The D Zone

Thursday, April 27, 2017

April 26, 2017 winds up being one of the biggest recruiting days ever in Michigan

Michigan high school football is in one of the best weeks in the off-season as players hard work during the season is paying off now.  Besides for two major camps in consecutive weekends; Under Armour last weekend and West Michigan Showcase this upcoming weekend taking place - the Fall efforts of dozens of players are paying off big-time as we are in the thick of evaluation period.

For previous Michigan high school athletes, the NFL draft is this week and in regards to Michigan high school football it is expected to be the best NFL draft class since 2005 when 12 former Mitten graduates were drafted, including Braylon Edwards at #3 overall. The 2017 class was projected at one point to have 3 first round picks in; Jourdan Lewis, Desmond King, and Malik McDowell and now many projected them in the 2nd or 3rd round and Josh Jones out of Walled Lake Western is a frequent player discussed as being a first rounder.  Whatever occurs all 4 should be drafted in the top 60 and there is not much of a drop off after that.  Cooper Rush sits as one of the top ten quarterbacks eligible and you know at least 10 teams will take a chance on a QB, so despite no projections of being drafted - we will be expecting his name called on Saturday - if not he'll be a wanted undrafted free agent.  Nate Theaker out of White Lakeland Whiteland will be your annual small college breakout from D2 Wayne State, we see his name being thrown around later in the final round.  Stay tuned starting tonight and through the week on more draft information in regards to Michigan alumni.  Check out our our Michigan HS Headquarters for the 2017 NFL Draft.

April 26th, 2017 will be a big day for Michigan's class of 2019 and many others,  but first lets look at just how historic the day was for the 2019 class who are essentially juniors in high school now.  In total 10 players earned 15 total offers.  Which is the most in a single day for the Class since just under 2 years ago when Sam Johnson III received his first offer from Akron as a middle school student.  The class has obviously came along way since as mostly all of the players have had significant roles on their varsity teams and beginning to scrape their potential. 3 players earned their first Division 1-FBS offer; Elija Griffin, Jordan Anderson, and Jalen Hunt.  Besides for some nice off-season work, Detroit King 2019 S/RB Marvin Grant was last seen using his length and coverage skills to shutdown Walled Lake Western's offense in the D2 final.  Grant's name has somewhat remained quiet even after being offered by Michigan about 7 weeks ago, it took a Temple visit last week to reinvigorate his process as the Owls offered while there and yesterday was a huge day as he received 4 offers from; Kentucky, Minnesota, Syracuse, and Indiana to double his offer count from 4 to 8.  Just how uncommon is 4 offers in a day?  We record and publish Michigan's accomplishments so we can say as a fact, the last time 4 different colleges offered a kid in a single day was June 10th, 2016 when Belleville 2017 S Jordan Ulmer received 4 offers and  it's only happened just once before Ulmer.  We have recorded all offers since the Class of 2014.

Just after 9 am the first offer was in for the 2019 class when Southfield S/RB Marcus Fuqua received his 3rd offer from Kent State, he would later be offered by Syracuse in the evening.  It wasn't until around the time school got out that Walled Lake Western's OT/DE Spencer Brown had his 10th offer from Ohio.  Brown we figured would blow up this evaluation period, has done just that as he had 3 offers the day prior which was the first time that a player received 3 offers in a day since earlier this year in January.  Brown's partner on the line will be OT/DT Jake Dean who has seen his stock rise.  A week ago he had no offers, now he holds 3.  A ferocious CB duo of; Cass Tech 2019 CB Xavier Goldsmith and Saline 2019 CB MJ Griffin each received offers from Northern Illinois, for Goldsmith they were his 13th offer and for Griffin his 9th.  Cass Tech 2019 RB Lew Nichols comes from Southfield after a breakout sophomore year.  He's your ideal coveted RB prospect, the only thing not ideal is that there just aren't many elite D1 RB's out of Michigan, but Nichols definitely is and should be up there with any elite RB in the class.  Nichols picked up his 6th and 7th offers yesterday from Kentucky and Indiana.  3 others received their first offers in the class; Belleville 2019 DE/LB Jalen Hunt, East English Village 2019 ATH Jordan Anderson, and East English Village Prep 2019 CB Elija Griffin start their recruiting processes off with the East English duo receiving Syracuse offers and Hunt receiving a Kentucky offer.

Outside of the new upperclassmen in the Class of 2019 nothing crazy happened with the upperclassmen who are 2018. Cass Tech 2018 OLB/S DeAndre Square is an elite recruit who was offered by Indiana.  Indiana also offered King 2018 ATH Jaeveyon Morton who received his first offer 2 years ago from Akron, he now holds 15 total offers.  West Bloomfield 2018 WR Taj Mustapha is a elite receiver and offers are beginning to get more and higher prestige by the week, as Indiana offered yesterday.  He was offered by Iowa and Northern Illinois last week to make his total 13.  Oak Park 2018 OG Marquan McCall was offered by Cincinnati for 21 total as he's one of the state's premier interior lineman.   Bloomfield Hills 2018 DE/TE Jack Sape name has been quiet lately, but was offered by Kent State yesterday and Cass Tech 2018 LB Dyontae Johnson earned an NIU offer.

The 2020 class at Oak Park will be special, as 2 already had significant roles on varsity, 2020 DL/OL Justin Rogers and 2020 WR/CB Enzo Jennings.  They both already hold numerous offers and picked up offers from Syracuse.  Oak Park 2020 DT Don Price went from "0 to 100" as Syracuse became his first offer.  We've seen Oak Park 2020 WR/DB Maliq Carr over the last 2 years and feel he has extreme potential to be the state's #1 recruit in a few years from now which in this class would shape to be a top 25 recruit in the entire country as the early outlook is promising.  Syracuse came through with his first offer.  Detroit King 2020 WR Rashawn Williams later in the day picked up his 3rd offer from Syracuse.  Williams will undoubtedly be up with the best as his first offer nearly a year ago was from Kentucky.

The 2021 class up until yesterday was littered with several NAIA programs verbally offering the incoming players.  Belleville 2021 OL/DL Damon Payne broke that chain as he previously held 2 NAIA offers by earning his first D1-FBS offer from Kentucky.  We noticed Payne competing at Camp Pride earlier this year and was impressed with his potential and competitiveness vs. elite 2018 and 2019 players.  Obviously the sky is the limit for the young, but driven prospect.

By the numbers:

What's next?

That shouldn't be hard to figure out, as many recruits and their families decide if they want to be recruits or not and go through the recruiting process.  Now through the end of May is evaluation period which is when colleges visit coaches at their schools.  With the MHSAA banning spring practices, a lot of players aren't evaluated until summer 1 day camps at colleges and left hanging in the meantime.  91 different players in the Class of 2017 held at least one Division 1 FBS offer, currently 72 hold at least 1 offer, around June of this summer is when that data comparison will make sense and point to a trend or not.  But, we'll state as a fact that only 4 players in the Class of 2017 received a Division 1-FBS offer after their senior season started.  No player is the same we must understand and anything can happen, but there is definitely a strategy used by recruits to build relationships sooner than ever and the support for that must adapt. 

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