MVP Tyree Jackson 6-5 210 Sr QB Muskegon Mona Shores
The Division 2 state final was an unfortunate end to an incredible career for Jackson, as he wasn’t 100 percent after suffering a knee injury in the semifinals. But that shouldn’t dim what he accomplished during the best season in school history. He completed 125-of-204 passes for 1,923 yars and 22 TDs and really improved as a runner, with 719 yards and 10 TDs. A virtually unheard of four-year starting QB in big-school football, Jackson finishes top 10 in state history in total passing yardage at 6,431 and TDs with 69. He has committed to Buffalo.
OL John Keenoy 6-3 285 Sr East Kentwood
A three-year starting center, Keenoy anchored a young but talented line clearing the way for EK’s various talented skill guys and leading the Falcons to their best season in a dozen years. This season Keenoy went both ways, providing strength at the point of attack as a defensive tackle. He was an early commitment to Western Michigan.
OL Derek Smith 6-4 250 Sr Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills
Injured as a junior, this was Smith’s first full season starting left tackle and he thrived for Kenowa as the most athletic lineman in the O-K Black. He also played defensive end for the Knights. Smith was an early commitment to Central Michigan.
OL Steve Eipper 6-5 270 Sr Greenville
Like Derek Smith, Eipper is committed to CMU. But whereas Smith is a lithe athletic lineman, Eipper is a block-out-the-sun type. He cleared the way for the most prolific rushing team in Greenville history, which nearly topped 3,000 yards.
OL Dan Harazin 6-2 210 Sr Stevensville Lakeshore
HOF coach Denny Dock may have retired, but Lakeshore kept rolling in 2014 thanks to vets like Harazin. The Lakers’ center, he brought leadership and toughness to the position, as well as the athleticism of his 4.7 speed.
OL Chase VanHoef 6-5 285 Sr Grand Haven
In a league known for producing linemen Grand Haven isn’t the first school that comes to mind, but in 2014 the Bucs had the O-K Red’s top bookend tackles in Thompson McWatters and VanHoef. The latter helped open lanes for over 2,000 rushing yards while not allowing a sack from his right tackle spot all season.
QB Travis Russell 6-2 185 Sr Grand Rapids West Catholic
The entire state got to witness, again, Russell’s leadership and ability when he called his own number time and again on the game-winning drive of the Division 5 state championship game. It was his third appearance in the final and second title. For the year Russell completed 149-of-226 throws for 2,384 yards and 31 TDS while running for 1,219 yards and 19 TDs.
RB Michael Ivy 5-9 205 Sr East Kentwood
Tony Kimbrough wanted to run the ball more in his first year as EK’s head coach, and had just the man for the job. Ivy rushed for 1,919 yards and 24 TDs. He has committed to Davenport.
RB Eddie Kelly 6-1 215 Sr Caledonia
Caledonia went to the wishbone, and Kelly carried the load. A tough cover with his combination of size and speed, he ran for 1,464 yards and 20 TDs while also adding five TD catches, all against arguably the Lake Area’s toughest regular season schedule.
TE Trevor Raby 6-4 240 Sr Zeeland West
How much does Zeeland West’s HOF coach John Shillito value the tight end? He starts two of them. Raby switched over from tackle to replace last year’s Lake Area offensive MVP Jordan VanDort as one of them. He and his counterparts on the line opened the way for two backs, Nick Jasch and Darius Perisee, who topped 1,200 yards each and an offense that averaged 46 points per game. He caught three TDs and, and also starting on the D line had six tackles for loss. Raby has committed to Davenport.
WR Gabe Steed 6-1 176 Jr Lowell
Lowell will begin 2015 as the Lake Area’s No. 1 overall team, thanks to returning talents like Steed. A threat to take it to the house on any given play, he caught 34 balls for 818 yards and 10 TDs and also added TDs on interception and kickoff returns.
WR Nate Couturier 5-10 160 Sr Allendale
Just a tough cover with his shiftiness and speed, Couturier had 45 receptions for 802 yards and 11 TDs. His playmaking wasn’t limited to offense, as he also had six interceptions, two of which were returned for TDs. Couturier has committed to Davenport.