The D Zone

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Top Performers and Recap of 2017 Michigan HS Football 7-7 Showcase

The Fordson football staff coordinated by Rudy Faraj organized a star-studded 8-team 7 on 7 on Tuesday night.  The event tabbed, "Michigan HS 7 on 7 Showcase" allows high school 7 on 7 teams to perform their plays and schemes without lineman blocking and constant coaching.  We feel that anytime you can get kids competing it's a good thing, especially a month away before the action picks up and kids are just getting in shape anyways this time of the year.  Also in downtime, The D Zone was accommodated to take backdrop pictures of all the players and other media tasks.

- Backdrop Pictures

Waterford Mott won the event with comfortable margins over Muskegon and then Fordson in the finals.  The Corsairs went 6-5 in 2016, falling 21-7 to the semi-finalists Romeo in the 2nd round in Division 1.  It was the 3rd season in a row Mott made the playoffs in D1 after 6 years of losing seasons.

Waterford Mott 2017 QB David McCullum was overall the day's top performer as the dual-threat QB constantly got the ball off with incredible velocity from start to finish, .  McCullum a senior showed chemistry with a variety of receivers and spread the ball well.  McCullum was either throwing perfectly placed balls or ones where only his receivers would be able to make plays.

2018 WR/DB Patrick Bicknell had the highlight play of the day in pool play as he reached out to catch a pass and as he was bringing it in, lost it and he was falling face first.  Bicknell tilted to his right while the ball was above his back and was able to bring the ball in cleanly.  From there Waterford Mott and Bicknell were in cruise mode.   2018 WR Ashton Franklin hasn't focused until now on football and that's a scary thought for opponents this year as the 6'5" 205 lbs athlete is fluid and attacks the ball in the air.   2018 RB/DB Colton Baranowski had an active day in the secondary at Safety.  2019 CB/Slot Keimonnee Fields displayed his speed and fluidity in creating separation.   2019 WR/CB KaMariell Manley also was a constant threat for the Corsairs and had solid coverage.

Fordson knocked out one of the favorites in West Bloomfield in elimination and later River Rouge.  The Tractors engine stalled in the finals offensively as a fired up Mott team beat them in the finals.  2019 QB Hussein Ajami was on point through the day as he was up against top end DB's all day and performed at a high level.  2019 WR Ahmed Allamy was a go-to target as he constantly made plays.  2018 CB/WR Sulaimaan Shajrah figures to be one of the best all-around players in the area and was everywhere on Tuesday.  "Slay" should be getting a lot of looks at CB where he excels the most at.

River Rouge looks to be on the brink of Division 3 and 4.  The Panthers featured tons of returning playmakers.  River Rouge / Western Michigan commit 2018 TE/WE Lee Payton was just about unstoppable as he had several tough grabs and others he created tons of separation for easy catches for touchdowns or yards after the catch.  2019 QB Emanuel Ferguson has looked comfortable with his new team as he continuously made good throws and has a strong arm.  Wisconsin commit 2018 S Reggie Pearson roamed around the secondary, reading/reacting well to the plays.  He's one who has the physical traits that are on mute for 7 on 7.  2018 LB/S Baron Sholar moved well and gave his opposition problems with a combo of speed/physicalness. 2018 DB DeAndte' Rigsby was active all over the defense as he's very under the radar now, but has physical tools and ideal size/frame for the next level.  2018 LB Zion Smith had one of the best plays of the day as he jumped and was able to extend his arm up and redirect the ball for an interception to seal a win over Southfield A&T.  2020 WR R'montaye Caldwell also emerged as an upcoming threat as he proved reliable.  2018 DE/OLB Tyler Carter has grown a ton in the past year as he moves great for his size at Linebacker, but is just scraping potential now.  He could get a lot of looks at DE outright or somewhere on a 3-4 defense with his size + versatility.

Muskegon will keep their success rolling as the D3 runner-ups aren't worried about how their veer offense works in 7 on 7.  Central Florida commit 2018 QB LaDarius Jefferson showed his cannon arm off with several nice throws during the day.  2018 CB/WR Marvin Harwell was sound for the Big Reds, defensively he moved well in and out of breaks in coverage.  2018 SB/FS Clinton Jefferson showcased his speed and fluidity throughout and will figure to be a big play threat for the Big Reds in a lot of ways this year.

Lowell is another who runs a veer offense and came out to compete Tuesday.  The Red Arrows return a lot of senior talent with minimal losses across the board.  2018 WR/S Addison Buckius was a standout from the word go as the 6'3" WR/S moves and reacts well to the play.  As a TE he was a total mismatch and we can imagine he'll be deadly in play-action this year.

West Bloomfield has so many players around the board that often times players get overlooked.  2019 WR Tre Mosley will be a name to know in the future as he's a long and vertical threat who moves well.  Mosley will be a deadly weapon in an offense loaded with talent and if teams aren't paying attention to him, it will result in him slipping through the cracks for a big play.  2018 TE/WR James Faulkner again imposed his will on opposing Linebackers as he was constantly open.  Wisconsin WR commits Taj Mustapha and A.J. Abbott each had a few catches.  2019 LB/DB Lance Dixon again has an impressive performance as he's shot up in the recruiting world with his coveted size and speed.  2020 LB Cornell Wheeler is definitely someone to watch in the near future as he's getting there physically and looks to improve on his sophomore season on Varsity.  2018 SS/FS Nick Seidel tracked the ball well throughout the day and is a solid Safety who can roam and in the Fall showcase his physical skills.

Southfield A&T is revamped after losing a handful of players to graduation and transfer.  Fortunately for the Warriors 2018 QB John Darby was up to the task last year and will surely be capable of leading the Warriors into the playoffs and beyond in 2017 as he has a cannon arm and he gets the ball out well to his receivers. A deep group of Linebackers was on display, but not able to be in their element with 2018 OLB Christian Rush2018 LB/RB Jeremy Pippen, and upcoming 2020 LB Cardiaa Harris performing well.  2019 FS/RB Marcus Fuqua headlined the squad overall as he can be inserted anywhere and makes plays. Fuqua despite nearing double-double digit offers is still very much under the radar to many.  2018 WR/CB Matt Gilbert is a long, lengthy, and has good physical traits that were on display Tuesday.  2019 RB Anwar Jackson comes over from Wisconsin and appears to be a durable, every down type RB and he displayed his speed on Tuesday.

Romeo is primed at the skill positions to be a force in the MAC Red and will be set if their offensive line develops well.  2018 WR/DB Nate Goralski is one of the top players around and in 2017 he'll be the go-to player for the first time which is going to be wicked.  2018 ATH Brandon Hicks and 2019 QB/DB Jack Wendt each took snaps and good throws.  Hicks will be utilized all over for the Romeo as he can line up in slot for sweeps and more.  2019 LB Brock Horne will be one of the best MLB anywhere in the Midwest next year as few his size move as well in coverage and if they do aren't the prototype size to physically impose his impact during a game.  Horne lined up at TE and will figure to be dangerous threat there as well.  2018 CB/WR Ronnie Wood is a solid and reliable weapon on both offense and defense.  Wood doesn't let many receivers beat him with his combination of smarts, fundamentals, and physical traits. 2018 SS Bailey Kamego also had a good day as he's a solid DB who reacts and moves well.

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