Lake Michigan Prospect Watch: Week 9

Class of 2015
Nate Couturier 5-10 155 Sr WR/DB Allendale
For the third season in a row, Couturier is one of the most exciting players in the Lake Area. Few make better use of their chances. Going into the final game of the regular season, Couturier had 31 catches, which covered 592 yards and 10 TDs. It marks the third season that he’s reached double-digit receiving touchdowns. He’s a threat in coverage as well, having returned an interception for a TD. Unfortunately for Allendale, Comstock Park held them to 4-of-16 passing in the shutout win. When he does get touches, Couturier, with an offer from Air Force, is a ticket-seller. Many of his big plays begin with little passes at scrimmage, then the talent takes over; while also being able to split wide and get behind defenses at the high school level. Couturier has 4.55 speed, better still he has quickness, feel and vision.

Lamar Jordan 6-0 195 Sr LB Muskegon Catholic Central
Jordan is a returning starter and holds it down as the mike linebacker for defending Division 8 state champion and odds on state repeat favorite MCC. He has a high IQ on his reads and is able to play tight to the line without getting his pursuit angle exploited. Jordan is more wrapper than hitter and will have to retain his 4.8 speed while adding bulk to play linebacker at the next level. He goes both ways for the Crusaders who shows a motor and some toughness as a blocking tight end.

Class of 2016
Monterio Smith 5-10 175 Jr RB Comstock Park
An understudy to All-Lake running back Jake Bush in 2013, Smith has proved a more than capable replacement as a junior. He has a career game last Friday in Comstock Park’s shutout of O-K blue rival Allendale running for 318 yards and a TD. The touchdown was a 65-yarder up the middle behind pulling guard NickVanOost for the game’s first score in the second quarter. As with Bush, Smith is alone back there with QB Pat Naughton and really took advantage of the Panthers’ disciplined line play. He has the speed to turn the corner, which he did on his first big run proving hard to take down spinning a tackler for 10 more yards at the end.

Class of 2017
Shane Goebel 6-1 260 So DL Ravenna
Goebel is that rare commodity, a high school nose guard who excels in a 3-4. He has a strong lower body and can get some good push to occupy the interior of the line. Key for Goebel will be increased explosion off the ball as he matures and gets bigger.

Riley Fairfield 6-4 200 So ATH North Muskegon
He has the frame and athleticism as a sophomore that makes coaches rub their hands together gleefully, speculating what he will become, and how his various talents can be utilized. Fairfield showed his versatilty and value last Friday in North Muskegon’s big win over Shelby. He caught a 34-yard TD, threw a 36-yard TD, and returned a fumble 74 yards for a TD.

Corey Malone-Hatcher 6-3 235 So DL/LB St. Joseph
He’s the early No. 1 recruit in the Lake Area’s sophomore class, as not many his age can match Malone-Hatcher’s combination of versatility, production and physical tools. He’s both an energetic end-rusher for St. Joe, as well as a middle linebacker with the size and nose to stop the run and good enough feel and flexibility to drop into coverage. He already has an offer from Ohio State and Malone-Hatcher is being recruited by power programs such as Alabama, Michigan State and Notre Dame.

Nate Umlor 6-5 225 So DL/TE Allendale
He’s going to be a rare four-year starter for a Class B school, a prototypical 5 technique D end in a 3-4 and a top five overall Lake Area prospect in the 2017 class. Umlor is strong at the point of attack to where he’s often occupied by two blockers. Despite being much bigger than he was as a freshman, if anything he’s more athletic. Being still an underclassman albeit an experienced one, Umlor still doesn’t have the full-go motor. But when there are flashes, like the swim moved last Friday to suddenly make Comstock Park QB Pat Naughton’s world shrink real fast and force him into a touch throw on the retreat, it’s hard not to get really excited about Umlor’s potential. He’s also recruit-able at a high level as a tight end, with big frames, basketball timing and big, trusty hands.

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