Class of 2015
Mason Banbury 6-4 230 Sr TE/DL East Grand Rapids
East made a return to the playoffs behind the play of a strong senior class, which included QB Mikey Roth and his reliable red zone target Banbury who had four TDs. He can also go over the top, adjusting well with the ball. He extends well, isn’t afraid of defenders over the middle and shows athletic feet and hand-eye making plays on the sidelines. Would like to see him cradle it less when catching, and dig out another gear to tack on more yac. Banbury is a willing blocker particularly good against speed end rushers who aren’t as physical. He went both ways in the brutal O-K White and was able to get into opposing backfield as a stand-up end. No one was talking about Banbury when the 2015 tight ends began emerging before their junior seasons. Now, after changing his body prior to his senior year, he stands behind only West Catholic’s Bryce Witham at the position.
Lake Area’s Top 10 2015 Tight End Prospects
1. Bryce Witham 6-4 240 Sr Grand Rapids West Catholic
2. Mason Banbury 6-4 230 Sr East Grand Rapids
3. Matt Seybert 6-4 230 Sr Traverse City St. Francis Buffalo
4. Jared Whited 6-2 230 Sr Vicksburg
5. Trevor Raby 6-4 240 Sr Zeeland West Davenport
6. Sam Heyboer 6-4 210 Sr Grand Rapids South Christian
7. Dakota Scholten 6-4 225 Sr Grant Davenport
8. Mike Egeler 6-4 225 Sr Comstock Park
9. Blake Bockheim 6-4 230 Sr Grand Rapids Northview
10. Alex Bos 6-3 200 Sr Grand Rapids Christian
Alezay Coleman 5-11 175 Sr DB Muskegon Ferris State
He’s been a playmaker at free safety the past two seasons for the Big Reds wth 10 interceptions. Coleman is versatile because he can cover, make jumps on the ball and likes to hit as well. And that’s just defense. Coleman has scored two rushing TDs (including a 40-yard game-winner against Detroit Catholic Central) and a receiving TD (a 45-yard game-breaker against East Grand Rapids), he’s Muskegon’s long-snapper and has even thrown two passes. He’s also a member of the state championship basketball team. Coleman is verbally committed to become part of the West Michigan to Ferris State pipeline that has helped the Bulldogs become the No. 1 ranked team in Division 2. Former Big Reds coach Tony Annese continues to thrive recruiting the Muskegon area with commitments from Coleman, Mona Shores running back Deontay Moffett and Oakridge tackle Tony Curry.
Jordan Ferguson 6-0 225 Sr RB/LB Alpena
Yeah, they’re on the wrong lake, but Alpena’s Big North Conference affiliation qualifies them for our coverage area. And in that league Ferguson had one of the best performances in school history, running for 1,426 yards an Alpena record and 19 TDs one short of the record. He’s effective as either a fall-forward North-South runner out of an I backfield or blocking and creating as the lone running back when spread out. While he’s tough to bring down when he gets to the second level, Ferguson isn’t just a head down brute back. He shows good hands out of the backfield and may be an even better prospect at linebacker where he’s a nasty hitter who can also cover. GLIAC recruit as either a linebacker or fullback. He runs a 4.78 which at his size is serviceable for either position.
Austin Heeres 6-4 200 Sr QB Grandville Calvin Christian
Another guy who gets overlooked with all the glamour QBs that have been doing it for years in the 2015 class. Heeres’ size and success in a passing offense make him an intresting project. As a senior he completed 156-of-273 throws (57 percent) for 1,909 yards, 20 TDs and 11 interceptions. Four of those picks came in Week 2 against Hudsonville Unity Christian when, with Calvin playing from behind, Heeres put it up 44 times. He didn’t just beat up on small-school patsies. In a 35-27 loss to Hopkins Heeres was 21-of-35 for 284 yards three TDs and an interception while running 14 times for 173 yards and a TD. Heeres plays exclusively out of the shotgun with one or no other backs. He throws well on the move and sees plays develop. He has a looping motion and will need more velocity and less hang-time on the ball if he’s going to get it down against quick-twitch cover men. Heeres is also a good punter averaging 37 yards a kick and putting six of his 18 kicks inside the 20.
Sam Heyboer 6-4 210 Sr LB Grand Rapids South Christian
Coming into the season he was known more as a receiver. But he’s playing with a broken wrist so has been making his name on the defensive side of the ball and as a blocking tight end as South Christian looks poised for their third straight appearance in the Division 4 state championship game. As he’s matured he embraced the physicality you need for the position and has really improved to the point of benig the Sailors’ leading tackler. Heyboer is an active, long-armed edge rusher who can also envelop the run on his side. He was dominant in the Sailors’ 35-0 opening round win over Allendale with 12 tackles including three sacks. Allendale senior QB Tucker Kloote is small and quick but had trouble escaping Heyboer’s length and athleticism. Heyboer also finally got involved on the offensive end, with a two-yard TD catch in the back of the end zone, his first score of the season after scoring six as a junior.
Michael Ivy 5-9 205 Sr RB East Kentwood
When Tony Kimbrough became EK’s head coach he said he wanted the Falcons to run the ball more. He’s been true to his word and with Ivey has just the man for the job, rushing for 317 yards in their season opening win over Lansing Everett and never looking back. He’s carried he ball 179 times for 1,841 yards and 24 TDs for the 10-1 Falcons. Ivy is deceptively quick with his upright style, and just a pain to bring down because the legs keep churning and really anticipates and reads well in the open field. Because he’s not a blazer, Ivy’s level of college ball could come down to how coaches think he’ll develop as a receiver, blocker, all-around back.
Class of 2016
Daryn Snow 6-3 190 Jr WR Portage Northern
It was an unfortunate end to a great season for Portage Northern, and particularly painful given their district final shutout to Battle Creek Lakeview came with their most explosive offensive threat, Snow, on the sidelines. He’d suffered a concussion in the opening round win against Portage Central. He finished the season with 44 catches for 552 yards and seven TDs. What’s striking about Snow is that despite his youth and height, he’s not a lanky, fragile, finesse receiver. He’s big, physical and will not just high-point the ball but knock corners out of the way while doing it. Snow has been both prolific and clutch in pressure situations all season for the Huskies. All kinds of athletic bona fides, he’s already twice and all-league player and was Portage Northern’s leading basketball scorer as a sophomore.
Lake Area’s Top 10 2016 Receiver Prospects
1. Hunter Broersma 6-1 180 Jr Muskegon Mona Shores
2. Gabe Steed 6-0 160 Jr Lowell
3. Daryn Snow 6-3 190 Jr Portage Northern
4. Ryan Knight 6-3 180 Jr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern
5. Darece Roberson 5-10 160 Jr Muskegon Mona Shores
6. Garret Lundteigen 5-9 165 Jr Petoskey
7. Zach Pangborn 6-0 175 Jr Grand Rapids Northview
8. Dylan Otolski 6-1 180 Jr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central
9. Tony DeWitte 6-1 170 Jr Grandville Calvin Christian
10. DaJuan Thomas 5-8 155 Jr East Kentwood
Class of 2017
Austin McCullough 6-3 170 So WR/DB Portage Central
Three miles South on Westnedge, Portage Central has their own answer to Portage Northern’s Daryn Snow in McCullough. McCullough moved in before his freshman year from Alabama and has already established himself as a possible D1 basketball prospect. He can carry himself on the grid too, with all the physical tools though not the sexy numbers in a Mustangs program known for its running game.
Lake Area’s Top 10 2017 Receiver Prospects
1. Jacorey Sullivan 6-1 185 So Muskegon
2. Austin McCullough 6-3 170 So Portage Central
3. Tahari Braggs 6-1 170 So Grand Rapids Christian
4. Sam Neville 6-3 190 So Grand Rapids West Catholic
5. Riley Fairfield 6-4 200 So North Muskegon