Preseason Top 10 Player list: King’s Corley tops list, remains undecided on which college he will attend
Detroit – Donnie Corley, Jr., is keeping his options open.
State Champs has named Corley, a 6-3, 187-pound receiver/defensive back from Detroit King, as the state’s top player in its preseason top 25 list and he has yet to commit to a school.
And it’s quite possible he’ll remain uncommitted until December, perhaps January.
“I will take all of my (official) visits,” Corley said. “I visited (unofficial) Michigan State (Aug. 8). That’s it for a while. It’s possible I would take a(n unofficial) visit during the season.”
Recruits are allowed to take five official visits but these visits can only be taken once the season is over.
Corley, 17, has been offered a scholarship by a number of schools but said he narrowed his choices to six, Georgia, Louisiana State, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Tennessee.
He began competing in football at age eight, a year after he began competing in track and field. Encouraged by his father Donny Corley, who played at Detroit Northern and Central State (OH) University, Corley played for the Saints and the Tigers in the Police Athletic League (PAL) before enrolling at Wyandotte Roosevelt his freshman year. He transferred to King after his sophomore year.
Last season Corley had 47 receptions for 1,047 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also had nine interceptions.
Most expect Corley to play receiver in college, including Corley. And most of the schools recruiting him are recruiting him at that position. But that’s not etched in stone. He said North Carolina State was recruiting him as a cornerback; Auburn and Vanderbilt as a safety. Corley said MSU is recruiting him at both positions.
King coach Dale Harvel agrees with the staff at N.C. State.
“Schools are going for that taller cornerback now,” Harvel said. “I think he would be outstanding there.
“For us he’ll play everywhere. We’ll have him do what we need for us to be successful. If that means returning kicks, that, too.
“He’s a super athlete. When the ball is in the air, Donnie is there. He’s not a vocal kid but he leads by example. Whatever his personality is, is what you see. In the classroom he’s a leader.”
Corley’s recruiting process took a big leap forward the summer before his junior year. Before that schools like Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Illinois and Toledo offered him a scholarship. The scholarship offer from LSU came three games into last season. Ohio State offered him a scholarship in December and Auburn’s scholarship offer came two months ago.
It looks like they are all going to have to wait. Corley has more immediate plans.
“I’m looking to give it my all this season and lead our team to a state championship,” he said.
Here is the rest of the top 10 players. All are seniors unless noted. Players listed 11-25 will be released on Tuesday.
2. Trishton Jackson, West Bloomfield, 6-2, 180, WR/QB: One of the top quarterbacks in southeast Michigan last season, Jackson committed to Michigan State in June and indications are that coach Mark Dantonio and his staff want Jackson to move to receiver. Jackson is expected to play both quarterback and receiver this season. Athletic and deceptively fast, Jackson accounted for seven touchdowns, pass-run, in one game last season.
3. Khalid Kareem, Farmington Hills Harrison, 6-4, 260, DE: One of the nation’s top defensive ends, Kareem is committed to Alabama. A pure pass rusher who can also defend against the run, Kareem registered 18 sacks and 85 tackles in his junior season for Harrison. Kareem has been timed at 4.8 in the 40-yard dash.
4. Josh Jackson, Saline, 6-2, 200, QB: Jackson shared time at quarterback last season but won the starting position as the season progressed. He accounted for over 400 yards and six touchdowns in a Division 1 semifinal victory over Canton then had 319 yards in total offense in the state final. Jackson committed to Virginia Tech.
5. Daelin Hayes, Ann Arbor Skyline, 6-4, 245, RB/LB: Anticipation mounts as we await Hayes’ return to Michigan and, hopefully, a full season playing football. Hayes suffered a season-ending shoulder injury his sophomore season as a member of the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s program. He transferred to California for his junior year and now is back. Hayes committed to Southern California and will likely play outside linebacker for the Trojans.
6. Michael Onwenu, Detroit Cass Tech, 6-3, 365, OG/DT: Committed to Michigan, Onwenu is one of the top offensive linemen in the Midwest. A big, physical interior lineman, Onwenu is a strong run blocker, and helped block for Mr. Football finalist, Mike Weber, last year. In the 40-yard dash, Onwenu has been timed at 5.5 seconds.
7. Tony Poljan, Lansing Catholic Central, 6-6, 220, QB: A prolific dual-threat quarterback, Poljan committed to Minnesota. Poljan threw for 2,802 yards, ran for over 1,000 as a junior and totaled 56 touchdowns (run/pass). He has been timed at 4.73 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Poljan was 24-of-34 for 269 yards and two touchdowns in the Division 5 final.
8. Dez Fitzpatrick, Waterford Mott, 6-1, 185, WR: Fitzpatrick had a fine junior season at Farmington but decided to transfer. Mott coach Chris Fahr likes to have his quarterbacks throw the ball often so Fitzpatrick could have a statistically staggering season. Fitzpatrick is an athletic receiver who has the penchant for making the big play. He committed to Louisville.
9. Adetokunbo Ogundeji, Walled Lake Central, 6-4, 225, DE/TE: A three-year varsity player, Ogundeji has a terrific junior year anchoring a defense that was instrumental in defeating West Bloomfield, 11-7, in a Division 1 district final. Ogundeji uses his upper body strength to ward off blockers and his speed to run down ball carriers. He committed to Notre Dame.
10. Martell Pettaway, Detroit King, 5-10, 210, RB/KR: A transfer from St. Clair Shores South Lake, Pettaway committed to West Virginia. For the most part Pettaway will run between the tackles and he has the speed to break the 30- or 40-yard run. He’s a physical runner who will be tested when King plays physical teams like Warren De La Salle and Cass Tech.