Recruiting & Scouting

FOOTBALL: Star recruits will be out in force at PKC

Football   | Scott Burnstein

FOOTBALL: Star recruits will be out in force at PKC

DETROIT - This week’s 10th-annual Detroit Sports Commission Prep Kickoff Classic will be a treasure trove of riches for college football recruiting fans.

There are 18 Division I-commits and several more top-grade prospects garnering Division I interest set to be on hand on the eight-game slate (Thursday thru Saturday) being held for the third year in a row down at Wayne State’s Adams Field.

Those in attendance to tip things off Thursday will get a small taste of the coming deluge of star-studded recruits expected to be on hand Friday and Saturday. West Bloomfield’s Eddy Wilson, a big and athletic defensive lineman committed to Bowling Green and Dearborn Fordson’s Jamil Sabbaugh (safety) and Abdlallah Jaffal (linebacker), committed to Ball State and Central Michigan, respectively, will all be suiting up for battle.

Wilson’s West Bloomfield club opens the entire event at 1:00 p.m. against Dearborn, followed by Sabbagh, Jaffal and their Fordson squad squaring off with Temperance Bedford at 4:00 p.m.

The 4:00 p.m. game on Friday pitting Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Southfield and then the 7:00 p.m. nightcap between Detroit Cass Tech and Oak Park, features a cavalcade of elite prospects across the state’s senior, junior and sophomore classes.

St. Mary’s, coming off a rare missed-playoff berth last season, is captained by Michigan State-commit Tyson Smith, a fast and strong cornerback that also plays wide receiver. Sophomore linebacker Josh Ross might be the best player in his class and sophomore slot receiver K.J. Hamler has already picked up a scholarship offer from Michigan State without ever playing a varsity snap.

Southfield boasts possibly the most lethal secondary in the entire MHSAA. The Bluejays start a Division I-commit at every position in their defensive backfield. Minnesota-commit Ray Buford and Central Michigan-commit Jamar Antwine, are both lock-down talents at cornerback, while Wake Forest-bound Dior Johnson and Western Michigan-bound Davontae Ginwright are as deadly and diverse as any pair of safeties in the state.  

Buford, Johnson and Antwine excel on the offensive side of the ball as well as wide receivers. After missing last fall with an injury, junior tailback Matt Falcon had a huge offseason and is being hailed by some scouts as the state’s top rushing threat on the recruiting trail for 2016.

Defending Detroit PSL champ, Cass Tech is once again loaded, even with all-state senior quarterback Jayru Campbell on the shelf until at least September serving a jail sentence for assault.

Cass Tech running back and Michigan-commit Mike Weber is considered by many experts the best overall player in the state. Senior defensive end Josh Alabi is the state’s top recruit at his position and is committed to Ohio State and senior linebacker Mike Oliver is committed to Central Michigan.

Juniors LaVert Hill (defensive back) and Mike Onwenu (offensive lineman) are both highly thought of on the national recruiting landscape, as is sophomore wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones.

Facing the stacked Cass Tech club on Friday, Oak Park will unleash its own contingent of high-grade talent, led by heavily-sought running back Johnny Kelly, Western Michigan-commit Junior McMullen (linebacker) and Central Michigan-commit Shahid Bellamy (defensive lineman).

On Saturday, fans will be treated to the state’s No. 1 quarterback, as Birmingham Brother Rice and all-state senior field general and Michigan-commit Alex Malzone, begins its quest for a fourth-straight state crown (Division 2) against its namesake in the Windy City, Chicago Brother Rice, unveiling the Dave Sofran era (replacing the state’s all-time winningest head coach Al Fracassa after more than 40 years at the helm) in the process. Malzone has a pair of speedy and reliable receivers he’ll be throwing to this year in Western Michigan-commit Delano Madison and Division I- recruit Grant Perry.  

Chicago Brother Rice’s attack is spearheaded by Northern Illinois-commit Marcus Jones (running back).
The interstate Brother Rice-Brother Rice clash will bring the curtain down on the 2014 PKC at 2:00 p.m.

Detroit East English Village Prep and Lansing Sexton will get things started on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. in a game that will showcase EEV’s Anton Curtis and Emani Mason and Sexton’s Rayshawn Wilborn. Curtis (Western Michigan) and Wilborn (Central Michigan) are both rangy, playmaking wide receivers. Only a sophomore, Mason (offensive lineman) is being projected as the best prospect on the line in the state's Class of 2017.