Alex Malzone led Brother Rice to a third straight Division 2 state championship last season. (David Coates / The Detroit News)
3. Alex Malzone
6-foot-2, 200, Sr., QB,
Birmingham Brother Rice
Malzone led Brother Rice to a third straight Division 2 state championship last season, throwing for 263 yards and four TDs in a win over Muskegon. He was incredibly accurate during his junior year, completing 77 percent of his attempts while throwing for 2,782 yards and 25 TDs (nine interceptions). The pro-style, four-star recruit picked Michigan.
“His arm strength and his accuracy is there, but it’s the intangibles that make him special,” coach Dave Sofran said. “He’s a great leader and has great command of the offense.”
4. Kyonta Stallworth
6-4, 270, Sr., G/DE, Detroit King
Stallworth, a transfer from St. Clair Shores South Lake, has tremendous size, strength and quickness for a 6-4, 270-pound defensive end/offensive guard and tackle. He picked Michigan State over several others, including Alabama.
“He runs a sub-4.8 so he’s a great athlete for his size and he can do it all,” coach Dale Harvel said.
5. Joshua Alabi
6-5, 290, Sr., DE-DT, Detroit Cass Tech
Alabi is a massive force on the defensive line for Cass Tech, strong and quick. He chose to play his college ball at Ohio State over Michigan, Michigan State and others.
“He’s an extremely hard worker, he’s dependable and always wants to be the best,” coach Thomas Wilcher said.
6. David Moorman
6-5, 290, Sr., T-DT, Northville
Moorman’s strength is as an outstanding run blocker, but he has developed into a solid pass blocker, as well. A four-year varsity performer, Moorman will play at Wisconsin.
“He’s a stud, big and nasty, and gets off the ball quickly and finishes his blocks,” coach Matt Ladach said. “He buries kids.”
7. John Kelly
5-11, 190, Sr., RB-DB, Oak Park
Kelly has outstanding speed (4.4-second 40) and is a breakaway threat, rushing for 1,258 yards and 15 TDs last season. He also had four interceptions and recovered three fumbles. The four-star recruit has received several offers, including Michigan State, Maryland and Cincinnati.
“He can play any number of positions well, is very physical, a great leader and shows the desire to win,” coach Greg Carter said.
8. Joshuwa Holloman
5-11, 195, Sr., RB, Auburn Hills Avondale
Holloman has blazing speed, getting timed at 4.23 seconds in the 40 in Alabama. He rushed for 1,104 yards and 18 TDs last season, averaging 10 yards per carry. He is also a two-time state champion in the 100 meters.
“He’s very fast but still capable of running you over as well, and he can catch the ball coming out of the backfield,” coach Steven Deutsch said.
Holloman will play at Cincinnati.
9. Khari Willis
6-0, 190, Sr., RB, Jackson Lumen Christi
Willis, who has 4.5 speed, rushed for 1,262 yards (10.1 average) and 22 TDs in seven regular-season games, then ran for 303 yards and five TDs in a playoff loss to Parchment.
“He’s strong and has great acceleration,” coach Herb Brogan said. “He has good vision and makes great cuts.”
Willis will play at Michigan State.
10. Tyriq Thompson
6-2, 225, Sr., LB, Detroit King
Thompson is strong and has great speed at the linebacker position.
“He has great cover skills for a linebacker that size and has the ability to play some receiver for us,” coach Dale Harvel said.
Thompson, whose father Clarence played at Michigan, will play his college ball at Michigan State, picking the Spartans over 11 other offers, including Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northwestern.
11. Dior Johnson
6-2, 200, Sr., Safety, Southfield
Johnson. a three-star recruit set to play at Wake Forest, is arguably the top safety in the state. He has size and speed (4.5 40) and likes to hit.
“He’s a great leader and a big hitter,” coach Tim Conley said.
12. Tyson Smith
5-11, 180, Sr., CB, Orchard Lake
Smith showed his ability to play a number of positions for St. Mary’s, including quarterback, receiver and cornerback.
“He has great ball skills and is very quick,” coach George Porritt said.
13. Alex Grace
6-1, 205, Sr., RB,
Saginaw Swan Valley
Grace shattered the state’s single-season rushing record last season, running for 2,952 yards while averaging 10 yards per carry. He has rushed for 5,115 career yards.
“He has a combination of speed, power and good feet,” coach Ken Bourbina said.
Grace (3.7 GPA) will play at Western Michigan.
14. Immanuel Stinson
6-4, 230, Sr., DE, Romulus
Stinson is a dominant force coming off the edge, getting 16 sacks in eight games and putting quarterbacks in panic mode in other situations.
“He plays smash-mouth football and really gets after it,” coach Thomas Patterson said. “I’m really excited to see what he can do for us this year.”
Stinson, a three-star recruit, is being recruited by Michigan State and several MAC schools.
15. Ryan Brand
5-10, 190, Sr., QB, Detroit Jesuit
Brand, like Malzone, competed in the Elite 11 camp in Oregon this summer. The dual-threat quarterback led his team to its first district title in more than a decade, throwing for 1,871 yards and rushing for 832 more to help Jesuit improve from 2-7 to 7-5.
“He’s an outstanding leader and is very dedicated,” coach Oscar Olejniczak said. “He’s able to run and throw the ball out of our no-huddle offense and is very prepared every time he takes the field.”
Brand will play at Air Force.
16. John Keenoy
6-3, 285, Sr., T, East Kentwood
Keenoy is a big, physical lineman who helped East Kentwood earn its first state playoff spot since 2009. A three-star recruit, Keenoy will play next year at Western Michigan. His father, John, played football at Central Michigan and his mother, Melissa, played basketball for the Chippewas.
Keenoy will be playing under first-year head coach Tony Kimbrough, a Detroit native who was quarterback when Western won its last MAC football championship in 1988.
17. Lavert Hill
5-10, 170, Jr., CB, Detroit Cass Tech
Hill has great speed and is expected to be one of the top cover corners in the state. He already has eight offers heading into his junior year.
“He has tremendous upside,” coach Thomas Wilcher said. “He has great speed, runs a 4.3 40 and has already received offers from Michigan, Ohio State and Miami.”
18. Ray Buford
6-1, 190, Sr., CB-WR, Southfield
Buford is an outstanding athlete with the ability to play at a high level on both sides of the ball. He has 4.5 speed and great hands. He will attempt to play a full season after injuring his knee last season. He will play next year at Minnesota, picking the Gophers over eight other schools.
19. Junior McMullen
6-2, 225, Sr., LB-TB, Oak Park
McMullen is a dominant force with a combination of speed and strength.
“He’s a fierce competitor, a great hitter and extremely fast,” coach Greg Carter said.
McMullen, a three-star recruit, will play at Western Michigan.
20. Tre'Von Avery
6-1, 170, Sr., QB, Grand Blanc
Avery is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the state, throwing for 2,178 yards and rushing for 976 to have a hand in 30 TDs to help his team to a 7-3 record and state playoff appearance.
“He’s shifty and makes people miss,” coach Joe Delaney said. “He throws well and has good speed.”
High school football 2014 preview
Today: Top players
Tuesday: PSL, Catholic, Charter
Wednesday: KLAA, Downriver, Huron, Independent
Thursday: OAA, Wayne
Friday: MAC, Metro
Saturday: Top 20 teams, preseason area rankings