Overall Offensive Outstanding Prospect
Brandon Anderson 5-10 155 Jr RB/WR Cassopolis: He ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash in the combine’s five years, 4.35 seconds. Anderson chased that with a second-place toss in the power ball, showing the all-around explosion of this versatile back. And though he’s an all-state sprinter, Anderson is far from just some track guy putting in pretty numbers. He averaged 9.7 yards per carry and 18.6 per reception while scoring 15 TDs for Cassopolis’ D7 regional championship team. In drills here showed nice instincts making adjustments on the fly to complete catches. Could see him as a CMU type slot back, though college defensive secondary coaches will want to get ahold of Anderson too.
LMFR Combine Top 40s (2013-17)
- Jacob Geter, Plainwell (2014): 4.34 seconds
- Brandon Anderson, Cassopolis (2016): 4.35
- Danny Bauder, Zeeland West (2013): 4.40
- Brett Taylor, Comstock Park (2017): 4.43
- Michael Williams, Wyoming (2015): 4.44
Offensive Skill Outstanding Prospect
Jacob Knierim 6-4 175 Jr QB Merrill: Bright future as he’s a year young for his class. Knierim was just 15 in the fall when he made honorable mention all-state after Merrill made a repeat playoff appearance in his first-year at starting QB. He flourished in the spread throwing for over 2,000 yards with 20 TDs and running for another four during the regular season. Here, he got the ball out quickly, threw with accuracy and communicated with his receivers. As Knierim improves his decision making in year 2, small college spread teams will covet him and with his frame and arm, GLIAC coaches will be taking a long look at his five-year map. As well as Knierim played, based on his physical tools and raw potential we almost had another QB in this spot, 6-4, 195 Jr Joel Wilson from Petoskey. Wilson is a Class A three-sport starter who also projects as a college baseball player. But last season was his first as the Northmen’s starting QB and he got the bug. While not in a pass-friendly offense like Knierim, Wilson still threw for 886 yards and 10 TDs. No QB at the combine came close to testing like Wilson, who was fourth in the vertical jump, and more impressively given his size fifth in the pro agility drill. His multisport background, all-around athleticism and character are similar to Chad Fox, the QB/.catcher from Holland who was Brian Kelly’s first star passer at Grand Valley State. Wilson just won’t come out with the reps like Fox did as a prep. Nevertheless we now have him the No. 4 QB in the Lake Area’s senior class, and the guys ahead have at least MAC offers. He’s also an all-state candidate as a punter and could conceivably play tight end, H back, linebacker at the college level.
A pair of running backs were also in the mix. 6-1 205 Grand Rapids Catholic Central junior Nolan Fugate has always tested well at the combine, and this year was no different with top 10 marks in every event, including a 4.55 40 (fourth), 4.24 pro agility (second) and 33 3/5″ vertical (third). Those numbers transfer to the field, where Fugate was invaluable in D4 state champion GRCC’s playoff run with 136 yards and 2 TDs against Allendale and 278 yards and 3 TDs against Unity Christian. With Mike Brown and Antonio Strong matriculating to Miami-OH and GVSU, Fugate will have more touches this fall. He also brings versatility similar to Brown and Strong, as he also projects as a safety or linebacker. So does 6-1 200 Byron Center junior Shane Tagg, who made his name scoring 10 TDs last fall, but can also play safety while contributing on special teams returning kicks or long snapping. What kind of athletes does all that? One with a 4.5 flat 40 (third), 4.26 pro agility (fourth) and 34 1/3 vertical (second).
Offensive Line Outstanding Prospect
OL Johnathan Hardy 6-5 275 Jr Bay City John Glenn: Combination of speed, frame for good college weight and wingspan in right tackle drills separated Hardy as the top line prospect. He ran a 4.71-second 40 and 5.01 pro agility, the best marks of any of the big men. MAC schools will want him on campus for camps, and if he can show some explosion and power in the run game is a fit for that level. Also in the mix here was a lanky, mobile right tackle 6-6 230 Whitehall junior Brandon Rake. He also showed potential as an end rusher. Has to get stronger. Cadillac junior Jacob Kochanny is fit at 6-4, 270. He’s an interior guy who can improve flexibility and technique, but is a nasty hitter who plays hard and finishes off his man. A little more mean will go a long way with Frankfort junior Matthew Stefanski. He was the heaviest player at the combine at 6-5, 305 but showed his basketball pedigree by moving on his feet like a smaller man. Just going by test results you might sell short Jacob Achteroff, but the 6-5, 287 North Muskegon junior put in work during the drills, a worker going both ways with a second- and third-effort motor. Strong and guys felt that when he got hands on.
- OL Brandon Rake 6-6 230 Jr Whitehall
- OL Jacob Kochanny 6-4 270 Jr Cadillac
- OL Matthew Stefanski 6-5 305 Jr Frankfort
- OL Jacob Achteroff 6-5 287 Jr North Muskegon
- OL Sean McKinley 6-3 230 Jr Houghton Lake
- QB Jake Wilson 6-4 195 Jr Petoskey
- RB Nolan Fugate 6-1 205 Jr Grand Rapids Catholic Central
- RB Shane Tagg 6-0 200 Jr Byron Center
- TE Patrick Nugent 6-3 225 Jr Okemos
- WR Jalen Thomas 5-11 169 Jr Utica Ford
- WR Kenny Brewer 6-1 165 Jr Lansing Waverly