Good post. Lots of info!
Friday Night Lights '09: Junior Wrapup
Last year at my old digs, I chronicled the weekly performances of Michigan commits in their final season of high school ball. That feature, Friday Night Lights, will make the move with me to MGoBlog. High school football news is not always so easy to come by, even in today's internet-centric world, so let me know if you have any additional information for any installment of the series.
MI QB Devin Gardner
By all accounts, Gardner is poised for a monstrous senior season. He's worked hard over the offseason on improving his ability to throw the ball, his conditioning should be at a peak, and his Inkster Vikings are expected to be one of the best teams in the state of Michigan.
There are a couple things that could hold him back: The Vikings play every single game on the road, including a couple trips to the Cleveland area, and another to Steubenville, Ohio (damn near in West Virginia). He also lost his #1 target from last year in current Wolverine Cameron Gordon. Still, look for excellent numbers from Devin in this space.
|Devin Gardner 2008|
|Zeeland West||W 27-22||7||12||136||58.33||1||0||11.33||9||65||7.22||1|
|Highland Park||L 22-24||3||1||0|
|Edsel Ford||W 41-7||3||1|
|Garden City||W 42-14||5||8||99||62.50||2||0||12.38||6||103||17.17||2|
|Allen Park||W 22-15||11||21||128||52.38||0||0||6.10||12||49||4.08||3|
|East Grand Rapids||L 24-43||5||16||84||31.25||1||1||5.25||12||44||3.67||0|
SC QB Cornelius Jones
Jones's season last year went poorly, as did his team's. However, Spartanburg should be one of the most improved in the area, and Jones will try to put up better numbers. In his second year under the current coaching staff, and Cornelius's second playing high school football, there's nowhere to go but up.
|Cornelius Jones 2008|
|Union County||W 31-0||10||16||122||62.50||0||0||7.625||18||30||1.67||2|
|Boiling Springs||L 22-29||12||20||231||60.00||1||0||11.55||21||79||3.76||0|
|Dorman||L 3-28||DNP (Illness)|
TX RB Stephen Hopkins
Hopkins, named one of the best players in the Dallas area, will try to build on a solid junior season and show that he is an elite player. However, he may make more of an impact defensively than carrying the rock.
|Stephen Hopkins 2008|
|Plano West||L 23-27||30||170||5.67||2||4||37||9.25||0|
|Fossil Ridge||W 49-28||25||208||8.32||3||1||28||28.00||0|
|Flower Mound||W 28-21||29||202||6.97||3||0||0||-||0|
TX RB Tony Drake
Drake has been a do-everything for Skyline. This year, he should be the starting RB after last year's starter moved on to Iowa State.
|Tony Drake 2008|
|Plano East||W 42-0||5||69||13.80||0||2||19||9.50||0|
|Lake Highlands||L 20-24||1||3||3.00||0||0||0||-||0|
|De Soto||W 51-26||0||0||-||0||0||0||-||0|
|Cypress Woods||W 35-21||7||56||8.00||0||0||0||-||0|
|Stony Point||L 14-28||1||2||2.00||0||0||0||-||0|
MI RB Austin White
White put up pretty good numbers last year, as he led Stevenson to the state semifinals before bowing out to eventual champion Rockford. The only thing that prevented him from getting ridiculous stats was a ton of blowouts. The Spartans should be a pretty strong team again, and White should have the opportunity to continue mixing long runs with steady production on the ground. Look for him to potentially flex out as a receiver more often this year, and hopefully contribute on defense.
|Austin White 2008|
MI WR Ricardo Miller
Miller moves from Orlando to Michigan, where he'll be a major boost to Pioneer's receiving corps. He'll be the #1 option for the Pioneers and should put up impressive statistics.
|Ricardo Miller 2008|
|Cypress Creek||W 36-0||2||64||32.00||1||0||0||-||0|
|Oak Ridge||W 22-14||4||70||17.50||0||1||14||14.00||0|
|West Orange||W 49-21||3||71||23.67||1||0||0||-||0|
MI WR/TE Jeremy Jackson
Jackson's Huron River Rats are making the transition to a triple-option offense, which doesn't bode well for his receiving numbers. He is also changing positions (probably to tight end), so it remains to be seen what kind of statistics Jeremy will produce in '09.
|Jeremy Jackson 2008|
OH WR Jerald Robinson
Robinson will play both ways for Canton South. Will he make a bigger impact at wide receiver or safety?
|Jerald Robinson 2008|
OH WR DJ Williamson
Williamson hasn't put up impressive numbers yet in his high school career. However, he has track star speed, and has one more year to impress onlookers.
|DJ Williamson 2008|
LA Slot Drew Dileo
Dileo's Parkview Baptist team should be strong as always, and Dileo should perform well. He was the team's MVP last year.
OH OL Christian Pace
Pace helped Avon Lake run over opponents last year (to the tune of 200+ yards per game on the ground), and looks to repeat that performance in 2009. The Shoremen are the #8 team in Northeast Ohio heading into the 2009 season.
|Christian Pace 2008|
|Maple Heights||W 38-26|
|Brecksville-Broadview Heights||L 6-11|
|Olmstead Falls||W 34-7|
|North Olmstead||W 12-6|
OH DT Terry Talbott
Talbott plays defensive tackle for Huber Heights, making statistics pretty hard to find for him. Huber Heights should field a pretty good team this year, though.
|Terry Talbott 2008|
|Lakota West||W 20-17|
|East St. Louis||W 20-12|
|Padua Fransiscan||W 21-17|
|South Lake||W 14-31|
PA DE Jordan Paskorz
Paskorz is one of the lower-rated kids in Michigan's '10 class. He'll have his chance to prove the doubters wrong as a senior.
|Jordan Paskorz 2008|
|Shaler Area||L 6-21|
|Pine Richland||L 0-31|
|Franklin Regional||L 7-21|
OH LB Antonio Kinard
Kinard played with current Wolverines Fitzgerald Toussaint and Isaiah Bell last year. Will he have a good year without them by his side? Kinard returned one fumble 92 yards for a touchdown, and had one 54-yard touchdown run and another for 70+ yards last year. Other information on him is difficult to find.
|Antonio Kinard 2008|
|Chagrin Falls||L 0-21|
PA DE Ken Wilkins
Wilkins scored touchdowns on a 55-yard fumble return and a 26-yard blocked punt last year.
|Ken Wilkins 2008|
|Chartiers Valley||L 0-27|
FL S Marvin Robinson
Robinson has played both safety and running back for Lake Region. He's been named Preseason 2nd-Team All-State.
|Marvin Robinson 2008|
|Haines City||L 7-22|
|Winter Haven||L 0-17|
|Lake Wales||L 13-39|
|South Lake||W 18-10|
OH CB Courtney Avery
Avery is primarily a roboQB for Lexington, though he was also an all-state cornerback last year. Michigan fans are likely more interested in his defensive exploits.
|Courtney Avery 2008|
|Mount Vernon||W 49-7|
|Clear Fork||W 41-21|
|West Holmes||W 56-6|
|Sylvania Southview||L 24-38|
OH CB Terrence Talbott
Talbott is a pure corner for Wayne, who looks to have a big year with a number of junior and senior D-1 prospects.
|Terrence Talbott 2008|
|Lakota West||W 20-17|
|East St. Louis||W 20-12|
|Padua Fransiscan||W 21-17|
|South Lake||W 14-31|
Apologies for the inconsistent formatting. It will hopefully be much better during the course of the current season.
... with your lame contribution, genius.
Steubenville, Ohio is one of the worst places I've ever been to. Why is a team from Inkster, MI driving five hours to play a bunch of coal miners and chance lung cancer?
Steubenville is a great place to be on a Friday night in the fall. This will be a good game.
But aside from the air quality issues, why is team A driving five hours into a different state to play team B?
Steubenville should contend for a state championship this year in Ohio. At times, certain Ohio schools have difficulty finding other worthwhile in-state teams to play them. I've seen Ontario and Washington D.C. teams repeatedly come to northeast Ohio in the past few years. Don't know what the specifics are on this game.
Byrnes (here in SC) is going to Fort Lauderdale, FL to play St. Thomas Aquinas in October. 10 hours away.
All of Gardner's games on the road seems a bit much. I assume there's something else going on there, such as the football field being under six feet of water.
I don't know anything about the Michigan teams they play, but all 3 Ohio teams are top shelf. Stuebenville made it to the State finals. Div II. St. Ignatius won the state Div I. St. Edwards made the state playoffs and lost to St. Ignatius. Playing all 3 will be a real challenge. Playing all 3 on the road is just wrong!
Will there be a MGoBlog report on the game between Pioneer and Inkster next Saturday night?
I'm Jonesing for enough real football, that I may make the trek to see what all the fuss is about.
Huron (with Jeremy Jackson) plays Chelsea (with MSU commit Nick Hill) in the game prior to Inkster/Pioneer (5:00 and 8:00). They both should be pretty good games, so I think they'd be worth the trip for you. I'll be at both (worky work busy bee!).
I'm planning on being at both, as well.
I had no idea of the doubleheader. That's pretty sweet, now I am more than interested.
And, I was going to be on the lookout for you anyway, Sgt. Figured you might be there with your camera!
Yeah, I'll be haunting the sidelines of both games. There was never any doubt I'd be there for the Chelsea game, but I've picked up some A2 work thanks to Heritage Newspapers' foray into the A2 market, so I'll have to shoot the Pioneer game as well. I hope to have some down time between games, so if you can catch me, be sure to say hi.
Absolutely will do.
"Will there be a MGoBlog report on the game between Pioneer and Inkster next Saturday night?"
We'll be there, and at the preceding Huron/Chelsea game. Nothing set in stone yet, but there might be some coverage of Ohio commits in the two days before that, as well.
Thanks for the post. I enjoyed the coverage last year on VB and look forward to it this year on MGoBlog.
So nobody has a back-story on Inkster's schedule? I also have a secondary question. I know six wins gets you in the playoffs, but do out of state games count? Are they going to have to win all six road games vs. Michigan opponents to make the playoffs? If so, this could also hold Gardner back. Which is too bad, since I want him to get as many snaps as possible.
This jumped out at me too. It is hard to believe that they don't have any home games... One of my favorite memories from high school was meeting up with people and watching our friends play on a Friday night.
Are those games being played at Eastern?
Yes. Huron/Chelsea 5PM, Inkster/Pioneer 8PM. Rynearson Stadium.
has followed you guys over here. This is the all-everything blog now!
I was surprised to see the WR's have such low catch numbers especially Ricardo Miller. I by no means was a great HS WR and I ended up playing DII ball but there were games where I had 10+ catches. You would think a team with a D1 WR would make sure to get him the ball at least 5+ times a game.
Ricardo Miller also had another D1 WR opposite him in Kenny Shaw. That could explain low catch numbers.
Interesting that Hopkins is expected to play more at LB than RB this year. While clearly currently being recruited as a RB, he may be one that has more flexibility to move around to D, if needed.
That's new information for me...I was under the assumption that if anyone ultimately moved to D it would be one of the WRs (J. Robinson or D. Williamson).
Jerald Robinson is considered one of the best WRs in Michigan's class according to Sam Webb of WTKA 1050. Why would he be converted to defense? Maybe you know something the experts don't.
Recently, he got a star taken from his ranking. Later his ranking returned to four stars. I don't put too much stock in stars, but it is an indicator. Someone has seen this kid play, and they think he is a baller. His stats say one thing, but what about these camps he has been to recently?
I wasn't claiming to know anything that the experts don't. However, at the time Robinson committed, there was discussion around whether he would stay at WR or move to safety. In fact, if you look at those camp reports that you mention, one of them explicitly said that he impressed at wide receiver despite some coaches thinking he would be better at safety.
Again, I wasn't saying he would definitely be switched, but that the conversations around players moving from O to D centered on those two players.
Are those Williamson stats legit? 35 receptions for over 800 yards? If thats the case then he's got sick vertical potential.
His numbers are 30 rec. for 365 yds. not 800 yd.
Just curious, but does anyone know about Devin Pryor's, I mean, Vince Gardner's performance in the classroom?
I don't care if he's Myron Rolle-smart, but is he making the grades/test scores to be eligible? Are we looking at another Justin Turner nail-biter?