Last week I started a series of posts on the top recruits in the state of Michigan for the class of 2017 (LINK). These posts are coming a little bit later than I usually like to do them, but that’s okay. After the top ten to fifteen prospects, you’ll probably come across some brand new names, maybe from your hometown or your rival school. I’m presenting these posts in groups of five. The top five were:
1. Donovan Peoples-Jones
2. Ambry Thomas
3. Antjuan Simmons
4. Ja’Raymond Hall
5. Joshua Ross
6. K.J. Hamler – WR – Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary’s
Weight: 155 lbs.
Notable offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, West Virginia, Wisconsin
247 Composite: 3-star, #47 WR, #326 overall, #10 in-state
Analysis: I discussed Hamler at length here. He recently got invited to The Opening. I think Hamler has to end up in the right spot for him to reach his potential, a place where he can work in a wide-open offense. Oregon and West Virginia would be good landing places, but not the more pro-style offenses like Michigan, MSU, Pitt, etc.
Hit the jump for #7-10.
7. Phillip Paea – DT – Berrien Springs (MI) Berrien Springs
Weight: 285 lbs.
Notable offers: Arizona, BYU, Miami, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, USC
247 Composite: 3-star, #34 DT, #469 overall, #13 in-state
Analysis: I went into depth on Paea when he committed to Michigan (LINK). I think he has more upside on offense than defense, so we’ll see how his career develops.
8. Hunter Rison – WR – Ann Arbor (MI) Skyline
Weight: 185 lbs.
Notable offers: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Miami, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Texas A&M, UCLA
Commitment: Michigan State
247 Composite: 4-star, #43 WR, #300 overall, #9 in-state
Analysis: Rison, who is the son of former Michigan State and NFL receiver Andre Rison, doesn’t leap off the screen as a football player. He lists a 4.71 forty, and he’s 6’0″, 185 lbs. Even against average competition in southeast Michigan, he doesn’t get great separation. However, his concentration level in traffic is impeccable. He makes a lot of tough catches with bodies all around him, and he’s not easy to take down after the catch. I don’t think he’ll be a star at the next level, but he has solid coaching (his father is an assistant at Skyline) and should make a nice possession receiver for the Spartans.
9. Jaylen Kelly-Powell – S – Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Weight: 183 lbs.
Notable offers: Arkansas, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Stanford, Wisconsin
247 Composite: 4-star, #22 S, #243 overall, #5 in-state
Analysis: Some of the recruiting services have pegged Kelly-Powell a little bit higher, but I see him as a solid but boring safety at the next level. He has good speed (4.49 forty) and changes direction well, and he has decent size. The biggest thing that sets him apart from other guys is how quickly he can plant and change direction to support the run or break on short passes. He plays some corner for his high school team, but I don’t think he looks comfortable out there in space and I don’t know if he has the hips to play there. He’s a very solid player who uses good technique and should get on field wherever he ends up because of his consistency.
10. Corey Malone-Hatcher – DE – St. Joseph (MI) St. Joseph
Weight: 246 lbs.
Notable offers: Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee, UCLA, Wisconsin
247 Composite: 4-star, #17 WDE, #243 overall, #6 in-state
Analysis: Malone-Hatcher claims a 4.79 forty, a 425 lb. bench press, and a 600 lb. squat. He plays football like one would expect for someone with those measurements. That is to say, he’s a strongside end in a weakside end’s body. He has heavy hands (when he chooses to use them) and somewhat heavy feet, and he’s not a huge speed rush threat off the edge. He’s very strong, though, and does a good job of shedding blockers. St. Joseph plays him at tight end and middle linebacker at times, but he’s a middle linebacker like Brandon Graham was a middle linebacker. Malone-Hatcher needs to work on his technique from the defensive end position, improve his stance and pass rush moves, and become more consistent. He has a lot of potential, but he’ll benefit from being able to concentrate on just one position in college.
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