January 14, 2011 at 1:00 am

Detroit News Blue Chip players 1-15

"We're going to miss him," Renaissance coach Antonio Watts, left, said of Lawrence Thomas. (John M. Galloway)

Here are players 1-15 on The Detroit News Blue Chip list:

1. Lawrence Thomas

School: Detroit Renaissance

Pos./vitals: LB, DL/6-4, 245

Commitment: Michigan State

For the second consecutive year, The News' top Blue Chipper selected Michigan State. Thomas also is the sixth consecutive Detroit Public School League player to take the top spot. Thomas finished with 85 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, nine sacks and four forced fumbles last season. The linebacker also played defensive end one game and often was used at tight end, receiver and running back. Plus, he punted.

2. DeAnthony Arnett

School: Saginaw

Pos./vitals: WR, DB/6-0, 170

Commitment: Tennessee

Arnett, a four-star recruit according to Rivals.com, finished with 42 receptions last season, averaging 19 yards per catch. His agility and sure hands will make him a dependable receiver for Tennessee. But, Arnett needs to gain some overall strength if he hopes to withstand the physical play the Southeastern Conference is known for.

3. Justice Hayes

School: Grand Blanc

Pos./vitals: RB/5-10, 175

Commitment: Michigan

Hayes committed to Notre Dame prior to last season before reconsidering. Timed between 4.4 and 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash, he's a deceptively strong runner and boasts a quick first step. Despite a wrist injury the third game of last season, Hayes finished his Grand Blanc career with 2,624 yards and 21 TDs, and caught 53 passes for 549 yards.

4. Jake Fisher

School: Traverse City West

Pos./vitals: OL/6-7, 265

Commitment: Michigan (reopened process)

Fisher, a defensive end and tight end but recruited as an offensive tackle, committed to Michigan but has had second thoughts after Rich Rodriguez's firing. Fisher intends to make an official visit to Michigan State this weekend and to Florida the following weekend. Notre Dame and Oregon also have shown interest. Fisher had 68 tackles his senior year and had 11 receptions for 232 yards. "He has such a huge frame," coach Tim Wooer said. "A lot of kids his size don't move that well."

5. Anthony Zettel

School: West Branch Ogemaw Heights

Pos./vitals: OT, DE/6-4, 245

Commitment: Penn State

Zettel excelled on both sides of the ball. A three-year starter at offensive tackle, he moved to fullback midseason and rushed for over 100 yards in three games. He also started at defensive end. On defense, Zettel had 85 unassisted tackles, 28 assists and seven sacks. He likely will play defensive end for Joe Paterno.

6. Valdez Showers

School: Madison Heights Madison

Pos./vitals: DB, RB/6-0, 178

Commitment: Florida

Recruited as a defensive back, Showers finished with 28 tackles and three INTs last season. "He's a coach's dream," coach Drake Wilkins said. "He's a 3.5 student and is a kid who was never a problem." And Showers is fast. He runs the 100-meter dash in 10.6 seconds and the 200 in 22 seconds.

7. Brennen Beyer

School: Plymouth

Pos./vitals: TE, DE/6-4, 225

Commitment: Michigan

Beyer was a force on the defensive line, showing an ability to ward off blockers to chase down running backs or as a rush defensive end causing havoc in the backfield. He was a major reason Plymouth reached the Division 1 final for the first time. "His biggest improvement over last year is his strength," coach Mike Sawchuck said. "Combine the bench, the squat and the clean (and jerk) and he totaled 1,050 pounds." Beyer had 47 tackles, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles and two blocked kicks last season. He also had 31 receptions, but likely will play defense for Michigan.

8. Taiwan Jones

School: New Baltimore Anchor Bay

Pos./vitals: LB, RB/6-3, 205

Commitment: Michigan State

Jones, who is only 16 years old, likely will play defense for Michigan State. After suffering a knee injury as a junior, he had a tremendous senior year, leading Anchor Bay to the state playoffs for the first time since 2004. On defense, Jones had 46 tackles and three INTs, while on offense, he finished with 34 receptions for 507 yards and 856 yards rushing and 12 TDs.

9. Allen Robinson Jr.

School: Orchard Lake St. Mary's

Pos./vitals: WR, DB/6-3, 195

Commitment: Penn State

Robinson is a good example of a player bursting onto the scene after a "good" junior season. He became a big-play receiver who used his basketball skills to out-jump defenders for 44 receptions for 728 yards and 10 TDs. Robinson also showed his big-play ability on special teams, returning 10 punts for 270 yards and two TDs. At safety, he had 29 tackles and two INTs.

10. Jake Duzey

School: Troy Athens

Pos./vitals: TE, DE/6-4, 230

Commitment: Iowa

Duzey is a physical receiver, and fits Iowa's system, which uses its tight ends, often in motion, as a vital part of the pass offense. A durable player, he runs the 40 in 4.42 seconds and has a 36-inch vertical jump. "Jake is an extremely dangerous and explosive player," coach Josh Heppner said. "He has continuously proven his domination on both sides of the ball." Duzey had 38 receptions for 629 yards and four TDs last season.

11. Delonte Hollowell

School: Detroit Cass Tech

Pos./vitals: DB/5-9, 170

Commitment: Michigan

Rivals.com rates Hollowell as one of the top 25 cornerbacks in the country. In three years as a starter, he had 81 tackles and 16 INTs. "He's a good pressure cornerback," coach Thomas Wilcher said. "He has good feet and hands, and he jams the receiver."

12. Alex Niznak

School: Ithaca

Pos./vitals: QB/6-3, 220

Commitment: Central Michigan

Niznak followed a fine junior season with a terrific senior year that saw him lead his team to the Division 6 title. His speed (4.7 seconds, 40-yard dash) is adequate. But Niznak is a strong runner who has a strong and accurate arm, well-suited for Central's spread offense. He finished 150 for 219 for 2,728 yards, 31 TDs and seven INTs, and had 153 carries for 1,173 yards and 21 TDs last season. "His work ethic makes him such a great player," coach Terry Hessbrook said.

13. Kyle Brindza

School: Plymouth

Pos./vitals: K, P/6-2, 220

Commitment: Notre Dame

Brindza, rated the sixth-best kicker in the country by Rivals.com, overcame a club foot to set the state record for field goals in a season with 18 (25 attempts). He was 6 for 9 from 50 yards or more. A factor every time he stepped on the field, Brindza averaged 43.2 yards on 40 punts, and of his 63 kickoffs, 60 went for touchbacks.

14. Onaje Miller

School: Lansing Sexton

Pos./vitals: RB, DB/5-10, 180

Commitment: Michigan State

Miller excels on offense and defense, and could play either at Michigan State. He opened his senior season by rushing for 134 yards and three TDs, but suffered an ankle injury in Sexton's third game. Miller has good speed (4.6 in the 40) and exceptional moves in the open field.

15. Ed Davis

School: Detroit Southeastern

Pos./vitals: LB, TE/6-4, 215

Commitment: Michigan State

In 2009, Davis teamed with last season's No. 1 Blue Chipper, William Gholston, to form one of the best duos at linebacker. Last season, he also played running back and tight end. "He was a monster for us," coach Tony Elliott said. In eight games last season Davis had 56 tackles, seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss, and 13 receptions for 196 yards and three TDs.