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FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Top 50 players in the state for 2018

By: Scott Burnstein, August 21, 2018, 12:00 am

1 Devontae Dobbs (Belleville Sr. OL) — Committed to Michigan State, this 6-foot-5, 305-pound tackle is a dominant pass blocker. The first 5-star recruit in Belleville school history.

2 Logan Brown (East Kentwood Sr. OL) — Committed to Wisconsin, Brown (6-foot-6, 290 pounds) might be the best run blocker in the Midwest. One of only two 5-star recruits in the state this fall.

3 Justin Rogers (Oak Park Jr. OL) — The No. 1 rated junior in the state, Rogers (6-foot-5, 315 pounds) is agile and versatile in the trenches and made it known he wants to play his college pigskin out of state, listing Georgia, LSU, Tennessee and Ohio State as his current favorites.

4 Julian Barnett (Belleville Sr. CB/WR) — Committed to Michigan State, Barnett (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) is blazing fast and a big-play threat on both sides of the ball.

5 Lance Dixon (West Bloomfield Sr. LB) — Committed to Penn State, Dixon (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) is a total sideline-to-sideline game-changer. Last year, he recorded 120 tackles and 8 sacks on a Lakers club that appeared in the Division 1 state title game. He’ll play in the U.S. Army All-American Game in January.

6 Mazi Smith (East Kentwood DL) — Committed to Michigan, Smith (6-foot-3, 295 pounds) plugs the run as well as anyone this state has seen in quite a while.

7 Anthony Bradford (Muskegon Sr. OL) — Committed to LSU, Bradford (6-foot-5, 320 pounds) is a beast at the point of attack. He won a Division 3 state title as a junior in 2017.

8 Ruke Orhorhoro (River Rouge Sr. DE) — Committed to Clemson, Orhorhoro (6-foot-5, 280 pounds) is a natural pass rusher, exhibiting excellent footwork, closing speed and a high-grade motor. He’s the first player from Michigan to accept a scholarship to Clemson in decades.

9 Marvin Grant (Detroit King Sr. S) — Committed to Purdue, Grant (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) is hard-hitting, instinctive and intelligent leading a secondary. In the offseason, he answered questions about his foot speed running well at a series of showcase camps. He helped King win a Division 2 state crown as a sophomore in 2016.

10 Dwan Mathis (Oak Park Sr. QB) — Committed to Ohio State, this 6-foot-5, 210-pound dual threat field general has an incredible upside at the college level. His high school exploits are nothing short of impressive either: as a junior, he threw for 2,850 yards and scored 26 touchdowns while taking his team to a Division 2 district championship.

11 Jaren Mangham (Detroit Cass Tech Sr. RB/LB) — Committed to Colorado, Mangham is an enticing combination of power and finesse running the ball out of the backfield. He rushed for 1,645 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2017. A 4-star prospect, Mangham chose Colorado over 40 other top-notch offers.

12 Mike Fletcher (Flint Carman-Ainsworth Sr. DE) — Committed to Michigan State, Fletcher (6-foot-6, 250 pounds) is a pass-rushing machine coming off the edge. He logged 12 sacks last season and picked MSU over SEC offers from Alabama and Georgia. During the winter, Fletcher is a standout on the hardwood, helping Carman-Ainsworth put together a run into the Class A quarterfinals back in March.

13 Spencer Brown (Walled Lake Western Sr. OL) — Committed to Michigan State, Brown (6-foot-6, 300 pounds) can be a rare kind of difference maker on the line, just as good blocking for his running backs as he is protecting his quarterback’s blindside.

14 Enzo Jennings (Oak Park Jr. CB) — The most heavily sought-after cornerback in the Class of 2020, the sleek 6-foot-2, 175-pound is a lockdown pass defender. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State have all offered.

15 Tre Mosley (West Bloomfield Sr. WR) — Committed to Michigan State, Mosley (6-foot-2 1/2, 180 pounds) is a dazzling deep threat, averaging almost 30 yards per grab last year as a junior. He made 55 grabs for 1,130 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2017 on a West Bloomfield squad that was a state finalist.

16 Marcel Lewis (Chippewa Valley Sr. LB) — Committed to Michigan State, Lewis (6-foot-1, 220 pounds) is a relentless ball pursuer and athletic specimen. Last season, he charted 90 tackles.

17 Makari Paige (West Bloomfield Jr. S/LB) — Some recruiting services rank Paige (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) the No. 1 defensive player in the state’s junior class. He had a breakout postseason last year helping ignite his Lakers into the Division 1 state finals, including the game-sealing interception in the final seconds of their 9-7 defeat of Detroit Cass Tech in the semifinals with Cass Tech threatening to score a go-ahead touchdown. Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State have all offered.

18 Peny Boone (Detroit King Jr. RB) — Started to come into his own in the second half of the 2017 campaign, Boone delivered a stellar offseason where he worked his way into being considered the No. 1 running back in the Class of 2020. He currently holds offers from Nebraska, Kentucky, Tennessee, Iowa, Iowa State, Indiana, Purdue and Syracuse.

19 Sam Johnson (Walled Lake Western Sr. QB) — Committed to Boston College, Johnson (6-foot-4 1/2, 195 pounds) is the most poised signal caller in the state. Entering his fourth year as a varsity starter under center, he accounted for 2,750 yards and 23 touchdowns through the air in 2017.

20 Adam Berghorst (Zeeland East Sr. DE) — Committed to Michigan State for both football and baseball, Berghorst (6-foot-7, 250 pounds) has a tremendous burst coming off the edge on pass-rush downs and knows how to use his length and height to his advantage. Last season, he tallied 72 tackles, 7 sacks and 24 hurries.  He’ll pitch for the Spartans baseball team, too.

21 Tate Hallock (Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central Sr. WR/S) — Committed to Michigan State, Hallock (6-foot-3, 175 pounds) has soft hands and superb route running ability. The son of former Spartans linebacker and NFL tight end-fullback Ty Hallock, Tate caught 800 yards worth of balls for 10 touchdowns last year. From a safety spot on defense, he corralled 64 tackles.

22 Darius Robinson (Canton Sr. DE) — Probably had the most productive offseason of any incoming senior, Robinson (6-foot-6, 255 pounds) flew up recruiting boards practically out of nowhere, garnering offers from Michigan State, Maryland, Colorado, Rutgers, Purdue, Syracuse, Virginia, Iowa State, Boston College and more. Last year was his first season of organized football and he notched 52 tackles and 5 sacks.

23 Jalen Hunt (Belleville Sr. DE) — Committed to Iowa, Hunt (6-foot-3, 250 pounds) is a muscle-bound menace who routinely gets into opposing backfields and jumped onto recruiting radars across the Midwest with a breakout junior campaign. Last year, he gathered 80 tackles, 20 for lost yardage and 8 sacks.

24 Roderick Heard (Farmington Hills Harrison Sr. CB/RB) — Committed to Northwestern, Heard (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) is a blanketing cover corner and a home-run threat of a tailback. Last year, he rushed for 1,550 yards and 26 touchdowns, leading the Hawks into the Division 3 state championship game.

25 Bryce Mostella (East Kentwood Jr. DE) — The premier pass rusher in the state’s junior class, Mostella (6-foot-6, 250 pounds) is considered a 4-star recruit with room to grow. He registered 54 tackles and 10 sacks as a sophomore last season. Michigan, Penn State, Minnesota, Iowa, Kentucky, Pitt, Purdue, Indiana, Boston College and Syracuse have all offered.

26 Tyrece Woods (Belleville Sr. DE/LB) Committed to Michigan

27 Karsen Barnhart (Paw Paw Sr. OL) Committed to Michigan

28 Rashawn Williams (Detroit King Sr. WR)

29 Andre Seldon (Belleville Jr. CB) Committed to Michigan

30 Aidan Harrison (Flushing Sr. S) Committed to Missouri

31 Spencer Holstege (Grand Rapids South Christian Sr. OL) Committed to Purdue

32 Marvin Ham (Belleville Sr. LB) Committed to Boston College

33 Braiden McGregor (Port Huron Northern Jr. DE)

34 Cornell Wheeler (West Bloomfield Jr. LB)

35 Billie Roberts (Muskegon Jr. DE)

36 Ahmad Gardner (Detroit King Sr. CB) Committed to Cincinnati

37 Dallas Fincher (East Kentwood Jr. DL)

38 Jalen Graham (Detroit Cass Tech Sr. S/QB)

39 Dequan Finn (Detroit King Sr. QB) Committed to Central Michigan

40 Austin Brown (Madison Heights Madison Sr. QB) Committed to Marshall for baseball

41 Josh DeBerry (Warren De La Salle Sr. CB)

42 Lemuel Neely-Watley (Detroit King Jr. WR/CB)

43 DeAndre Buford (Detroit King Jr. OL)

44 Devell Washington (Bay City Western Jr. WR)

45 Lew Nichols (Detroit Cass Tech Sr. RB) Committed to Central Michigan

46 Ian Stewart (Gibraltar Carlson Jr. WR/S)

47 De’Andre Bulley (River Rouge Jr. RB)

48 Cam Martinez (Muskegon Jr. QB)

49 Jacob Wahlberg (Muskegon Mona Shores Sr. LB)

50 M.J. Griffin (Saline Sr. S) Committed to Temple