Lake Area Prospect Watch: Week 7


Senior Bryant Kieft has already surpassed 1,000 yards and double-digit receiving TDs for undefeated Watervliet.

Class of 2017

Nolan Fugate  6-1  205  Sr  RB  Grand Rapids Catholic Central: Should have MAC offers given his measurables and production for defending D4 state champion and currently undefeated Catholic Central. Since they haven’t caught on yet, he ran for 475 yards and five TDs against Comstock Park. Yeah it’s nice to run behind the Lake Area’s top prospect tackle Jalen Mayfield, but Fugate has the tools to finish the deal as he runs in the 4.5s with that frame, and can cut in tight spaces isn’t just doing it on raw speed.

Elijah Gurley  6-3  245  Sr  DL/OL  Forest Hills Central: Really liked him last season in the playoffs against Lowell as an undersized technician at left tackle. He’s put on 20 pounds since then and emerged as impact pass-rusher for one of the Lake Area’s top teams. Takes advantage of his quickness both ways. Knack for being the first to put the hands on. College future is likely on the defensive side but remains a standout on the O line as well, winning pad level and with live feet.

Bryant Kieft  6-3  205  Sr  ATH  Watervliet: The favored receiving target in one of the Lake Area’s most prolific offenses. A physical mismatch at the small school level where he can outrun most linebackers and dwarfs the typical defensive backs. ‘Vliet QB Zach Pickens gets Kieft the ball in myriad situations and no matter where he is on the field, Kieft tags on yards after the catch, runs hard and is tough to bring down. Thus far he’s made 38 catches for 1,066 yards and 11 TDs. He’s a similar physical presence as an outside linebacker pinning back his ears and blowing around the ends making plays on instinct and hustle good for six sacks and nine tackles for loss. His success at the next level will be determined by how hard he’s willing to work once he can’t just go out and dominate on talent. Likely college future as a tight end or H back. Similar to former LMFR camper Logan Hessbrook, who went from a receiver at Ithaca and SVSU to starting at tight end for CMU when Tyler Conklin was hurt.

Brandon Kramer  6-3  220  Sr  TE  Cedar Springs: Like Zeeland West, Cedar Springs runs the tight T. Cedar isn’t as jumbo sized sans all the Dutch boys, but like with the Dux you’ll find among the roster’s best athletes at tight end. For the Red Hawks that pair is Kramer and 6-4 220 senior Jordon Lyon. Solid down blocker with the straight line speed to get into the second level. The way he moves in the open field as a blocker suggests potential as a route runner. Effective and well-coached in his system, with enough physical tools to make him a recruitable project.

Jace Thornton  6-1  210  Sr  LB  Forest Hills Central: Like his Rangers teammate above, Elijah Gurley, Thornton made a jump athletically from his junior season to now. He’s an outside linebacker with three interceptions, including in FHC’s first win against Lowell this century. It’s not a surprise he can make the catch in coverage, Thornton’s an effective tight end, but he now has explosion to turn the play around like with a pick returned for a TD against Ottawa Hills. Plays solid assignment football.

Class of 2019

Adam Berghorst  6-7  245  Jr  DL  Zeeland East: If you recruit Michigan and miss out on Carman-Ainsworth’s Mike Fletcher, Berghorst isn’t a bad consolation at all. Similar body type, three-sport background and college potential to TC West’s Ryan Hayes. Both are top 5 overall Lake Area prospects in their respective classes. They also had older brothers who are/were D1 linemen. The difference lays on the field, where Berghorst is a prototype D end. His flexibility, elusiveness and motor all belie his size and age. That’s what makes the potential here so scary, because he has the innate qualities for the position with time and coaching to work on his hand work and add strength. Impact maker for undefeated Zeeland East. Hoping to see Berghorst against some physical peers in the postseason.

Jacob Wahlberg  6-3  215  Jr  LB/TE  Muskegon Mona Shores: With success come rewards. Wahlberg is a key two-way player for undefeated Mona Shores, and now has four MAC offers most recently Toledo. Consistent, makes smart reads and can blanket sideline to sideline from his mike linebacker spot. Now handling an ever bigger load with fellow junior linebacker Damari Roberson out with a knee injury. Wahlberg missed some time himself earlier in the season. A productive game next Friday against fellow unbeaten Muskegon, and Wahlberg’s interest from bigger schools could become serious.

Wilson Wirebaugh  6-2  210  Jr  QB  Holland Christian: Also a college baseball prospect. He’s had some big games for he Maroons including 28-of-40 for 357 yards and five TDs against Unity Christian. He followed up that with another five TD game, including two on the ground, Friday at Spring Lake. Plays out of the shotgun and loves the fades, with a knack for dropping in the long ball. Coaches will want to see if he has the velocity for out routes.

Class of 2021

Blake Bosma  6-3  170  Fr  WR  West Ottawa: It’s hard to recall impact freshman receivers in the O-K Red, ever. Here’s one. With defenses focused on senior Xavier Wade, Bosma is a nice check down option for junior QB Isaac VanDuyke. He had a TD catch when Rockford lost track of him in the fourth quarter of the Panthers’ O-K Red clinching come-from-behind win. He’ll be a legit No. 1 the next three years, he makes it look easy with the way he moves and hid hand-eye coordination. Blake comes by the athleticism honestly his dad Duane was an All-American basketball player at Hope and his brother Tyler, a West Ottawa senior, is a hoops all-stater himeself headed to Miami-OH to play baseball. The younger Bosma has some toughness for his age. He’s not afraid to go across the middle or get airborne to make catches, and he’ll engage as a blocker downfield.


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