Author Archive: Senior Staff Writer

Lake Michigan Prospect Watch: Week 2 2018

grandville

Shane Baker is a third-year starting running back for Grandville.

Class of 2019

Shane Baker  5-11  185  Sr  ATH  Grandville: He’s now in his third year doing damage out of the backfield in the Bulldogs’ T offense, including 11 TDs as a junior. Baker is powerful and explosive enough to get off quick to run on the interior, tough and nasty enough to block for the other two backs, fleet enough to turn the corner like he did for a TD at Wayne State against Warren De La Salle, and versatile enough to set up as a receiver split wide where he’s fast into his breaks. Doesn’t have a big frame but an obvious weight room guy who delivers licks on DBs who think they’re going up against a peer. He also starts at cornerback, but the Pilots didn’t throw very often. Could start at multiple positions in the MIAA and provides enough versatility and athletic potential to be a GLIAC contributor.

Tyson Claeys  6-4  230  Sr  TE/DL  Johannesburg-Lewiston: Built and moves like a GLIAC type athlete against small school Northern Michigan. Plays lighter and quicker than his weight might suggest, without being just a receiver as Jo’berg prefers to run and Claeys is a willing down blocker. As a D end, he’s able to get by on speed and without a real assortment of moves, given the level of competition

Bradley Osborne  6-5  250  Sr  TE  Hamilton: He’s a small college prospect in two sports, football and basketball. He’s a competent player, just doesn’t flash as a scholarship-level prospect — good target, soft hands, not much wiggle, explosion, goes down too easily. Willing blocker. Also plays on the D line for the Hawkeyes.

James Patrick  6-0  175  Sr  WR  Grand Rapids Christian: He was quiet in the Eagles’ season-opening loss to DeWitt, but had some big moments on both sides of the ball in a win against Zeeland West, including a TD catch. The score aside, Patrick was able to sit down underneath the Dux’ defense and make catches, then showed toughness and will after the catch. He’s shown earlier in his career that he’s also a threat going over the top or as a kick returner. This isn’t a stereotypical prima donna receiver, Patrick is a real football player. That especially showed against Z-West on defense, where he came off the end as a safety repeatedly sticking his nose in their powerful running game.

Jack Trudeau  6-2  185  Sr  WR  Grand Rapids Catholic Central: A returning starter and top receiver from the Cougars’ D4 state championship game, Trudeau did what he could to preserve their winning streak that ended at Saline, with a TD catch against one of the state’s top big-school programs. While not explosive off the line or with high-end breakaway speed, what Trudeau can do, he does very well — catch the football. Terrific spatial awareness, adjustments, concentration.

Class of 2020

Evan Moskwa  6-1  175  Jr  QB  Muskegon Reeths-Puffer: He was up and down as a sophomore, no shame for an underclassman given RP’s schedule. And we’ll see how he does this week against the defensive speed of Mona Shores. But in Week 2 against Orchard View, Moskwa was the man, throwing for 383 yards and six TDs. RP has a number of weapons at receiver, and Moskwa can pick apart a zone. Also runs with some anger and intent. Main concern as a prospect would be his hand size, if the ball comes out fast enough.

Luke Stuck  6-4  225  Jr  OL/DL  Charlevoix: He’s rounding into shape after missing most of his sophomore season with a knee injury. Naturally big, country strong kid who has potential on various spots on either side of the ball. He played both offensive tackle and tight end against Boyne City. His dad, Matt Stuck, is one of the top athletes ever from Northern Michigan, and his twin sister, Elise, is a D1 basketball prospect.

Connor Worthington  6-2  215  Jr  RB  Grand Haven: Lone back, power runner who in his first two varsity games has helped the Bucs start 2-0, including a week 2 win over Traverse City West in which Worthington ran for 120 yards and a TD. He’s a horse running on the interior. Arm tackles just aren’t going to cut it against Worthington. He’s not quick twitch, but has decent speed once he gets rolling. Can catch the ball in the flat. With his size already, could see him ending up as an H back or tight end at the next level.

Class of 2021

Robert Gordon  5-10  190  So  RB  Niles Brandywine: He rushed for over 1,000 varsity yards as a freshman. As a sophomore he’s halfway there after just two games, running for 533 yards and 10 TDs for 1-1 Brandywine. He’s a retro runner, a true halfback take pitching from a QB under center. He has a low center of gravity, is shifty, fearless and can pull away from defenders in the secondary. You wonder how he’d do against bigger schools, but has some nice tools.

Carson Gulker  6-2  180  So  QB  Zeeland West: You have to be a pretty special quarterback for Zeeland West’s HOF coach John Shilito to actually let you pass, but apparently Gulker is that revolutionary. On one possession he put it up on three straight snaps against Grand Rapids Christian. But we already knew there must be something brewing, as Gulker, then just a freshman, started both of the Dux’ playoff games in 2017, a win against Zeeland East and loss to Muskegon. He further validated those athletic bonafides in the spring as one of the top 15U AAU basketball players in the state. Then in West’s first game of 2018, at Northland in Columbus, OH, he set the school single-game record for touchdown throws. It was two, but still.

Class of 2022

CJ Jones  6-1  195  Fr  LB  Grand Rapids Christian: Zeeland West’s ball-handling, misdirection T offense can be confusing to a veteran defender, let alone for a kid who has yet to see September of his ninth-grade year. But there was Jones, holding his ground against the Dux and piling up a dozen tackles in the Eagles’ win.

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Lake Michigan Prospect Watch: Week 1 2018

wirr

Holland Christian senior QB Wilson Wirebaugh has one of the Lake Area’s strongest arms.

Class of 2019

Logan Brown  6-6  300  Sr  OL  East Kentwood: It’s hard to imagine a more ideal fit than Brown and his college destination, Wisconsin. He’s a big-time run blocker who has rare strength and explosion through his arms and upper body, given his wingspan. If the Badgers can max out his width may have pro potential on the interior of the line, as he had some trouble Saturday with Mona Shores’ smaller edge rushers and in the Big Ten someone like Kenny Willikes could give him fits.

Ryel Daye  5-11  160  Sr  WR/DB  East Kentwood: He’s a terrific second receiver to fellow senior Stephan Bracey, as Daye helps open things up for the Lake Area’s fastest player, and makes big catches himself in one-on-one situations with defenses keyed on Bracey. Small but quick to the ball, able to come back for it or catch it in stride.

Sincer’e Dent  5-11  230  Sr  RB/LB  Muskegon Mona Shores: He delivered a Port City blue-collar beatdown to East Kentwood and its highly ranked recruits, punishing them between and off tackle for five TDs and 223 yards. Dent delivered the first hit through the line, winning contact even when it was against Mazi Smith. One-cut runner who’d power through the line then show deceptive finesse when he gets into one-on-one situations. Was breaking multiple EK tacklers as Dent had the better wind in the second half. Delivered some clean but wicked hits defensively.

Owen DeYoung  6-6  200  Sr  DL  East Grand Rapids: One for coaches to take a flyer on if they think he could be beefed up enough in college weight room/at college training table. Had a knack for being around the ball. Good special teamer as well.

Mitchell Kuzma  6-5  230  Sr  TE  Chippewa Hills: He was the rare Chipp Hills player with the physical bona fides to match up with Muskegon Oakridge, with Kuzma scoring their only TD in a blowout loss. He’s an intriguing prospect with size on the edge. Has soft hands and a willing blocker; needs to catch it away from his body every time and doesn’t have the flexibility or explosiveness to convert to D end or make plays over the middle at the MAC level, but will help someone.

Bryce Neff  6-3  280  Sr  OL  Gaylord: When in search of offensive line help, it’s never a bad idea to peruse the Big North, where Neff was first-team all-league as a junior and has added 15 pounds since then. He projects on the interior in college. He doesn’t have the physical tolls and wingspan to cover up lapses, so his technique has to be sharp as there’s no margin for slippage against elite athletes. When playing low, back straight, is an effective blocker and will get a little nasty which you like.

Grant Papineau  6-2  225  Sr  RB/LB  Central Lake: Just physically too much to handle in 8-man football, where Central Lake is the defending state champion and with roster numbers that would be the envy of many Class B schools. As a junior he was his league’s defensive player of the year, and all-state as a running back rushing for 2,067 yards and 26 TDs.

Colt Stout  6-4  260  Sr  DL  Muskegon Mona Shores: He brought it right at East Kentwood’s touted linemen, going both ways. Was aggressive and collapsed the interior from the D line allowing Mona’s smaller edge guys to make plays. Stout also started at left tackle on a unit that was smaller than the EK guys on the other side but whupped them for most of the day by hitting first with superior quickness and fitness.

Jacob Wahlberg  6-4  220  Sr  LB  Muskegon Mona Shores: WMU commitment was of high value on both sides of the ball for Mona. He closed off the middle of the field against the run, a long armed athlete who navigates space with feel and confidence. Offensively he helped block against East Kentwood’s big D line, an extra body as an H back to make life a bit easier on a rookie quarterback.

Wilson Wirebaugh  6-2  200  Sr  QB  Holland Christian: To say Wirebaugh’s only the third best quarterback in the Maroons’ brief football history is no insult, since the highest-paid signal caller in the world is only No. 2 on the list. Wirebaugh has two veteran targets and a great rapport with fellow seniors Brady Howe and Will VanWieren.  Both could surpass 1,000 yards in 2018. The latter caught a pair of TDs from Wirebaugh who threw for 276 yard and four scores while running for 100 and another in a win over Coopersville. The damage on the ground, breaking tackles down the middle for a TD, was a nice addition for Wirebaugh, whom we already knew could light it up with his are after his junior season. He also looked at home in rare chances not in the shotgun, going under center in the red zone. He has a big arm and beats you over the top then it opens up underneath. His junior season had to put it up by volume both by design and because Holland Christian couldn’t stop anyone and had to out-score you, but Wirebaugh still threw efficiently.

Class of 2020

Caden Broersma  6-3  210  Jr  QB  Muskegon Mona Shores: Poised, efficient and confident in his first varsity QB start. He handled the ball well as Sincere Dent ran wild on EK, and connected when he had to including a two minute drill to score and go up eight at the end of the first half and on a long drive to put the game away with a 22-point lead in the fourth, a big-time throw to his receiver’s back shoulder. Broersma also had a nice run on the first-half ending drive. He was 7-of-9 for 213 yards including a 75-yard TD to senior James Gilbert. Showed chutzpah standing in with Mazi Smith bearing down on him to complete a screen pass to Dent. He has the size, athletic pedigree and is playing in the right system to blossom as one of the top offensive weapons in the Lake Area over the next two seasons.

Cameron Martinez  5-11  190  Jr  ATH  Muskegon: Muskegon keeps rolling them out at quarterback, athletes who explode from behind dominant Big Reds line play. Martinez answered the question was he just getting by on talent against smaller schools at Muskegon Catholic, or did those gifts transfer to the big stage and in fact look all the more dangerous playing off of other Power 5 prospects. It was the latter. In his Muskegon High debut he blew through Warren De La Sale for 291 yards and five touchdowns. Martinez isn’t just quick, but is strong and has elite body control starting and stopping in tight spaces, getting horizontal to the sideline while riding the edge. He has offers from schools like Indiana, Syracuse, Kentucky and Boston College, but clearly has the ability to play at the upper tier schools in their league.

Bryce Mostella  6-6  235  Jr  DL  East Kentwood: His physical tools and potential are reflected in his offers from a who is who of heartland football — Ohio State, Notre Dame, MSU, Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin. Lanky but athletic frame to put on good weight and overs a lot of space coming around the edge, even if he’s redirected can recover with his wingspan and still cut down passing windows for the quarterback. Will be truly dangerous with some inside power, counter pass rushes and getting dialed in every play, become a dog on the field not just a camp guy; his penalty set up Mona Shores’ first touchdown.

John Shelton  5-11  205  Jr  RB  East Grand Rapids: Defenders bounce off him. The only guy from Zeeland East who was able to bring down Shelton on the initial hit was Boone Bonnema, one of the Lake Area’s best and headed to WMU. Otherwise it was a pinball tournament for Shelton who was able to turn nothing into something breaking tackles in the backfield, or running 70 yards to cover 40, he was resilient and tough, a spinning ball of muscle. Not your traditional EGR North-South workhorse back. Valuable in passing situations because he’d lay into rushers as a blocker.

Class of 2022  

Tag Bonnema  6-4  185  Fr  ATH  Zeeland East: He’s listed on the Chix’ roster as a quarterback, a position in the good hands of senior Gabe Taylor who led ZE to a season-opening win against EGR. But Bonnema is so talented and bubbling with potential that he has to be out on the field. In this case that was on special teams — and starting at inside linebacker next to one of the best in the business, his brother senior Boone Bonnema. Tag is already taller, a lanky, eager counterpart who moved well but often over-pursued. As this kid sees film, the game slows down for him and he starts to fill out, the potential is immense.

Andrew DeVries  6-2  280  Fr  OL  Zeeland East: Here’s a rarity, a ninth-grader starting at left tackle for a playoff-caliber Class A school. He looked right at home out there, comfortable in his own body for a big kid so young. While he struggled at times against smaller, quick pass rushers from East Grand Rapids, young Andrew earned his allowance as a run blocker and it was no coincidence that when QB Gabe Taylor or running back Josh Fusco needed key yards they ran behind him.

LMFR Combine: All-Offense Team

  • Cody Tierney  5-11  175  Jr  Grand Rapids Northview  MVP
  • Kevin Blaylock  6-2  280  So  OL  Berrien Springs
  • Michael Sarabyn  6-6  280  Jr  OL  Dowagiac
  • Ty Potter  6-2  225  Jr  OL  Hudonsville
  • Peyton Dustin  6-5  260  Jr  OL  Berrien Springs
  • Jacob Lyle  6-0  160  So  QB  Kalamazoo Central
  • Phillip Jones  5-8  160  Jr  RB  Reed City
  • Giovanni Weeks  6-1  180  Jr  RB  Kent City
  • Shane Baker  5-11  185  Jr  RB  Grandville
  • Camron Terry  5-9  180  Fr  RB  Grandville
  • Kalen Brow  6-1  180  Jr  WR  Wyoming Godwin Heights
  • Jaiden Friesen  5-10  190  So  UTL  Rockford

LMFR Combine: All-Defense Team

  • Traven VanOss  5-11  200  Jr  LB  Three Rivers MVP
  • Alex Overla  6-2  265  Jr  DL  Caledonia
  • Tom Beckman  6-3  235  Fr  DL  Saugatuck
  • Leonard Johnson  6-0  280  Fr  DL  Benton Harbor
  • Derek Meyering  6-4  200  Jr  Edge  Grand Rapids South Christian
  • Matt Bilski  5-11  215  Jr  LB  Grand Rapids West Catholic
  • Griffen Caul  6-1  180  Jr  LB  East Grand Rapids
  • Jalin Jones  5-9  195  Jr  LB  Benton Harbor
  • Jake Snyder  6-0  175  So  DB  Charlevoix
  • Jackson Price  5-10  170  Jr  DB  Reed City
  • Jake Matheny  6-0  160  Jr  DB  Paw Paw
  • Colton Bryce  6-1  180  So  UTL  Frankenmuth

 

LMFR Combine: Top 10 Powerball Throws

Top 10 powerball throws from the LMFR combine.

1. Cody Tierney 5-11 175 Jr Grand Rapids Northview: 37’1
2. Alex Overla 6-2 275 Jr Caledonia: 36’2
3. Zeveon McDonald 6-0 170 Jr Wyoming Godwin Heights: 36’1″
Camron Terry 5-9 180 Fr Grandville: 36’1
5. Giovanni Weeks 6-1 180 Jr Kent City: 35’5
6. Bryce Gable 5-11 195 Jr Grandville: 35’1
7. Jake Matheny 6-0 160 Jr Paw Paw: 35′
8. Shane Baker 5-11 185 Jr Grandville: 34’7
Griffen Caul 6-1 180 Jr East Grand Rapids: 34’7
10. Kevin Blaylock 6-2 280 So Berrien Springs: 34’2

LMFR Combine: Top 10 Vertical Leaps

Top 10 vertical leaps from LMFR Combine.

1. Jackson Price 5-10 170 Jr Reed City: 35″
Giovanni weeks 6-1 180 Jr Kent City: 35″
2. Jalin Jones 5-9 195 Jr Benton Harbor: 34 1/2″
3. Colton Bryce 6-1 180 So Frankenmuth: 33 1/2″
Griffen Caul 6-1 180 Jr East Grand Rapids: 33 1/2″
Cody Tierney 5-11 175 Jr Grand Rapids Northview: 33 1/2″
Kade Schreiber 5-11 160 Jr Dowagiac: 33 1/2″
Traven VanOss 5-11 200 Jr Three Rivers: 33 1/2″
9. Shane Baker 5-11 185 Jr Grandville: 33 1/3″
Zeveon McDonald 6-0 170 Jr Wyoming Godwin Heights: 33 1/3″

LMFR Combine: Top 10 Pro Agility Drills

Top 10 times from the pro agility drills at the LMFR Combine.

1. Jackson Price 5-10 170 Jr Reed City: 4.31 seconds
2. Marcel Murray 6-0 185 So Benton Harbor: 4.34
3. Jalin Jones 5-9 195 Jr Benton Harbor: 4.35
4. Carson VanderHoff 5-11 170 Fr Caledonia: 4.40
5. Quindarius Davis 5-10 160 So Benton Harbor: 4.41
Jake Matheny 6-0 160 Jr Paw Paw: 4.41
7. Jared Broton 6-0 175 Jr Ravenna: 4.44
8. Jacob Lyle 6-0 160 So Kalamazoo Central: 4.45
9. Kade Schreiber 5-11 160 Jr Dowagiac: 4.49
10. De’Ondray Henry 6-0 165 So Dowagiac: 4.53

LMFR Combine: Top 10 40 times

The top 10 40-yard dash times from the LMFR Combine.

1. Cody Tierney 5-11 175 Jr Grand Rapids Northview: 4.41 seconds
Jake Snyder 6-0 175 So Charlevoix: 4.41
3. Phillip Jones 5-8 165 So Reed City: 4.46
4. Camron Terry 5-9 180 Fr Grandville: 4.47
5. Hunter Williamson 6-1 190 So Dowagiac: 4.51
6. Traven VanOss 5-11 200 Jr Three Rivers: 4.57
7. Griffen Caul 6-1 180 Jr East Grand Rapids: 4.58
8. Jackson Price 5-10 170 Jr Reed City: 4.59
9. De’Ondray Henry 6-0 165 So Dowagiac: 4.60
10. Giovanni Weeks 6-1 180 Jr Kent City: 4.61

LMFR Combine Defensive: Traven VanOss

He piled up tackles for Three Rivers the past two seasons, and it was easy to see how he did, and why he will be next season and in college years to come based on Traven VanOss‘ performance at the LMFR Combine.

The 5-11, 200-pound junior mike linebacker had top 10 performances in the 40-yard dash, 4.57 seconds, and no-step vertical leap, 34 1/3″. His pro agility time of 4.76 seconds was the fastest of any participant weighing at least 200 pounds.

VanOss solidified his MVP status by backing up his test numbers with on-field performance in the drills. He plays with good balance, a low, coiled athlete flowing to the ball. His 4.0 book smarts translate to the field as VanOss is efficient in movement and ends up in the right spot at the right time. Expect him to be recruited by the likes of Hillsdale and Ivy League schools.

LMFR Combine Offensive MVP: Cody Tierney

He was already the most prolific pass catcher in the Lake Area, coming off a junior season at Grand Rapids Northview when he had 58 receptions for 1,329 yards and 19 touchdowns. 5-11, 175- pound junior Cody Tierney showed he has the measurable as well, and comes away as the 2018 LMFR Combine Offensive MVP and looking all the part of a future MAC slot receiver.

Tierney ran the fastest 40-yard dash time at the combine, 4.41 seconds. He matched that with the longest power ball throw, 37’1″. Tierney also tuned in a top 10 no-step vertical leap at over 33″. That kind of explosion makes him a more dangerous threat in the end zone because of his ability to get off the ground and high-point the ball.

The drill session was also a good look for Tierney. One drop aside, he made the QBs’ lives easier with full-speed, well-paced, separation routes. Knows how to make a defender miss, either on the line or after the catch.