The Lake Michigan Football Report’s Northern Michigan Exposure Camp in the past two seasons saw prospects like David Walker (Harbor Springs/Harvard) and Traverse City West’s Jacob Cerny, who has MAC and Illinois offers, show out and begin their ascent to become highly coveted prospects. While there may not have been any singular player with that kind of talent at the 2015 workout in Traverse City, there were numerous future college players competing on Thirlby Field under the eyes and tutelage of GLIAC, MIAA and NAIA coaches.
The highest-ranked player coming in was Cadillac’s versatile two-way junior Michael Holdship. An All-Lake Area D lineman, and standout running back, from the Vikings, he’s probably a Mike linebacker in the GLIAC and trending towards the MAC as Holdship ran 4.62 in the 40 at 6-0, 215. He was part of a strong contingent of Big North linebackers. Traverse City West junior Jack Mikula has an ideal frame at 6-2, 200 and didn’t just run well in the 40, 4.58 seconds, but showed game speed as he was smooth and closed well in pass coverage drills. Petoskey’s 5-11, 194 junior Brent Murray tested very well at the Lake Michigan Football Report Spring Combine in Grand Rapids, and looked good on the field here. The linebacker ran a 4.85 40 while showing the hands to make him a possible fullback at the next level. The Northmen were well-represented as 5-9, 160 defensive back Garrett Lundteigen had a 4.62 40 and 6-1, 240 sophomore Craig Ladd has some potential.
Another standout Big North defender, and just a sophomore, is TC Central defensive back John Pupel. 6-1, 180, he ran a 4.68 40 and 4.28 pro agility. His offensive counterpart as a promising 2017 receiver was Kody Burton, a 6-3, 165 sophomore from Bridgeport. Lanky and smooth more than a blazer, but did a good job high-pointing the ball.
The fastest 40-yard dash in TC belonged to Andre Jones, 4.55 seconds. Last fall he and Jon Green gave Reed City one of the Lake Area’s top rushing backfields regardless school size. Jones looks more than equipped to carry a larger load in 2015. In one-on-ones he repeatedly slipped behind defenders to pull in long throws. The top underclassman playmaker was Joshua Atwell, a 5-11, 170 sophomore from Grandville who had the fastest pro shuttle in camp, 4.15 seconds, and ran a 4.65 40. He makes plays as a kick returner, runner and receiver and looks capable of filling Brian Cappiello’s role with the Bulldogs as the finesse big-play complement to big back Nolan Meekhof, a top 10 senior in the Lake Area. The coaches really liked another Grandville sophomore at camp 6-1, 250 lineman Levi Seeley. Another outstanding playmaker was Jacob Mitrak, a 5-10, 186 junior who made the trip from L’anse Creuse North. He was quick in and out of routes and may project best as a slot receiver.
After two overloaded QB classes, there are a dearth of college-tracked signal callers in the Lake Area’s 2016 class. That makes Traverse City St. Francis’ 6-2, 195 junior Joe Coates intriguing. He had the camp’s top time in the pro shuttle, 4.15 seconds. Less surprising than under center is finding a promising young player on the Gladiators’ offensive line, and there is such a candidate in 6-3, 280 sophomore Dominic Hathaway. He looked more comfortable at guard than tackle and was pretty consistent keeping his hands in and getting some punch. He took coaching well and applied it, and perhaps not coincidentally has a near 4.0 gpa.
Onekama’s Jonas LaMont, a 6-2, 190 junior, represented the small school ranks well, as he had the pass rush variety and polish more likely found at a Class A school. Another small school kid who has the goods to do it anywhere, running the ball, is Mancelona’s 5-8, 185 junior Chase Ritchie, who ran 4.69 seconds in the 40 and accelerated well after the catch.
OL Levi Seeley 6-1 250 So Grandville
OL Jacob Lechner 6-3 265 Jr Harbor Springs
OL Dominic Hathaway 6-3 280 So Traverse City St. Francis
OL Cameron Seitsma 6-2 285 Jr Fremont
OL Jacob Cabinaw 6-1 265 Jr Traverse City Central
QB Tai Allen 5-11 160 So Manistee
RB Andre Jones 5-6 165 Jr Reed City
RB Joshua Atwell 5-11 170 So Grandville
TE Tanner Kruzel 6-0 200 Jr Boyne City
WR Jacob Mitrak 5-10 186 Jr L’anse Creuse North
WR Kody Burton 6-3 185 So Bridgeport
DL Chase Bouscher 5-9 270 Jr Sault Ste. Marie
DL Skyler Dunkley 5-11 255 Jr Traverse City West
DL Nate Lay 6-0 250 Jr Zeeland West
LB Michael Holdship 6-0 215 Jr Cadillac
LB Jack Mikula 6-2 200 Jr Traverse City West
LB Jonas LaMont 6-2 190 Jr Onekama
LB Brent Murray 5-11 194 Jr Petoskey
LB Alec Trautman 6-1 205 So Elk Rapids
DB John Pupel 6-1 180 So Traverse City Central
DB Jalen Raniga 5-11 170 So Grandville
DB Garrett Lundteigan 5-9 180 Jr Petoskey