Peoples-Jones: Harbaugh has Michigan 'on the rise'

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Donovan Peoples-Jones will enter his senior season at Detroit Cass Tech this fall as a five-star receiver and as the state’s No. 1 player.

Peoples-Jones is enjoying the recruiting process, taking in a Michigan basketball game against Northwestern at the Crisler Center Wednesday night after chatting with Wolverines football coach Jim Harbaugh.

Peoples-Jones was the top athlete in The Opening Camp last summer — 42-inch vertical, 4.4 speed — in Oregon, then had a brilliant junior season in which he had 68 receptions for 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns to lead Cass Tech to the Division 1 state championship game. That elevated his ranking by from four-star to five-star status.

He also was outstanding in special-teams play, returning a punt 50 yards for a TD in a Detroit Public School League title-game loss to King.

Peoples-Jones, who has a 3.9 GPA and plans to major in sports medicine, wanting one day to become a surgeon, said he has received more than 20 offers, but has narrowed it down to 11: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas A&M, Stanford, USC, Florida and Florida State.

“I have no timetable for making a decision; whenever I feel comfortable, I’ll make it,” he said.

“Michigan has a lot of tradition, a lot of history and coach Harbaugh has them on the rise right now. Michigan State’s a Big Ten power and has developed a lot of players into NFL draft prospects, and Ohio State is another great program and having former teammates there makes it easier for me to visit and hang around guys.”

One of the first Southeastern Conference schools Peoples-Jones visited was Tennessee, after his eighth-grade year. He has developed a strong relationship with the coaches there.

“Coach (Zach) Azzanni (former Central Michigan player) is one of the top receivers coaches in the country,” Peoples-Jones said. “And, Bama speaks for itself, just a great environment and tradition.”

Peoples-Jones was proud of the progress he made his junior year. He got stronger and faster, leading to big numbers.

“My speed on the field, I felt much stronger and more comfortable with my legs last year,” he said. “I felt I really improved with my speed and balance.”

On his five-star rating, Peoples-Jones said: “I don’t pay much attention to things like that because it would take me off my focus if I did.”

Peoples-Jones has bulked up to 6-foot-2 and 193 pounds and is now involved in indoor track at Cass Tech, getting clocked at 6.9 seconds over 60 meters.