Lake Area Prospect Watch: Week 12

Class of 2018

Christian Balanda  6-6  275  Sr  OL/DL  Forest Hills Central: Noteworthy basically for his size alone as a junior, he’s become a legitimate player as a senior, the starting right tackle for an undefeated Rangers team in the D2 state semifinals. Does a good job shooting his hands and keeping them inside. Balanda is a better run blocker than in pass protection where lack of flexibility and quickness show through and he can struggle holding the edge against athletic rushers. Shows decent instincts in stints at defensive tackle. Size and experience against high-end competition will give him a shot at the next level.

Seth Davis  5-9  175  Sr  ATH  Ithaca: Saw him live in the regional at Montague and loved the production and toughness. An edge guy for Ithaca and perfect at it for the high school level, as he’s able to pressure the quarterback or drop back and make plays in coverage. Made big third- and fourth-down stops, had a crucial interception and return, recovered a fumble and had a long reception of his own. Probably safety at the college level.

Cole Schut  6-4  270  Sr  OL  Holland: Like Balanda above, another lineman who made a big jump in improvement as a senior, but is more ready-made and less of a project. Schut is a return starter at left tackle who helped Holland make a playoff appearance. Committed to Grand Valley State over offers from Hillsdale, Drake, Bucknell, Morehead State and Concordia. Quick, aggressive first step as a run blocker. What he lacks in wingspan he makes up for in speed, technique, base/balance and high game IQ working angles and leverage.

Class of 2019 

Preston Johnson  6-3  170  Jr  WR  Reed City: Reed City is going to run it mostly and who can blame them the Coyotes are in the Division 5 semifinals. That makes Johnson often a blocker. But you have to like his physical profile and long, smooth stride. He had a 60-yard TD catch in the regular season against Tri-County.

Class of 2020

Josh Priebe  6-4  265  So  OL  Edwardsburg: Zeeland West is home, but Edwardsburg continues to represent Lake Area wing-T offenses in the playoffs, with a return appearance to the semifinals. Preibe is the right guard on a line that just man-handled Lansing Sexton in the regional, rolling up 353 rushing yards and 52 points. He moves really well for his size and age and is good at creating the horizontal lanes you want from the wing-T. If Priebe wasn’t out-quicking Sexton’s shorter, squatter D linemen to gain pad level advantage, he was pulling or getting into the second level and dwarfing the Big Reds’ linebackers. Plays with some attitude and swagger, which isn’t common among young big guys. One of the Lake Area’s top interior line prospects in the 2020 group.


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