRoche  6-0  190  DB  Comstock Park
  100. Kyle Blough  6-3  200  TE/WR  Lowell