We'll review the schools we feel are in the top 5 as of now. Not much should change despite coaching changes and at this point more transfers as the rosters will look 99% the same come 6 months from now.
1. Cass Tech, defending D1 champs
- After being the #1 team in the state in 2016. Cass Tech was ready to remain extremely competitive and then a bulk of highly regarded players transferred in making Cass Tech even stronger. Cass Tech 2018 QB Aaron Jackson led CT as a Sophomore filling in for injured Rodney Hall and will carry what Hall did with little to no drop off. Cass Tech 2018 CB Kalon Gervin is our #1 recruit in the Class of 2018 and will rarely be tested this year, so you know that side of the ball will be locked down. Cass Tech 2018 LB DeAndre Square is likely the most versatile player in the state as he can play anywhere on any given play. Should see more snaps on offense too as he's an elite player. Cass Tech 2018 DT Eric Smith is a freak in the interior and Cass Tech 2018 WR Teone Allen became Mr. Reliable late in the year with nice catches as a possession receiver who can move. Cass Tech 2018 WR Brandon Gray returns to Cass Tech after transferring his Freshman year, 6'4-5" receiver who hasn't scraped his potential yet. Cass Tech 2019 RB Lewis Nichols is one of the best kept secrets, look for an incredible 2 years from him. Cass Tech 2019 ATH Jalen Graham comes from Country Day where he carried the team at times into the D4 title game, the possibilities are endless with him in Cass Tech's program as unfortunately no one really seems to know who he is outside of us, him, Country Day's program, and Cass Tech's program. Cass Tech 2018 DE Andre Carter has double-digit offers and will have double-digit sacks.
2. Detroit King, defending D2 champs
- King was extremely young last year as they beat Walled Lake Western in one of the best defensive performances the Crusaders ever had and that's saying something. King was expected by many to eventually fall due to their young ages, but if you seen King dismantle Southfield A&T in week 1 you should have expected D2 to be firmly theirs come Thanksgiving weekend. King's biggest threat emerged in King 2018 WR/CB Jaeyvon Morton who blew up in the recruiting process once junior film hit the web. Morton has it all, speed, physical traits, and game changing abilities. He's been a mainstay since Freshman year and will likely never receive the credit he deserved from 2016 and we're sure in 2017 as well. King 2019 QB Dequann Finn will be in discussion as one of the top recruits in-state as a senior, we're alarmed that it's not like that for him now as he's barely received recognition for leading King as a sophomore. Finn has a good arm and throws / moves very well on the run. King 2019 LB/DE Tyrece Woods is a freak athlete with supreme mobility and physical traits. King 2018 DE Maurice White has prototype DE size and will be serving everyone his official welcome notice as a senior if it doesn't come during camp season. King 2018 RB Eric McArn who is committed to Central Michigan is a big, strong, every down type RB. King 2018 WR/LB/DB Erik Gibson is a versatile playmaker, he joins the path of former Crusader, Ambry Thomas who also transferred from Redford Thurston. King 2019 DB Marvin Grant was a standout last year at DB and RB, the floodgates on him will be unleashed soon.
3. West Bloomfield
- The Lakers were primed for a huge 2017 season as they have arguably the best QB-WR combination in the state in, West Bloomfield 2018 QB Bryce Veasley and 2018 WR Taj Mustapha. Veasley is one of the best pro-style QB's around and decent mobility. Veasley can make all of throws, multi-sport athlete, and good leader. Mustapha who oddly has gone about his business quietly has earned offers left and right this off-season as he's a big, strong target who does a little bit of everything right. West Bloomfield 2018 WR/TE James Faulkner had a quiet but productive junior season as he's a beast at 6'4" 200 lbs + and can move from line of scrimmage to split out as a receiver. West Bloomfield 2018 OT Javon Foster took awhile to break out, but that first offer came during his junior season. The left side of Veasley will be well protected with Foster and his teammates. West Bloomfield 2018 WR/DB Dwayne Thompson is another player primed for a huge senior season as he has a physical presence that can move between CB and S and have a lot of success at both. West Bloomfield 2018 WR/S A.J. Abbott is a matchup problem for defenses as he moves great and has the length to bring down any ball. West Bloomfield 2018 WR/DB Collin Heard is a phenomenal talent and possesses that X-Factor to turn routine plays into a highlight reel play. West Bloomfield 2018 SS/FS Nick Seidel might highlight the list of returning members of the secondary as he's your ideal Safety who reads and react extremely well.
4. Walled Lake Western
- The Warriors lose a ton on both sides of the ball, but with experienced coaching staff and a host of players returning Walled Lake Western should expect to make a run like they did in 2016 which ended in the D2 finals vs. King. Western will be led by a phenom in Walled Lake Western 2018 WR/S Justin Thomas who has developed from a good player into someone who you can throw the ball to his area and you know he'll be doing something special. Walled Lake Western 2018 LB Jonathon Moffett is a tackling machine and more than passes the eye test. Moffett is a fast and physical LB who should again exceed 100+ tackles as a senior. It should be a monstrous OL and DL for the Warriors, but Walled Lake Western 2019 OL/DL Spencer Brown is the major anchor that will protect Sam Johnson's left side and quick off the snap to be constant threat on the defensive front. Brown is starting to blow up and beginning to scrape his true potential. Walled Lake Western 2019 QB Sam Johnson led Southfield into the playoffs as a Freshman and then A&T as a sophomore. Johnson is looking for a huge junior season in a new environment as he already holds double-digit offers. Walled Lake Western 2020 WR Abdur Rahman-Yaseen is a nice looking receiver with very good athleticism and length, he was a contributor as a Freshman, with more experience as a sophomore expect to hear his name more.
5. Detroit Catholic Central
- The Shamrocks will have a new head coach, but the supporting cast and culture at CC will remain as the incoming coach which should be announced soon will walk into a Division 1 contending team. Despite the loss of Madison 2019 QB Austin Brown, the CC Shamrocks are set around with whoever takes over at QB. Detroit Catholic Central 2019 RB/LB Isaac Darkangelo is one of the best around at his position as he's a work horse player who can carry the ball through defenders and attacks opponents like crazy. Darkangelo holds 2 early D2 offers. Catholic Central 2019 LB/FB Cameron Ryan is another solid player who covers ground well and has good ball pursuit, teaming up with Darkangelo makes them one of the best 1-2 LB duos anywhere in the state. Who ever has the ball will be safely protected with Catholic Central 2018 OT Nick Carey who will be one of the best lineman out of Catholic Central since at least 2011. Carey is starting to heat up on the recruiting trail as Central Florida and Marshall have extended rare offers in Michigan. Carey will be alongside Catholic Central 2018 OL Andrew Paxton another solid player who could anchor the line. Catholic Central 2018 DE/OLB/FB Matt Young emerged as a big play player for CC last year as he's one who can constantly make big plays.
Others considered: Lowell, Eisenhower, Oak Park, Clarkston, Romeo, Rockford, Davison, Muskegon, Saint Mary's, and Saline.