"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
future blue originals
2017 Ann Arbor Pioneer OLB Antjuan Simmons is one of the hottest prospects on the recruting trail. In the last few weeks he's added offers from Arizona State, LSU, Miami (YTM), Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, to name a few. While Michigan hasn't yet joined that group, they hosted Simmons for an unofficial visit during the UNLV game, and you can bet they're keeping a close eye on the local kid.
In a matchup of undefeated teams, Pioneer fell to Saline 37-21 on Friday in a game that frankly wasn't that close; it was 28-7 heading into the fourth quarter. Simmons made a big impact on both sides of the ball, however, making plays all over the field at outside linebacker while proving to be Pioneer's most effective means of moving the ball on offense. He finished with double-digit tackles, a sack, a fumble return for a touchdown, and a rushing touchdown (though he also fumbled a goal-line carry).
The fumble return, which occurred after we'd packed up (via The Saline Post):
[Hit THE JUMP for the scouting report.]
KJ Hamler warms up. [Dave Nasternak/MGoBlog]
For this week's scouting post, Dave and I went out to Orchard Lake St. Mary's and their blood-red field to see four-star 2017 prospects KJ Hamler and Josh Ross, both of whom hold Michigan offers. OLSM took on Warren De La Salle in a matchup of defending state champions, though unfortunately DLS RB/CB Allen Stritzinger sat out due to injury.
Despite the absence of Stritzinger and standout linebacker Eric Rogers, De La Salle dominated; we exited the scene before the 31-8 score went final. While Hamler and Ross couldn't lead their team to victory, both showed flashes of their potential; in Hamler's case, one flash was especially bright:
We call him "Speedy Eaglet" for a reason.
[Hit THE JUMP for more video and scouting reports on Hamler and Ross.]
Michigan linebacker commit David Reese is the focus of this week's FBO. While his Farmington squad fell short against a talented Southfield team, 45-22, he had a productive game—12 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble he returned for a TD, a blocked extra point, and a rushing touchdown. Reese lined up at middle linebacker, fullback, and H-back; he'll come to Michigan as an inside linebacker but I also pulled some clips of him on offense in case he switches sides of the ball—he looks viable on either side.
David Reese Highlights
Reese is #3 in blue. Thanks to Dave Nasternak for filming this one.
[Hit THE JUMP for a breakdown of Reese.]
Michael Onwenu: large, strong [Dave Nasternak/MGoBlog]
Yes, I'm still catching up on film from the Prep Kickoff Classic. This time around the focus is on Cass Tech and Southfield; more specifically, four-star Cass Tech left tackle Michael Onwenu, who's committed to Michigan as a guard.
The Technicians won this game with ease, 27-0, due to their domination on the ground. Onwenu and left guard Ostell Martin were too big and strong for Southfield's line to handle; running back Tim Cheatham had plenty of huge holes to run through on his way to 99 rushing yards and a pair of scores. Southfield couldn't get moving on offense, going nowhere in the running game and finding only inconsistent success through the air.
Michael Onwenu Highlights
The final play comes highly recommended.
[Hit THE JUMP for scouting reports on Onwenu, a couple Cass Tech juniors, and Southfield's promising freshman quarterback.]
KJ Hamler looked strong in all three phases [Dave Nasternak]
Orchard Lake St. Mary's was a heavy favorite against Detroit Loyola in Saturday's first game of the Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State. While they won 24-12 and generally controlled the proceedings, they weren't as dominant as expected.
The same was the case for 2017 linebacker Josh Ross, the younger brother of Michigan linebacker James Ross. He had an up-and-down performance, but 2017 ATH KJ Hamler lived up to the billing, showing out in all three phases of the game—Hamler's big-play threat at receiver combined with a strong OLSM run game to give them the win.
Split into sections for Hamler and Ross. Thanks to Dave Nasternak for manning the camera.
[Hit THE JUMP for scouting breakdowns on Hamler and Ross.]
We couldn't have picked a better first game to scout for this year's Future Blue Originals. Avon, led by Michigan QB commit Brandon Peters, went toe-to-toe with defending state champs Ben Davis, which featured Michigan ATH commit Chris Evans. Ben Davis came away with a 49-42 win after an eye-opening Evans touchdown and a long pick-six when Peters got drilled during the release.
Peters essentially was the Avon offense, completing 26 of 44 attempts for 381 yards (8.7 YPA) and four passing touchdowns while adding another score and a handful of decent scrambles on the ground; as you'll see, neither of his interceptions were his fault. Evans had a tough time finding room in the running game, gaining 36 yards on 17 carries, but he showed all you'd want to see from a future slot receiver on his late 50-yard touchdown.
[Hit THE JUMP for extensive video and scouting on Peters, Evans, and an Avon linebacker who caught my eye.]