Sunday’s Lake Michigan Football Report Combine in Grand Rapids will be a great chance to take the pulse of the Lake Area’s upcoming talent, with the first look at some underclassmen, and closer looks at once who were already varsity performers as sophomores.
Perhaps the best-known 2016 prospects planning to attend are from Zeeland West’s Division 4 state championship team. Zach VanValkenburg is a 6-3, 210 defensive standout. In that final game VanValkenburg had a sack of DeWitt’s all-state QB Jake Johnson. The last time Zeeland West had an impact underclassman on a state championship team it was Jordan Vandort, who parlayed that into an all-state career that will continue at WMU. 5-11, 164 Casey Brinks was West’s starting QB as only a 10th-grader, with a likely college destination in the defensive backfield. Also from the Dux, Colton Overway intrigues as a 6-2, 270 two-way lineman.
Another sophomore defensive standout we last saw winning hardware at Ford Field was Grand Rapids West Catholic’s 6-2, 240 lineman Carl Myers. He had a couple tackles in their win over Memominee.
Perennial state power Lowell was loaded as always in 2013, but that didn’t mean some youngsters didn’t contribute. 6-1, 280 soph Karson Murley started on the Red Arrows’ offensive line. 6-0, 150 receiver Gabe Steed was called up from Lowell’s JV team and made an instant impact. Clearly not fazed by the big stage, Steed caught three TD catches in Lowell’s playoff win against Mona Shores. 6-0, 200 sophomore linebacker Trevor Shurlow has a familiar last name to Lake Area fans.
Michael VanHoeven was a first-team All-Wolverine Conference offensive lineman for Paw Paw as just a sophomore. He certainly passes the look test at that age, checking in at 6-5, 255.
Grandville’s Nolan Meekhof stood out at last year’s LMFR Combine with a terrific size/speed combination for just a freshman. Now he has a year of O-K Red varsity ball under his belt making the 6-1, 217 running back an even more intriguing prospect.
This is just a handful of the young talent that will be putting it on the line at the combine. There is still an opportunity to compete against them, to register click here.