Thursday, Aug. 25
Cedar Springs (6-4 2015) @ Zeeland West (14-0): Defending state champ West will again contend in D4, if not quite in such juggernaut fashion after graduating three-year QB , LMFR 2015 defensive MVP Zack VanValkenburg and 2,000-yard, 30-TD back Darius Perisee. Though Byron Center is one of the fastest overall teams in the Lake Area and will return to the playoffs. Zeeland West should again go through the O-K Green slate clean. The non-league schedule is legit with games at Mona Shores and West Catholic following this home opener with Cedar Springs. No team in the Lake Area has a better tight end combination than the Dux with grinding blocker 6-4 275 senior Conner Chupailo and long, athletic catch-and-run threat 6-5, 235 senior Jayk Slager. HOF coach John Shillito rarely lacks for running back depth so pencil in a 1,000+ back, senior Drake Fincannon getting the first crack. Cedar Springs is Dux Lite, a blue-collar wing-T team in its own right with a third-year starter at QB in 5-11, 205 Collin Alvesteffer. Cedar will be challenged to return to the playoffs as the newfangled O-K White is a strong league than they faced in the Bronze, plus West and Grand Rapids Christian non-conference.
Forest Hills Eastern (10-2) @ Petoskey (8-4): This game marks the debut of a new stadium for Petoskey, which doubles the seating of decrepit Curtis Field. Helping break in the turf is FHE coming off the best season in school history. Both teams must replace record-setting QBs, Eastern’s Jack Clark and Petoskey’s Evan Whitmore. Also among the 20 graduated Northmen starters is all-time rusher Brent Murray. Whitmore’s replacement, Joel Wilson, is a good athlete with size. The Hawks will lean heavily on Cade Peters, a revelation running the ball as a sophomore.
Friday, Aug. 26
East Grand Rapids (9-4) @ Grand Rapids Catholic Central (9-2): A pair of the Lake Area’s historic programs will christen Catholic’s new stadium, which is at the intersection of Knapp and Leffingwell. It’s a big day for East as well, the first time in 16 seasons Lake Area legend (seven state titles in 13 playoff appearances) Peter Stuursma won’t be on the Pioneers sideline. He’s now the head coach at Hope College, as Casey Longo steps in for the Pioneers. Easing his transition is EGR’s move from the weekly battleground that was the O-K White to a more pedestrian O-K Gold. Catholic Central would’ve been the defending champ in the Gold, but now will fight it out with West Catholic for O-K Blue supremacy. The Cougars’ top college prospects are in the 2018 class with versatile, athletic juniors 6-5, 245 Jalen Mayfield and 6-0, 205 Nolan Fugate.
Saline (10-1) @ Rockford (8-4): The Rams are looking to avenge last season’s opener a 13-point loss at Saline. Rockford has the edge in experience this time around and is poised to win yet another O-K Red title. The junior class is particularly strong with prospects like 6-5, 200 QB Jason Whittaker, 6-5, 300 center Cody Carone and 6-0, 185 cornerback Marcus Remtema. Saline has to replace star QB Josh Jackson, now at Virginia Tech, but his favored target tight end Bryce Wolma is back. He’s going to Arizona.
Saturday, Aug. 27
Muskegon (9-3) vs. Ann Arbor Pioneer @ U. of Michigan: This scenario might faze some programs, but Muskegon is used to facing high-end talent (Pioneer’s Antjuan Simmons is one of the state’s top players), winning programs (Pioneer trails only Muskegon in all-time wins), and competing in big-time venues. That’s what you sign on for when becoming a Big Red. Simmons, Jordan Hubbard and Jordan Nwogu will challenge a young Muskegon line that lost the Lake Area’s top 2018 prospect, left tackle Antwan Reed, to Florida’s IMG Academy. Once the bigs gel watch out, because Muskegon has an embarrassment of playmakers on both sides of the ball. QB/receiver Kalil Pimpleton isn’t big but his college is — Virginia Tech, so will that of linebacker Andrew Ward and while 6-2, 205 senior Jacorey Sullivan won’t blow by you he’s a physical receiver and as a safety seems to always be around the ball. Sullivan and Pioneer’s Cedric Benton could both help their stock if they’re matched up.
DL Nate Umlor 6-5 260 Sr Allendale: A row the boat loyalist who will be a rare four-year varsity starter. Just as rare, his combination of brawler toughness and athletic quickness on the line. Caught four TDs as a tight end.
DL Johnathan Berghorst 6-3 270 Sr Zeeland East: A two-way force against one of the Lake Area’s toughest schedules in 2015, Berghorst now leads Zeeland East out of the Black into the O-K Green. A CMU commitment who projects as a plus-athlete at D tackle at the next level.
DL Jayk Slager 6-5 235 Sr Zeeland West: Flashed big-time potential last season for the D4 state champion Dux, playing on the opposite end from Lake Area Defensive MVP Zack VanValkenburg. But even garnering more blocking attention, Slager has the explosion and wingspan to still mix things up. Goes both ways and with Conner Chupailo forms the state’s top tight end duo.
LB Andrew Ward 6-1 215 Sr Muskegon: A closer at middle linebacker who can defend sideline to sideline, Ward made 83 tackles in 2015. He has offers from the likes of Nebraska, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Arizona and Washington State.
LB Dalton Agers 5-10 185 Sr Hudsonville: With the graduation Rockford’s Tyler Bradfield, Agers becomes the top two-way threat in the O-K Red. He’s led Hudsonville in tackles for two seasons, and rushing one.
LB Corey Malone-Hatcher 6-3 245 St. Joseph: The Michigan pledge is one of the state’s most highly regarded prospects, he’s just played a limited amount of high school football because of injuries.
LB Connor Bruinius 6-2 220 Sr Forest Hills Northern: He filled a leadership void when senior QB Jake Martin was injured last year and the Huskies returned to the playoffs. This will be his third season starting at both running back and linebacker.
DB Brayden Smith 6-4 180 Sr Byron Center: Athletic playmaker recruited to WMU as a safety. He made 53 tackles, caught 10 TDs and was an all-state punter.
DB Walker Christoffersen 5-10 180 Sr Muskegon Catholic Central: Shifty runner with soft hands who dominated both ways for the D8 champions. Christoffersen made two picks in the 2015 state final to help preserve a 7-0 win over Waterford Lakes.
DB Blake Dunn 5-11 175 DB Saugatuck: Four-sport all-stater is the top athlete from this nook of the Mitten since Richie Jordan. Dunn had 84 tackles and seven interceptions as a junior, while dominating the other way as a QB who 2.700 yards and 36 TDs while throwing for 1,000 and 18 TDs. He’s committed to WMU for baseball.
DB David Fox 6-1 220 DB Grand Rapids West Catholic: The Falcons’ best all-around player when healthy, which Fox was in the 2015 D5 state final when he ran for 152 yards and three TDs against River Rouge. Built like a linebacker and moving like a safety, Fox can also play QB, running back and receiver. He made three interceptions as a junior, two as a sophomore.
OL Phil Paea 6-4 285 Sr Berrien Springs: He was recruited to Michigan as a defensive tackle. But Paea, the Lake Area’s No. 1 ranked prospect in 2017, is also the best guard in our coverage area. He chose U-M over the likes of MSU, USC and Notre Dame.
OL Jalen Mayfield 6-5 245 Jr Grand Rapids Catholic Central: He has added 20 pounds since starting as a sophomore at tackle, all while staying fit with AAU basketball. Mayfield already has an offer from Central Michigan.
OL Turner Ruby 6-4 280 Sr East Kentwood: Overshadowed by fellow tackle Trenton Fincher last season, and there are underclassman getting buzz for the Falcons this year. But Ruby is the steady holdover who is versatile enough to lay up and down the line — he projects as a guard in college, while occasionally lining up at tight end for EK.
OL Mason Shirrell 6-5 220 Sr Muskegon Orchard View: He may not be as heavy as a lot of upperclassman linemen, but Shirrell wins with technique, athleticism and has the frame to put on significant good weight at the next level.
OL Erik Ditzhazy 6-5 270 Sr Forest Hills Northern: He moved from center to tackle as a junior and the rest, as they say, is history, as he showed the athletic potential to be offered and accept a scholarship from Central Michigan.
TE Keegan Cossou 6-5 225 Sr Greenville: A Central Michigan commitment, last season Cossou made 40 catches for 582 yards and five TDs.
QB Jason Whittaker 6-5 200 Jr Rockford: Already a high percentage passer as an underclassman, look for Whittaker’s numbers to be up from the 784 yards and 11 TDs in just eight games he threw for in 2015. He has all the physical tools as a pro-style QB and is the Lake Area’s top prospect at the position since Kirk Cousins was at Holland Christian.
RB Nick Isley 6-2 200 Sr Rockford: He was Rockford’s leading rusher as a junior and should have more opportunities now that all-time Rams great Tyler Bradfield has graduated. Isley has sub-4.5 speed at 200 pounds.
RB LaTommy Scott 5-7 160 Sr Muskegon Catholic Central: One of the Crusaders’ talented trio of backs with fellow seniors Walker Christoffersen and Logan Helton who are trying to lead them to a fourth-straight Division 8 state title. Scott ran for 1,235 yards and 23 TDs in 2015.
WR Drew Couturier 5-10 145 Sr Allendale: The most prolific returning receiver in the Lake Area. As a junior Couturier made 73 receptions for 1,362 and 15 TDs. He also had five interceptions.
ATH Kalil Pimpleton 5-7 150 Sr Muskegon: A standout quarterback last season, Pimpleton, a Virginia Tech commitment, is expected to contribute as a playmaker from various spots as a senior. He both ran and threw for over 1,000 yards in 2015.
Now in its fourth year, the Lake Michigan Football Report’s Grand Rapids Combine has been both a venue for established players to defend their reputations, and unknown prospects make their names. Here are the outstanding offensive players from the 2016 LMFR Combine.
Nick Isley 6-2 200 Jr RB Rockford: He was Rockford’s leading rusher as a junior at a healthy 8 yards a pop. Look for him to explode as a senior with Tyler Bradfield having graduated. Isley showed off his physical bonafides here in what may have been the most dominating combine performance in the event’s four-year history. He recorded the top marks in the 40-yard dash, 4.47 seconds; powerball toss, 43-feet; and vertical leap, 35 1/4″.
Outstanding Offensive Prospect
Drew Couturier 5-10 145 Jr WR Allendale: He was the Lake Area All-Junior Team offensive MVP after a junior season in which Couturier made 14 TD catches. Now he follows that up with a big-time combine showing. Dismiss him because of his size at your own risk, he’s fearless and can fly. Even when he didn’t make the catch it could be spectacular, like when he laid out horizontal in the air just to get his hands on a throw. He repeatedly freed himself in his routes with initial quickness then breakaway speed. Couturier had the third-best 40-time, 4.54 seconds; No. 5 vertical leap, 33 1/3″; and top 10 pro agility drill, 4.25 seconds.
- OL Joe Hruska 6-4 265 Jr Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix
- OL Dane Stanbaugh 6-4 335 Jr Lake Odessa Lakewood
- OL Mason Shirrell 6-5 210 Jr Muskegon Orchard View
- OL Lane Potter 6-3 270 Jr Hudsonville
- OL Reide Klinger 6-4 280 Jr Jenison
- TE Austin Lewis 6-4 190 So Fennville
- QB Jakob Kurnat 6-0 150 So Byron Center
- RB Shane Tagg 6-0 195 So Byron Center
- RB Christopher Chin 5-11 195 Jr Byron Center
- WR Sam Neville 6-3 196 Jr Grand Rapids West Catholic
- WR Joshua Atwell 5-10 185 Jr Grandville
Outstanding Defensive Prospect
Tim Bott 5-10 175 Jr LB Traverse City St. Francis: He came in and carried himself with the confidence gained from developing in one of the state’s most historic and successful programs, then showed that it was more than just in his head with a big-time combine performance under the gun. His 4.50-second 40-yard dash was the second fastest time, then Bott placed third in the vertical leap at 33 2/3 inches, third in the pro agility in 4.16 seconds and had a top 10 power ball toss of 36 feet. At his size coaches will want to see Bott’s transition to safety, but he certainly has the tools with which to work.
- DL Dan VanOpstall 6-6 220 So Jenison
- DL Ike Moore 6-0 255 Jr Comstock Park
- DL Raymond Cunningham 6-3 265 So Charlevoix
- LB Toby Hulst 6-1 210 So Grand Rapids South Christian
- LB Ethan Hart 6-2 210 Jr Hastings
- LB Dalton Agers 5-10 210 Jr Hudsonville
- LB Brett Taylor 6-0 220 So Comstock Park
- DB Nolan Fugate 6-1 202 So Grand Rapids Catholic Central
- DB Erik Walker 5-8 160 Jr Dowagiac
- DB Jalen Raninga 5-11 175 Jr Grandville
- UTL Alex Riggs 6-0 205 Jr Comstock Park
- Phil Paea 6-4 270 Jr OL/DL Berrien Springs Michigan
- Andrew Ward 6-1 215 Jr LB Muskegon
- Corey Malone Hatcher 6-3 245 Jr LB/DL St. Joseph
- Nate Umlor 6-6 245 Jr DL/TE Allendale Western Michigan
- Brayden Smith 6-4 180 Jr DB Byron Center Western Michigan
- Kalil Pimpleton 5-7 150 Jr ATH Muskegon Virginia Tech
- Johnathan Berghorst 6-3 260 Jr DL Zeeland East Central Michigan
- Jacorey Sullivan 6-3 205 Jr WR/DB Muskegon
- Keegan Coussou 6-5 225 Jr TE Greenville Central Michigan
- Sam Neville 6-3 195 Jr WR/DB Grand Rapids West Catholic
- Connor Chupailo 6-4 260 Jr OL Zeeland West
- Walker Christoffersen 5-9 175 Jr ATH Muskegon Catholic Central
- Steven Spenner 6-3 215 LB Berrien Springs Central Michigan
- Ben Sherwin 6-5 240 Jr DL/OL Traverse City Central
- Jayk Slager 6-4 230 Jr DL/TE Zeeland West
- Erik Dithazy 6-5 260 Jr OL Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern Central Michigan
- Nick Isley 6-2 200 Jr RB Rockford
- Blake Dunn 5-11 170 Jr ATH Saugatuck Western Michigan (baseball)
- Chase Fairfield 6-4 215 Jr TE North Muskegon
- John Pupel 6-1 180 Jr DB Traverse City Central
- Evan Plate 6-3 220 Jr LB Greenville Central Michigan
- Drew Couturier 5-10 145 WR/DB Allendale
- Jack Mandryk 6-1 175 Jr ATH Hudsonville
- Turner Ruby 6-4 285 Jr OL East Kentwood
- Patrick DiPiazza 6-3 260 Jr OL Cedar Springs
- Julian Sheriff 5-11 220 Jr RB Bridgman
- Ben Alvarez 6-1 205 Jr LB Portage Central
- LaTommy Scott 5-7 160 Jr RB Muskegon Catholic Central
- Ricky Clark 6-0 180 Jr DB Schoolcraft
- Duke Angers 6-1 230 Jr LB Maple City Glen Lake
- Levi Finley 6-4 290 Jr OL Mattawan
- Veronell Smith 6-0 190 Jr RB North Muskegon
- Michael Doyle 6-4 225 Jr DL Lowell
- Zach Zenner 5-10 175 Jr DB Grand Rapdis West Catholic
- Autin McCullough 6-4 185 WR Portage Central
- Joe Hruska 6-4 265 Jr OL Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix
- Reide Klinger 6-4 280 OL Jenison
- Lane Potter 6-3 270 Jr OL Hudsonville
- Nick Kunkel 6-1 255 Jr DL Holland Christian
- Tim Bott 5-10 175 Jr DB Traverse City St. Francis
1. Hunter Broermsa 6-0 190 WR Muskegon Mona Shores Western Michigan
2. Zach VanValkenburg 6-4 240 DL/LB Zeeland West Hillsdale
3. Jacob Cerny 6-5 295 OL Traverse City West Illinois
4. Tyler Bradfield 5-11 190 ATH Rockford Grand Valley State
5. Michael VanHoeven 6-5 300 OL Paw Paw Eastern Michigan
6. Nolan Meekhof 6-1 230 RB Grandville Davenport
7. Darece Roberson 5-9 160 WR/DB Muskegon Mona Shores Western Michigan
8. James Wyrick 5-9 205 RB Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills Ferris State
9. Trenton Fincher 6-8 305 OL East Kentwood San Diego State
10. Keidren Davis 6-5 220 TE Grand Rapids Union Toledo
11. Chris Veenstra 6-6 240 DL/TE Wyoming Northern Michigan
12. Kobe Burse 6-2 210 WR/DB Muskegon Mona Shores Miami-OH
13. Carl Myers 6-3 260 DL Grand Rapids West Catholic Michigan
14. Christian Boyd 6-2 270 DL Muskegon Mona Shores
15. Gabe Baumann 6-3 260 DL Rockford Northern Michigan
16. Gabe Steed 6-1 180 WR Lowell
17. Pat Naughton 6-2 185 QB Comstock Park
18. Michael Williams 5-9 175 ATH Wyoming Davenport
19. Keegan Golder 6-4 270 OL Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern Grand Valley State
20. Marlon Dorsey 6-1 175 DB East Kentwood Davenport
21. Khylin Barton 6-3 180 WR Zeeland East Michigan State
22. Derices Brown 6-2 280 OL/DL Muskegon
23. Tyler Lyle 6-1 215 LB Kalamazoo Central Eastern Michigan
24. Brendan Oosse 6-2 240 DL East Grand Rapids Hillsdale
25. Jake Martin 6-0 190 QB Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
26. Ryan Knight 6-2 200 WR Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern Northern Michigan
27. Juanye Johnson 6-3 275 OL Muskegon Ferris State
28. Jake Boonstra 6-4 285 OL Grand Rapids Kenowa HIlls Ferris State
29. Jamari Booker 6-0 180 LB/DB East Kentwood
30. Monterio Smith 5-10 180 RB Comstock Park Siena Heights
31. Dom Shermeta 6-0 215 LB Muskegon Mona Shores Davenport
32. James Cooper 6-3 170 WR Muskegon Oakridge Ferris State
33. Luke Sage 6-1 195 LB Boyne City
34. Daryn Snow 6-3 190 WR Portage Northern
35. Jacob Buchberger 6-1 185 ATH Montague Davenport
36. Evan MacCauley 6-2 280 OL/DL Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern Grand Valley State
37. Adam Farah 6-1 180 WR Forest Hills Northern Air Force
38. David Curl 6-3 250 DL Watervliet Ferris State
39. Simeon Smith 6-6 205 WR/TE Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix Michigan
40. TJ Swore 6-2 200 WR Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian
41. Keyante Carpenter 5-9 175 DB Muskegon Ferris State
42. Taylor VanDyke 6-3 215 LB/TE Cedar Springs
43. Brent Murray 5-10 190 RB/LB Petoskey Hillsdale
44. James Haverkamp 6-6 260 OL Grand Rapids Christian
45. Mike Bordeaux 6-3 285 OL Muskegon Mona Shores
46. Conner Nemers 6-1 185 WR Grand Rapids West Catholic
47. Devin Moore 6-5 225 TE/LB Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern Yale
48. Kyle Augustine 6-3 320 OL Gaylord Northern Michigan
49. Brenden Bott 6-4 260 DL Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills Davenport
50. Malik Smith 5-9 5-9 210 RB Boyne City Michigan State
51. Mitchell Davis 6-5 260 OL Lowell Hillsdale
52. Tyler Lamica 6-3 205 LB Grand Rapids Christian Robert Morris
53. David Williams 6-3 225 LB Holland Christian
54. Nate Jones 6-1 205 LB Muskegon Catholic Central Hillsdale
55. Nick Turowski 6-1 180 WR Comstock Park Michigan Tech
56. Dante Razzano 6-2 190 ATH Dowagiac Michigan State
57. Jordan Brewer 6-2 180 WR St. Joseph
58. Karson Murley 6-1 290 OL Lowell Ferris State
59. Jacob Lechner 6-2 260 OL Harbor Springs Michigan Tech
60. Ian Vandenberg 6-1 190 ATH Paw Paw
61. Michael Holdship 6-0 215 LB/RB Cadillac
62. Gourney Sloan 6-0 165 WR/DB East Grand Rapids Davenport
63. Casey Brinks 6-0 170 DB Zeeland West
64. Jared Mika 6-0 195 LB Grand Rapids Catholic Central
65. Ryan Stevens 6-1 175 QB Lowell
66. Evan Whitmore 6-3 215 QB Petoskey
67. Lukas Thompson 6-0 180 DB/WR Grand Rapids Christian
68. Nate Lay 6-0 250 DL Zeeland West
69. Spencer Peterson 6-5 230 QB Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian Wheaton
70. Jacob Tumele 6-3 230 DL Muskegon Orchard View Davenport
71. Dujuan Thomas 5-9 160 DB East Kentwood
72. Luke Bakker 6-0 190 LB/DB West Ottawa Northwood
73. Miles Jones 6-2 205 DB/WR Grand Rapids Christian Ferris State
74. Brandon Sturgeon 5-11 190 RB Portage Central
75. Kurtis Schultz 6-3 235 DL Grand Rapids West Catholic
76. Nick Brown 6-7 240 OL Muskegon Mona Shores Concordia
77. Shane Foster 6-1 210 LB/RB Gaylord Northern Michigan
78. Lucas Marion 6-4 210 LB/TE Lake City Michigan Tech
79. Cody Rabach 6-5 215 TE/DL Fruitport Michigan Tech
80. Michael Clifford 6-0 165 DB East Grand Rapids
81. Tanner Kruzel 6-1 200 TE/LB Northern Michigan
82. Malik McIntyre 5-10 185 RB Berrien Springs
83. Andy Rietveld 6-6 300 OL Saugatuck
84. Bret Patton 6-2 190 WR East Kentwood Carthage
85. Jackson Ammon 6-2 235 TE Rockford
86. Dakota Geurink 6-1 185 DB Zeeland West
87. Caleb Wisniski 6-4 255 OL Onekama Ferris State
88. Tyler Woodwyck 6-2 255 DL Hudsonville
89. Ian Woodruff 6-2 270 OL Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
90. Ben Hoerle 6-4 280 OL Grand Rapids Christian
91. Jean Pierre Nkolo 6-2 235 DL East Kentwood Davenport
92. Terrion Hill-McKay 6-1 205 LB Muskegon
93. Taylor Pelton 6-2 195 LB Reed City Michigan Tech
94. Garrett Lundteigan 5-9 180 DB Petoskey
95. Sam Matthews 6-2 190 TE/WR East Grand Rapids
96. Andrew Madison 6-6 235 TE East Kentwood
97. Jacob Steelman 6-1 270 OL Traverse City Central Davenport
98. Braden Schrotenboer 6-6 235 OL Zeeland East
99. Cameron Wright 6-3 290 OL Grant
100. Derek Boone 6-4 225 DL/OL Watervliet
Calling all college football prospects from the classes of 2017, 2018, 2019!
The 2016 Lake Michigan Football Combine will take place on Saturday, March 19, 2016, at MVP Sports Spot in Grand Rapids, MI.
Join top players from around the state and the Midwest for an afternoon of combine testing and one-on-one drills. More details about the event and registration information are located here: www.lakemichiganfootballreport.com/2016combine
He was a prolific receiver under two quarterbacks during his career at Forest Hills Eastern and as a senior a crucial weapon on the best team in school history. Ryan Knight caught 49 passes for 873 yards and 10 TDs on FHE’s Division 4 state semifinalist. After the season, he showed the physical bona fides and skill that helped that success at the Lake Michigan Football Report Senior Camp in Grand Rapids, where he was named the top prospect.
Knight came down wrong on an ankle later in the day, but he’d already shown enough. He has a college physique at 6-2, 200 and buoyed those tools with a pair of 4.6 40-yard dashes. Not only is Knight an ideal target, but he was able to make adjustments and go get the ball. Throw in grades and test score, and any GLIAC program looking for a red zone receiver should be all over him.
OL Keegan Golder 6-5 270 Sr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern
A plus athlete at right tackle who emerged as a star in his third year as a starter for the school-best 11-2 Hawks. Golder anchored an offense that averaged over 37 points a game before running into state champion Zeeland West in the Division 4 semifinals. MAC level prospect with his frame and feet (athletic enough that he sometimes lined up at tight end).
OL Phil Paea 6-4 270 Jr Berrien Springs
Division 5 Berrien Springs, of all places, is emerging as a hotbed of Power 5 line prospects. Nick Padla is at MSU, Johnny Williams is at Notre Dame, and now comes Paea, who already has a BYU offer while being recruited by half the Big Ten. The former fullback is an athletic guard who helped clear the way for Malik McIntyre’s big senior season running the ball.
OL Mitchell Davis 6-5 260 Sr Lowell
With Davis at tackle and fellow senior Karson Morley at guard, the right side of Lowell’s line was as tough as any in the Lake Area. The Division 2 state runners-up averaged 43 points per game.
OL Michael VanHoeven 6-5 300 Sr Paw Paw
While skill injuries slowed down a typically potent Paw Paw attack, VanHoeven was an All-Wolverine Conference guard for the third straight season. With Thiyo Lukusa moving to New Jersey and Traverse City West’s Jacob Cerny hurt. VanHoeven was the top ranked line prospect in the Lake Area. He committed early to Eastern Michigan and recently passed on a preferred walk on offer to Notre Dame.
OL Derices Brown 6-1 280 Sr Muskegon
A three-year starter at guard who helped the transition for junior QB Kalil Pimpleton, who emerged as one of the most feared weapons in the Lake Area both running and throwing for 1,000 yards apiece. A grinder at the point of attack but athletic enough to get into the second level, Brown also played on the D line the only Big Red to go both ways.
QB Ryan Stevens 6-2 165 Sr Lowell
He fulfilled the expectations of the Lowell QB legacy, leading the Red Arrows to the Division 2 state final. Stevens threw for 2,737 yards and 31 TDs while running for 1,107 yards and 21 TDs.
RB Monterio Smith 5-10 180 Sr Comstock Park
Comstock Park’s answer to Ronnie Harmon catching balls out of the backfield. He made 74 catches for 993 yards and 12 TDs while running it 109 times for 706 yards and 16 TDs.
RB Nolan Meekhof 6-1 230 Sr Grandville
No back in the Lake Area shared Meekhof’s combination of size and speed. In eight games for the Bulldogs (they were 6-2 when Meekhof played, 0-2 without him), he rushed for 1,224 yards and 10 TDs on 173 carries. He also had a TD catch. Meekhof recently received a preferred walk on offer from Minnesota.
WR Hunter Boersma 6-2 190 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores
The Lake Area’s top ranked senior prospect, headed to WMU, did it all for the 10-1 Sailors. A repeat All-Area selection, Broersma started both ways and also saw time at QB and had seven TD catches while also scoring TDs via the run, pass, punt return and interception return.
WR Gabe Steed 6-1 180 Sr Lowell
A game-breaker since being called up during his sophomore season, Steed is a repeat All-Lake selection. During the regular season he had 30 receptions for 673 yards and 11 TDs. He also started at cornerback for the Red Arrows.
WR Nick Turowski 6-1 180 Sr Comstock Park
Hooked up with senior QB Pat Naughton for one of the most prolific receiving seasons in Lake Area history. Turowski had 113 receptions — a state record — for 1,474 yards and 12 TDs. His 18 catches against Allendale are also a state record.