Class of 2018
Luke Buckman 6-5 225 Sr TE Holland: Luke’s older brother Wade Buckman was a Holland QB now a tight end at Purdue. The younger sibling made the switch earlier, as a junior when he had the height and skill position but not the strength. Now that he’s put on weight, Buckman was one of the most improved players in the Lake Area for a Holland team eliminated in the D3 opening round by Muskegon. Solid both in his routes and hands, what makes Buckman an attractive prospect for the next level is that he combines a fondness and toughness for blocking to go with his ball skills.
Kenyon Story 6-2 260 Sr DL Breckenridge: From outside the usual coverage area but a nice small town story, no pun intended, as Breckenridge just won the first playoff game in school history. Story is a two-way tackle whose future is on the defensive side. Fits the profile of so many players from small rural schools who have slipped onto GLIAC rosters and left as starters and all-league. What makes Story so promising is his somewhat unexpected speed. There are two more recruitable linemen in Breckenridge’s junior class 6-4, 240 junior Schriver Miller and 6-1, 250 junior Hunter Smith the Huskies’ leading tackler.
Class of 2019
Noah Evers 6-3 260 Jr OL Plainwell: When a Wolverine Conference can knock an O-K team out of the playoffs it’s a quality W and Plainwell did just that in the opening round against South Christian. Evers is Plainwell’s left tackle and while he doesn’t project to that spot for college he’s perfect for their power running game because he’s compact and violent in small spaces. Toughness and can run a little bit, projects as a guard.
Jack Haverdink 6-4 260 Jr OL Portage Northern: One of the best linemen to come out of the Lake Area in the 1980s, Jack’s father Kevin Haverdink went from Hamilton (also the starting center on the Hawkeyes’ state championship basketball team) to outstanding teams at WMU and then the Saints. The younger Haverdink will be a three-year starter at left tackle for the Huskies. Tough run blocker because he’s big and strong at point of attack. Has some skill as well not just mauling guys, he’s able to get pad level on smaller ends and use angles to redirect him. That technique is about all you can project to his pass protection. If he’s able to play upright as well at camps, it’s not inconceivable Haverdink gets Big Ten interest.
Gio Weeks 6-0 170 Jr RB Kent City: Catalyst of the first team in school history to have an undefeated regular season. Kent City’s biggest test will come in the district final against fellow D6 unbeaten Montague and a junior running back star to counter Weeks in Bryce Stark. Weeks has plus speed for high school let alone for a Class C school and he’s easily able to the corners to get perpendicular again to the end zone and attack. Weeks gives you more than that because he’s also a tough runner between tackles. Can catch the ball out of the backfield and is a threat returning kicks. It can be hard for small-school backs to break through to the college ranks, but with Weeks’ speed — school-record sprinter — he could be able to separate himself on recruiters’ lists in the future as he does now from defenses.