Class of 2015
Brandon Childress 6-3 185 Sr QB Baldwin
Talent is so deep in the Lake Area that there are legitimate, athletic prospects at rural Division 8 schools. Childress, who will officially visit Cal-Davis for basketball after Friday’s game, is on pace for another season in which he both throws and runs for over 1,000 yards. He’s dangerous on designed runs, but also maintains pocket integrity when passing and is more likely to step up and make a throw than break loose before his receivers are open. Good right now, it’s scary to think how Childress might project if he were playing behind an East Kentwood or Muskegon type of line.
Eddie Kelly 6-1 215 Sr RB Caledonia
When Eddie Kelly ran for a nine-yard score to finish off Caledonia’s opening drive against Rockford, who could’ve guessed it would be the winning TD? It was, though Kelly added two more TDs and Caledonia shocked Rockford and the state at large with a 42-0 victory. He’s similar to former Zeeland East star Spencer Viening, now a linebacker at the College the Canyons in California, in that Kelly’s strength in his hips and core allow him to shed tacklers then throws on the 4.7 speed to finish the deal.
Jaeden MacPherson 6-2 245 Sr DL Muskegon Catholic Central
Defending Division 8 state champion Muskegon Catholic is so loaded this season they’d be capable of competing at a state level up through Division 4. MacPherson is part of that talented mix, a pocket-collapsing defensive end. Can at times be dominant with his upper-body strength, but will have to keep adding weight and with that m.o. and barely sub-5.0 speed may be best-served on the interior of the line in college.
Bryce Witham 6-4 240 Sr TE/DL Grand Rapids West Catholic
Witham is an impact two-way force for the undefeated D5 state champions and one of the Lake Area’s top 10 overall senior prospects. He’s a reliable target over the middle who will make tough grabs in traffic then drag tacklers with him. Runs with some Jeremy Shockey attitude to finish plays. He embraces the blocking aspect of the job decription too, as Witham is explosive off the snap and plays through the whistle. On the other side, he is a defensive end with a motor who flushes the pocket, makes good reads and is a sound tackler.
Class of 2016
Mike Bordeaux 6-3 255 Jr OL/DL Muskegon Mona Shores
While it’s another Mona Shores junior lineman, Christian Boyd, whom we have ranked, Bordeaux is another one to check out for the Sailors. With all their pretty offense, someone has to be doing the dirty work, and Bordeaux does just that as a two-way tackle. At an offensive right tackle in Mona’s spread offense he does a good job clearing N-S routes for breakout senior running back Deontay Moffett. In pass protect does well stringing out edge rushers but can get beat by an explosive four technique. Going the other way, Bordeaux is a blue-collar tackle for both four- and three-man fronts whose college potential may be best served as an interior defender.
Wade Buckman 6-6 205 Jr QB Holland
After two classes heavy with college-talent QBs in the Lake Area, there’s a lesser haul in 2016. But coaches will keep looking, as will we which brings us to Buckman. His responsibilities with the Dutch 1 and 1A are to get the ball to senior running backs Elroy Payne and Brandon Davis. Buckman is a loping pro-style QB who looked to throw on the rollout against Byron Center. Arm strength will likely be the deal maker or breaker here.
Tanner Christian 5-11 180 Jr ATH Caledonia
A ball-handling and running QB, Christian clocks a 4.6 40 and proved an effective speed counterbalance to powerhouse senior running back Eddie Kelley as Caledonia’s rushing attack rolled over Rockford. Christian ran for 118 yards and two TDs, over half of it coming on a 61-yard scoring run as Caledonia put the game out of reach in the second quarter.
Zach Pangborn 6-0 175 Jr WR Grand Rapids Northview
He’s one of the Lake Area’s leading receivers at the turn with 15 catches for 265 yards and six TDs. Pangborn is also a standout shooting guard in basketball, and the hand-eye crossover is apparent on the field. You can also see some hooper in the the little free-up and double-moves he pulls off to create space on cornerbacks. He runs solid routes, finds holes and is quick in space which Pangborn needs because as a 4.7 40 guy he doesn’t have blow-by speed. He has a good feel along the sidelines to make life easier for senior QB Cameron Houston, and shows a team-first ethos with some actual hearty blocking.