The D Zone

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Michigan High School Football Signing Day Prep for Division 2, 3, and NAIA Recruits

With less than 1 week away from National Signing Day, many classes are nearing capacity.  This weekend will provide one last strong push for a lot of schools, but overall many of the school's top targets have already committed.

The D Zone is your source for all high school football data in Michigan as we have compiled a lot of our data into consolidated lists.

Brendann Brown

Grand Valley State finished with a perfect regular season, winning the GLIAC conference title before falling to Ferris State in the D2 playoffs.  The Lakers added a lot of talent and depth to fill.  Eisenhower 2017 RB/S Jack Provencher was The D Zone Offensive Player of the Year and holds just 5 offers, for an incredible RB.  Hundreds of colleges missed out on a talented / driven player who is bound to do great things at Grand Valley State.  Ann Arbor Pioneer 2017 WR/S Cedric Benton is a lengthy and athletic player who will be a vertical threat if needed or a ball hawk Safety.  Benton was another that severely flew under the radar with Kentucky Christian and Davenport offers prior to GVSU offering and Benton committing on the spot.  Farmington Hills Harrison 2017 LB/RB Brendann Brown was another good pick up who many thought highly of as he began to develop as a Sophomore at in-state power - Farmington Hills Harrison.  Davison 2017 OT/DT Zach Slezak anchored an offensive line his senior year that featured 2018 RB Tariq Reid running for over 2,000 rushing yards.  Slezak himself is a mauler and moves well.  Oak Park 2017 DE Darius Lynaum started out as a QB, then FS, and it appears DE will be his final position for the moment as the 6'5" 205 pounder has way too many intangibles to ignore.  West Catholic 2017 FS David Fox began to blow up late as he reached 8 offers before the Lakers offered at #8 and he accepted their offer.  We have counted 12 in-state commits which don't count kids who elect to surprise people on signing day which are referred to as silent commits or out of state commits.

Issa Khalil

Ferris State finished with a 12-3 record, avenging their regular season loss to Grand Valley State before falling to the eventual D2 champs, Northwest Missouri State.  Ferris State again added a strong class with many talented players and from teams who had a lot of success in 2016.  Lansing Sexton 2017 DE/TE Kahari Foy-Walton has been committed for quite some time now and is a freak for the Big Reds the past 3 years.  Foy-Walton took a late visit to GVSU this year, but it's tough to see him flipping as he'll be a major focal point of the team.  Dearborn 2017 LB Issa Khalil might be the biggest steal among anyone, anywhere as an injury hampered his recruiting process, but he's back healthy now.  The explosive LB commit sent shockwaves across the D2 landscape as his teammate, Dearborn 2017 QB Mike Phillips, Fordson 2017 LB Mohamad Amen, and Fordson 2017 OL Zein Obeid all committed to Ferris State as essentially a package.  The Dynamic Dearborn group is loaded with talent.  Phillips with a few more inches taller becomes a much more wanted recruit, but Ferris State who ignored his height gets a precision passer, smart with the ball, and overall good decision maker.  Amen received a walk-on opportunity from Arizona, but not the right fit.  Obeid committed to Grand Valley State when they offered, he took a visit to Ferris State and reconsidered, before flipping to Ferris State this past week.   Godwin Heights 2018 WR Kelvyn Valdez was one who is flying under the radar, but an athletic piece of nature.  He's a 4-sport athlete and caught our eye in 7 on 7, he'll develop into a big time lethal threat for the Bulldogs.  We have counted 16 in-state commits which don't count kids who elect to surprise people on signing day which are referred to as silent commits or out of state commits.

Austin McKinney

Saginaw Valley State finished with a 5-5 record in 2016.  The Cardinals will bring another deep class looking to fill holes and depth.  Midland Dow 2017 QB Bruce Mann headlines the class from our perspective as he's a strong-armed and smart QB, who was overlooked because of his height.   Mann won't walk into a starting spot as his classmate Dakota 2017 QB Brett Droski is good QB as well with a strong arm and moves well. On Thursday SVSU picked up a big-time commit from Battle Creek Central 2017 CB/WR Austin McKinney who will develop into a reliable big play threat.   Saginaw Valley State locked up one of their top targets really early in Southfield 2017 DE Torey Barclay and it's worked out well for both parties as Barclay has just received one offer since and SVSU will be bringing in a major piece for their defense.  Detroit Catholic Central 2017 TE/DE Jack Morris moves well at 6'4" 215 lbs and displays good burst which makes him an interesting prospect, we like him at TE because of that.  He just doesn't get to show his receiving skills much in a power run offense.  Muskegon Catholic Central 2017 DB/RB Walker Christoffersen is a nice addition that experienced a late bloom in his recruiting process.  Christoffersen has been a major piece for the Crusaders since joining them 2 years ago.  Salem 2017 LB Trevor Nowaske held an Eastern Michigan offer, but 5 months later committed to SVSU.  Romeo 2017 CB Andrew Smith will be a strong and physical cover corner who is a playmaker.  We have counted 17 in-state commits which don't count kids who elect to surprise people on signing day which are referred to as silent commits or out of state commits.

Hunter Harris

Wayne State finished with a 7-4 record in 2016.  The Warriors have a small class with talented players in the limited spots.  Loyola 2017 WR Hunter Harris held 2 offers from Davenport and Wayne State before he committed to Wayne State about 2 weeks ago.  D1 FCS Fordham offered this past week, but it may be too late to flip the local product.  Detroit King 2017 DT Damani Green despite only having 2 offers in a 4-day stretch before he committed to Wayne State, is a ferocious presence in the interior of the line of scrimmage. The local in-city back-to-back state champion will prove to be a valuable addition to Wayne State.  Wayne State got the RB they wanted fairly early in Rockford 2018 RB Nick Isley.  Isley a physical runner with good vision.  We have counted 6 in-state commits which don't count kids who elect to surprise people on signing day which are referred to as silent commits or out of state commits.

Kade Messner

Northwood finished with a 3-8 record in 2016.  Thus far, Northwood has taken advantage of a deep group from the MAC Conference.  Romeo 2017 DB/RB Kade Messner now and we're sure until signing day will be one who the class is built around.  Messner is an all around great leader and a player with a never say never attitude who can turn games around with hard hits and other instinctive plays.  Messner teammate, Romeo 2017 OL Joe Schneider helped paved holes for him these past 2 years and Brad Tanner in 2015.  Schneider did very well vs. Cass Tech in 2015 state finals that provided a big boost in his recruitment over the off-season.  Eisenhower had one of their best seasons in quite some time, Northwood had no problems getting 2 maulers in the trenches from Ike.  Eisenhower 2017 DT Salvator Vultaggio is a big and strong DT, but also has good mobility to slip through offensive lineman.  Eisenhower 2017 OG Matt Surma was a major piece of the Eagles OL that fueled their offense to their best offensive season in school history.  Northwood also added a huge piece to their offensive line to close out the week, as Fowlerville 2017 OL Bryce Bertl committed over 4 other offers including GVSU.  Bertl is a solid interior lineman that will fit in well at Northwood.  We have counted 15 in-state commits which don't count kids who elect to surprise people on signing day which are referred to as silent commits or out of state commits.

Kyle Wood

Michigan Tech finished with a 4-6 record in 2016.  The Huskies have added a bit of talent to their roster and received a major commitment from Pewamo-Westphalia 2017 RB Jared Smith.  Smith smashed state records his junior year and finished with over 8,000+ career yards, becoming the 2nd highest rusher in state history.  Smith is a workhorse player who isn't really that undersized which made it dumbfounding that last week both Michigan Tech and Northwood offered on the same day which is his only 2 offers to date and MTU was what Smith quickly decided on.  Rochester Adams 2017 QB Kyle Wood has been a major contributor to his team the past 3 years.  Wood has a cannon arm, good decision maker, and runs the ball well.  Wood is a very good athlete so we definitely look forward to his progress.  Swartz Creek 2017 LB Clayton Lynn may not be a popular name to a lot of people, but the Dragons LB can fly on the field and is definitely one that has a lot of potential at MTU.  We have counted 8 in-state commits which don't count kids who elect to surprise people on signing day which are referred to as silent commits or out of state commits.

Northern Michigan finished with a 3-8 record in 2016 and hired a new head coach, Kyle Nystrom during the off-season.  Northern Michigan to our knowledge holds 3 total commits, with 1 being a walk-on in Marquette.  Detroit Catholic Central 2017 WR/DB Isaiah Popp and Forest Hills Northern 2017 OLB Connor Bruinius are their lone two commits and NMU were their only offers.

Nycorta Mabry

Davenport finished 6-5 in their first season and will make the transition from NAIA to D2.  Davenport's top recruit at this point is an obvious one as it's the most active recruit in Flushing 2017 CB Nycorta Mabry who is constantly communicating with other recruits since he flipped from Michigan Tech to Davenport a few weeks ago.  Mabry is a strong and physical corner who if developed has a high ceiling.  East English Village Prep 2017 QB Delvin Washington's lone offer was from Davenport and he committed this week.  Washington is a strong armed QB with good size.  West Bloomfield continued their streak of producing college-ready players again in the Class of 2017.  Two Lakers who should make contributors at Davenport are; West Bloomfield 2017 WR/CB Josh Turner and 2017 LB Chris Kalaj.  Turner is a lengthy and athletic player who can make plays while Kalaj is a prototype LB that fits in well at D2 schools such as Davenport.  Davenport didn't need to travel far at all for two more big targets in the offense in; West Catholic 2017 TE/WR Brett Meyers and 2017 WR Aaron Hall.  Both of the two have good length and size.  We have counted 12 in-state commits which don't count kids who elect to surprise people on signing day which are referred to as silent commits or out of state commits.

Drew Rubick

Hilldale finished with a 5-5 record in 2016.  Hillsdale picked up an absolute steal in Lapeer 2017 TE Drew Rubick.  Rubick played QB/WR/S in high school and has been an unstoppable force when he was moved all over the place on offense his junior and sophomore seasons.  Rubick has phenominal size and football IQ.  He's definitely one we thought with his film alone would have drawn more attention, but Hillsdale is a great fit at the end of the day.   Hillsdale has 4 total in-state commits we're aware of.

Guam Lee

Notre Dame College typically finds some nice talent in Michigan, as the Cleveland-based school continued that trend in 2017 with the addition of Farmington Hills Harrison 2017 LB Guam Lee who is well cut up LB prospect with great instincts and tackling ability.  Melvindale 2017 Slot/CB Tre'Shon Alexander is a speedy player who with more coaching will be a solid contributor for the Falcons.

Jared Jordan

Siena Heights normally lands a prospect or a few who are high caliber players.  Again, the Saints keep that rolling as they have a handful of kids who at one point held heavy D1 interest.  Grosse Pointe North 2017 RB Jared Jordan is a well-balanced back with power and speed who drew an early offer from FCS school - Pennsylvania.  Cass Tech 2017 LB Otis Doss is another phenomenal player who has been a key member of Cass Tech's defense.  Doss held a Kent State offer at one point but held off and committed around the same time his monstrous 2017 OT Maurice Brandy committed to Siena Heights.  Brandy was Cass Tech's starting Left Tackle, so he'll be bringing a wealth of experience.  Two big time playmakers in the secondary will also be coming to Siena in, River Rouge 2017 DB Justin Knott and Southfield 2017 DB Isaiah Moon.  Overall at this point, we've counted 9 commits for the Saints.

Brady Vis

Concordia, Ann Arbor is another school who has recruited very well, especially for the fact they find kids who fit their program.  Milford 2017 LB Anthony Perez is a nice prospect who was under the radar, but one to definitely look out for in college.  South Christian 2017 WR Brady Vis is one of the most technically sound receivers anywhere and has good hands.  Waterford Mott 2017 S Josh Course missed most of his Senior year with an injury but will develop into a key player for the Cardinals with his work ethic and overall leadership.  Utica 2017 WR/DB Josh Goosby should probably be listed as an athlete, as he's good sized and versatile, meaning he could play WR/DB or look for a TE/H-Back or LB role in the future.  Marine City 2017 DE MJ Frank will surprise a lot of people once his frame is maxed out and given more time, we really like what we've seen from Frank.  River Rouge 2017 DE Darrel Latham is a nice pass rusher who has received offers since committing.    Overall at this point, we've counted 12 commits for Concordia, Ann Arbor.

Other D2 schools who have landed commitments from Michigan include; Central State, Colorado School of Mines, Findlay, Saint Anselm, and Tiffin.  This is as of 1/26.

Other NAIA schools who have landed commitments from Michigan include; Indiana Wesleyan, Southwestern Assemblies of God, and William Penn.

We haven't received a high amount of Division III commits, so check out the ones we do have reported thus far here.

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