Friday Night Lights 2011: An Out-of-State Primer

Submitted by Tim on July 29th, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Player roundtable notes from Big Ten Media Days coming as soon as I can type them up. Hopefully 3500 words is enough to tide you over.

This fall, I'll be chronicling the season of Michigan commits as they hit the field on Friday nights (or Thursdays, or Saturday afternoons) in their high school games. The series includes stat breakdowns, game stories, and even some original video. Here's a primer for the out-of-state commits. If you have any corrections, you can e-mail them to me at [email protected], or post them in the comments of this post.

Blake Bars


Nashville, TN
Montgomery Bell Academy

Montgomery Bell 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-19 7PM Kingsbury
8-26 8PM @ Louisville Trinity
9-2 TBA Brentwood Academy
9-9 TBA Baylor
9-16 7PM Battle Ground Academy
9-23 TBA Pearl-Cohn
9-30 TBA @ Father Ryan
10-7 TBA Ensworth
10-21 TBA @ McCallie
10-28 TBA @ Pope John Paul II

HS Position: Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Tackle/Guard

Last year, Montgomery Bell Academy went 9-3, losing in the second round of the Tennessee High School State Playoffs. Since Blake is an offensive lineman, he didn't have any stats of note on the year.

This season, MBA plays many of the same opponents that they did last year, including Ensworth, who beat them in the playoffs (avenging an earlier loss). Blake is one of the key players on his team, and with a solid season, could see his rankings improve on the recruiting sites. Since he was a first-time starter last year, it's likely he'll show plenty of improvement now that he's gotten his feet wet.

Joe Bolden


Cincinnati, OH
Colerain High School

Colerain 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-28 3PM Cocoa (FL)
9-2 7:30PM Ryle
9-9 7:30PM St. Xavier
9-16 7:30PM Mason
9-23 7:30PM @ Middletown
9-30 7:30PM Fairfield
10-7 7:30PM @ Lakota West
10-14 7:30PM Lakota East
10-21 7:30PM @ Hamilton
10-28 7:30PM @ Oak Hills

HS Position: Linebacker
Projects as: Strongside Linebacker

Colerain is one of the traditional powers in Ohio High School football, and their 11-1 season last year is another example of that success. However, they lost in the second round of the State Playoffs to rival St. Xavier, ending not only their undefeated streak, but also their season. Bolden notched 90 tackles, 4 sacks, and 2 interceptions in the campaign.

Look for the Cardinals to reload for yet another successful campaign, though five players went on to Division-1 colleges after graduation. They also have a tough schedule, starting with an inter-state game against Cocoa (FL), and including a game against fellow Michigan commit Caleb Stacey's Oak Hills squad.

I might get a chance to catch a game of Bolden's, but if not, you'll be able to watch the season opener on ESPN2, so be sure to tune in.

Pharaoh Brown


Lyndhurst, OH
Brush High School

Brush 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-19 7PM Medina
8-26 7PM @ Eastlake North
9-2 7PM @ Madison
9-9 7PM Kenston
9-16 7PM Valley Forge
9-23 7PM @ Twinsburg
9-30 7PM Mayfield
10-6 7PM @ Twinsburg
10-14 7PM @ Lakewood
10-21 7PM Parma
10-28 7PM @ Garfield Heights

HS Position: Quarterback/Defensive End
Projects as: Defensive End/Wide Receiver

Brush struggled to a 4-6 record last year, with Brown one of the few bright spots at both defensive end and quarterback. He made 49 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 3 pass breakups, and two forced fumbles at defensive end. His quarterback stats are not available.

Brush is looking to rebound in 2011 with a stronger season, and the five close losses last year indicate that they may not be far from a breakthrough of sorts. Brown might switch from quarterback to wideout this year (as some 7-on-7 highlights might indicate), but will continue terrorizing QBs off the edge.

As an underexposed recruit, Brown is somebody that could see his rankings on the recruiting sites rise if he has a dominant senior year. His physical tools are impressive, and putting them to good use could see him rise to 4-star status on all the recruiting sites. It's unlikely that I'll catch any of his games in person this fall. I'm also not positive if the schedule listed by MaxPreps is accurate, as that double-dip against Twinsburg seems a little fishy.

Allen Gant


Sylvania, OH
Southview High School

Southview 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7PM Toledo DeSales
9-2 7PM @ Toledo Rogers
9-9 7PM @ Toledo Start
9-16 7PM Napoleon (@ Northview)
9-23 7PM Maumee
9-30 8PM Perrysburg (@ Northview)
10-7 7PM @ Bowling Green
10-14 7PM Whitehouse Anthony Wayne
10-28 7PM Sylvania Northview

HS Position: Safety/Wide Receiver
Projects as: Strong Safety

Like Colerain, Southview completed an undefeated regular season - blowing out many opponents along the way - but was tripped up early in the playoffs, falling in the first round to Twinsburg (alma mater of Zoltan, All Hail Zoltan). Allen finished his junior year with 56 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles on defense, while also recording 20 receptions on the other side of the ball.

This year, Southview will look to take last year's performance to the next level, advancing into the Ohio Playoffs. Allen should be an important part of the defense and the offense if he can stay healthy (he's had hamstring issues in the past).

Since the Sylvania/Toledo area is not a long haul, I might be able to catch a couple of Gant's games in person this fall. With a healthy, successful season, he has a very good chance to move up in the rankings.

Sione Houma


Salt Lake City, UT
Highland High School

Highland 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-19 7PM @ Salt Lake West
8-26 7PM @ Cedar City
9-2 7PM Provo
9-9 7PM Lone Peak
9-16 7PM Clearfield
9-23 7PM @ Bountiful
9-30 7PM Woods Cross
10-7 7PM Magna Cyprus
10-14 7PM @ Salt Lake East

HS Position: A-Back
Projects as: Fullback

Highland had a pretty successful 2010 campaign, finishing the year with a 10-4 record and running through the playoffs to a State Championship. Houma played a big role in that championship, rushing for 1200 yards and 9 touchdowns as the dive back in a flexbone offense.

As the reigning State Champs, Highland should expect to have another successful season this fall, despite the loss of a pair of 3-star players to the Pac-12 (Desmond Collins to Oregon State, Nate Fakahafua to Utah). Sione should continue to play a big role in the offense, especially since one of his backfield mates has moved on as well.

Since he plays a position where there are rarely any prospects rated higher than three stars, it's unlikely to see Sione rise that much in the rankings. Compounding that is the fact that he's slightly undersized for his eventual college position, and he'll have to turn in a very impressive campaign in 2011 to see his rankings rise (though he may be able to pass a fullback or two).

Since he's two timezones away, I think it goes without saying that I won't see any games in person this fall (though any readers in the SLC area who want to e-mail game reports, photos, video, etc. are more than welcome to).

Kyle Kalis


Lakewood, OH
St. Edward High School

St. Edward 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 7PM Cleveland Glenville
9-2 TBA @ Pittsburgh Penn Hills
9-10 7:30PM Youngstown Cardinal Mooney
9-17 7PM Cincinnati Elder
9-24 7PM Tampa (FL) Jefferson
9-30 7PM @ Youngstown Ursuline
10-8 7PM Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep
10-15 7PM @ Cincinnati St. Xavier
10-22 7PM Cincinnati Moeller
10-29 7PM Cleveland St. Ignatius

HS Position: Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Offensive Guard/Tackle

2010 was a good year for one of the tradition powers in Ohio High School Football, as Lakewood St. Edward went 15-0 en route to a State Championship. That was quite the rebound from an extremely disappointing 4-6 campaign in 2009, especially since they played plenty of top competition. Since Kyle is an offensive lineman, he didn't have any stats of note.

This year should be interesting for St. Edward, as they lost 5 players to Division-1 ball (and another to FCS school Penn, which I guess technically counts as D-1). However, this year's senior class might be even better, with Kalis joined by a quartet of 3-star commits on the roster. The run-heavy scheme certainly should see success behind Kalis and fellow BCS-bound lineman Tyler Orlosky, who is committed to West Virginia. They have a hell of a schedule, with opponents from four different states.

Cleveland is one of the less-convenient potential stops for the Great FNL Tour of 2011, but I'm hoping to make it to at least one of Kalis's games. I'm not willing to make any promises though.

Erik Magnuson


Carlsbad, CA
La Costa Canyon High School

La Costa Canyon 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7PM Rancho Bernardo
9-2 7PM Marina
9-9 7PM Poway
9-16 7PM @ San Clemente
9-23 7PM @ Redlands
9-30 7PM Fallbrook
10-14 7PM @ Carlsbad
10-21 7PM Rancho Buena Vista
10-28 7PM @ Oceanside
11-4 7PM @ El Camino
11-11 7PM Torrey Pines

HS Position: Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Offensive Tackle

La Costa Canyon had a decent season last year, finishing 8-4 and losing to Oceanside in the CIF Playoff Second Round. Since Erik is an offensive lineman, he didn't have any stats of note.

La Costa Canyon is looking to build on last year's success, and have another successful season, taking it to the next level. They did lose a defensive end to Kansas State, which one must assume will weaken their defense.

California is a little too far for an FNL road trip (forgive me), but if any San Diego-area readers want to help keep tabs, my e-mail inbox is open. Erik is already a very highly-regarded prospect, so unless he has a simply dominant senior year, displaying that he has NFL potential as a true left tackle, it's hard to see him moving up the rankings much.

Kaleb Ringer


Clayton, OH
Northmont High School

Northmont 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 6PM Hamilton
9-2 7:30PM @ Cincinnati Princeton
9-10 7PM @ Cincinnati Moeller
9-16 7:30PM Sidney
9-23 7:30PM Lebanon
9-30 7:30PM @ Beavercreek
10-7 7:30PM Kettering Fairmont
10-14 7:30PM Kettering Fairmont
10-28 7:30PM @ Springfield

HS Position: Linebacker
Projects as: Weakside/Middle Linebacker

Northmont missed the State Playoffs last year after a trying season that included four blowout losses (to six wins). Despite team struggles, Kaleb performed pretty well, notching 35 solo tackles and 50 assisted tackles, while playing running back in goal line situations.

No recruited players graduated from Northmont, so this season has a chance to show some improvement. With Kaleb the key component in the defense, Northmont will look to build toward the State Playoffs in 2011.

Kaleb has a range of rankings on the recruiting services, with only Scout deeming him worthy of a fourth star. If he can turn in a physically dominant senior year, there's a good chance for him to rise in the rankings. His height will limit him a bit, but there's no reason he can't scrape into the 4-star range.

I'm hoping to make it to maaaaybe one of Kaleb's games this season, but with so many commits close to home, I may not be able to see him live. Also, there appears to be an error in the schedule posted on Maxpreps, as it shows two consecutive games against Fairmont.

Caleb Stacey


Cincinnati, OH
Oak Hills High School

Oak Hills 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 TBA @ Cincinnati La Salle
9-2 7:30PM @ Harrison
9-9 7:30PM Loveland
9-16 7:30PM Middletown
9-23 7:30PM @ Lakota West
9-30 7:30PM Hamilton
10-7 7:30PM @ Cincinnati Sycamore
10-14 7:30PM Mason
10-21 7:30PM @ Fairfield
10-28 7:30PM Colerain

HS Position: Offensive Guard/Tackle
Projects as: Offensive Center

Oak Hills had a rough season last year, going 4-6 and missing out on the State Playoffs. Losses to Stacey's future teammates AJ Williams (Sycamore) and Joe Bolden (Colerain) were included. Since Caleb is an offensive lineman, he didn't register any meaningful stats last season.

This season, the slate looks pretty tough again for Oak Hills, but they'll certainly strive to improve upon last year's record. Once again, they close the season against Joe Bolden's Colerain squad.

Caleb is at an interesting point from a rankings perspective. He's a 3-star across all three sites, which unanimously rank him among the guards. HOWEVA, he's slated to be a center in college, and is expected to play that position for his high school team this year to help get acclimated. That means that not only are the recruiting sites going to be scouting him this fall, but they'll be doing it at a new position. Lots of moving parts means lots of opportunity to move in the rankings. Rivals and ESPN only rank two centers in the 4-star range, Scout ranks three (two of whom are committed to Oklahoma), and 24/7 Sports only bothers to rank one center at all.

There's a slight chance I'll see a game or two of Stacey's this fall, but again, there are plenty of other prospects much closer, so I make no promises.

Anthony Standifer

Crete, IL
Crete-Monee High School

Crete-Monee 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7:30PM Thornton Fractional South
9-2 7:30PM @ Lincoln-Way West
9-9 7:30PM @ Moline
9-16 7:30PM Glenbard South
9-23 6PM @ Kanakee
9-30 6PM Bloom
10-7 6PM @ Rich Central
10-14 6PM Rich South
10-22 12PM @ Rich East

HS Position: Cornerback
Projects as: Cornerback/Safety

Crete-Monee had a decent season last year, finishing with an 8-4 record and a loss to Danville in the third round of the State Playoffs. Anthony was a big part of that success, adding 44 tackles to his 9 interceptions and a forced fumble.

This year, Crete-Monee should be even stronger, with no players from last year's class even present in Rivals's database, much less committed to Division-1 schools. Anthony should be one of the squad's leaders, along with junior teammate WR LaQuon Treadwell, helping take their team to the next level.

Anthony has plenty of potential to move up in the rankings with a good season. He's been pegged as sort of a corner/safety combo by some recruiting sites, so showing that he has the necessary skills to be a high-level corner in college could boost his rankings. With excellent corner size, displaying his abilities on the field is all he needs.

I won't be wishy-washy about whether or not I'm going to see any of his games, as I plan to make exactly one: The night before the Michigan game at Northwestern, Crete-Monee takes on Rich Central. Convenient!

Tom Strobel


Mentor, OH
Mentor High School

Mentor 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7PM @ Euclid
9-2 7PM Youngstown Ursuline
9-9 7PM St. Ignatius
9-16 7PM @ Mayfield
9-23 7PM Parma
9-30 7PM Brunswick
10-6 7PM @ Solon
10-14 7PM Medina
10-21 7PM @ Strongsville
10-28 7PM @ Twinsburg

HS Position: Defensive End
Projects as: Strongside Defensive End

Mentor had an OK season last year, finishing 7-4 with a first-round playoff loss to Lakewood St. Edward (and Strobel's good friend Kyle Kalis) - bookending the season with losses to St. Ed. Strobel had 37 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, and a sack for Mentor, and added a pair of fumble recoveries.

This year, the schedule looks just a bit lighter, so Mentor should put together a strong season. Strobel is the headliner of his team, and should be a team leader en route to a successful season.

Despite that, I don't think it's likely that Tom moves around much in the rankings, unless he puts together a monster year statistically (he was held back a bit last year by a trachea injury). A solid 4-star ranking is nothing to be ashamed of, and it seems likely Tom sticks in that range.

I'm not planning to make it to any of Mentor's games this year, but it's always possible that plans change.

AJ Williams


Cincinnati, OH
Sycamore High School

Sycamore 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 7:30PM @ Cincinnati Withrow
9-2 7:30PM Springboro
9-9 7:30PM @Springfield
9-16 7:30PM @ Fairfield
9-23 7:30PM Lakota East
9-30 7:30PM @ Cincinnati Princeton
10-7 7:30PM Oak Hills
10-14 7:30PM @ Middletown
10-21 7:30PM Lakota West
10-28 7PM @ Mason

HS Position: Tight End/Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Tight End

Sycamore had a mediocre season last year, finishing 6-4 on the season and missing out on the State playoffs. The season included a win over Caleb Stacey's Oak Hills but a loss to Joe Bolden's Colerain. AJ didn't rack up many numbers, instead serving primarily as a blocker.

Sycamore graduated a couple BCS-bound players, so it wouldn't be a surprise if their team took a sight step back this year. However, the schedule is a bit lighter with no Colerain, so perhaps they can put together a strong season.

AJ is in a weird position as far as rankings go. He's a huge tight end, but it doesn't sound like there is any plan to have him play tackle. Despite that, he rarely catches any passes. Unless he moves to offensive line (and is ranked there by the recruiting services) or Sycamore's offensive scheme changes to get him the ball a bit more frequently, I doubt AJ is going to move in the rankings.

I have no current plans to make it to a Sycamore game this year.

Jarrod Wilson


Akron, OH
John R. Buchtel High School

Buchtel 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-19 5PM @ Austintown-Fitch
8-25 7:30PM @ Massillon Washington
9-2 7PM @ Steubenville
9-9 7PM @ Solon
9-16 7PM @ Akron Garfield
10-1 12PM Akron Ellet
10-8 12PM @ Akron North
10-14 7PM Kenmore
10-21 7PM @ St. Vincent-St. Mary
10-28 7PM Firestone

HS Position: Safety/Wide Receiver
Projects as: Safety

Buchtel had a pretty good season last year, falling in the State Finals to Bishop Watterson. The 11-4 final record also included losses to a trio of Catholic Schools. Jarrod was a huge part of his team's success, reeling in 12 interceptions and returning 5 of them for touchdowns. He also had a 98-yard fumble return for touchdown. He recorded about 50 tackles on the year.

This year, Buchtel loses the services of wideout Corey Smith, who would be a senior, but is ineligible to play high school sports (he's participated in four previous years). One of Wilson's compatriots in the defensive backfield, Chevin Meadows, has moved on to Kent State. Despite that, Jarrod is one of the catalysts for his team's success, so there shouldn't be too much dropoff for the Griffins - though they have a brutal start to the year.

Jarrod has put up massive stats in previous years, so it's not a lack of production that is holding him back in the rankings. Because of that, I think it's unlikely he moves much, even if he has another huge year.

I'm not currently planning to attend any Buchtel games this season, but Akron readers are welcome to e-mail me.

Any corrections to the schedules posted here are welcome. If you attend any commit's game, feel free to e-mail me notes, stats, photos, etc. to [email protected].


Mr Mackey

July 29th, 2011 at 11:44 AM ^

You list Pharaoh Brown as a DE / WR in college, is that confirmed at all? Or just a possibility?

Also, that Magnuson picture is too legit to quit.

Mi Sooner

July 29th, 2011 at 12:30 PM ^

In sylvania Ohio as @northville. They never intended to have two schools in sylvania anyway. The board, however, had a change of heart at that time and created two HS. Southview, like Toledo st. Johns, does not have the land to build q stadium on.


July 29th, 2011 at 12:42 PM ^

Brown's game against Madison is one I will be definitely keeping tabs on. Madison is my hometown and is a school that never has produced much other than Northern Illinois' former quarterback Josh Haldi. They always seem to have enough talent, or effort, or whatever, to get wins, though. Either way, it will be a good game.


July 29th, 2011 at 12:47 PM ^

Brown's teammate Carlutorbantu Zaramo would have been phenomenal for the "Name of the Year" contest. At 6'4" and 300 lbs, I wouldn't want to face him on the line.


July 29th, 2011 at 12:53 PM ^

Excellent post, Tim. Very well done

Looking forward to your Toledo field trip with the creeper van and cameras. I'll buy the first round afterwards


July 29th, 2011 at 12:56 PM ^

Brush High playing Twinsburg twice, if you click on Twinsburg in the schedule, theirs reflects the same data, only opposite of course. I have to assume they're linked, but maybe not.


July 29th, 2011 at 5:17 PM ^

St. Edwards vs Don Bosco Prep should be a very good game. Kalis will be up against Darius Hamilton the highest rated DE in the country.  Seems like every time DBP plays an out of state opponent they are always the ones traveling.


July 29th, 2011 at 5:26 PM ^

Centerville goes to Northmont on 10/7 for their anual rivalry game. Look for some potential Michigan recruits on the Elks as well. Should be an amazing game to watch