The Detroit News is counting down the top 15 players on its list of Blue Chip football recruits. Today: No. 14 Cole Chewins of Clarkston.
Clarkston – Cole Chewins was supposed to be Clarkston's tight end this past fall, catching passes from D.J. Zezula.
Instead, Chewins was blocking for Zezula while also causing havoc for opposing quarterbacks from his defensive end position.
Chewins, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound senior, helped Clarkston repeat as Division 1 state champions, defeating Saline 33-25 in the title game at Ford Field to leave the Wolves with the state's longest active winning streak at 27 games.
Chewins, a member of The Detroit News Dream Team, was forced to move to tackle on the offensive side of the ball due to injuries. He played well while opening holes for Nolan Eriksen and protecting Zezula. Clarkston piled up 290 rushing yards against Saline while Zezula completed 6-of-9 passes for 100 yards and a TD.
In the championship game, Chewins' biggest contributions may have been on defense, setting the tempo in the opening quarter when he knocked down two of Josh Jackson's passes while also blocking a 36-yard field goal, which would have given Saline a 3-0 lead.
"It was an unreal experience," said Chewins, who committed to Miami of Ohio as a tight end. "It was great to win it junior year, but to go back and do it again and finish on top is one of the greatest feelings ever.
"We've played together since third grade, so just having that chemistry with your teammates and knowing they will be there for you and they'll do their assignments is big. It's great to see what we've accomplished because that was our goal since we were little, our dream, and we made it come true."
Chewins, who is playing basketball for Dan Fife and 9-0 Clarkston, recently received a scholarship offer from Michigan State but said he is still committed to Miami.
"I'm committed to Miami, but very honored by Michigan State and the program for them to offer me," he said. "I'm thinking about it, but I haven't made any changes yet with my commitment to Miami."
Chewins got stronger over the offseason following his junior year. He feels he improved the most on defense.
"I definitely felt I gained a lot of experience the past two years, really since getting called up to varsity my sophomore year," Chewins said. "Every year you get a little bit better, gain strength and get bigger, faster stronger.
"I went home after we won the state championship my junior year and weighed 204 pounds. I came into this season at 237 so definitely in the offseason I knew I had to get bigger. Lifting was a big part of it, but I found a lot of it was diet, too.
"I feel I definitely improved from all the hard work during the offseason. I played better on the defensive side this year. I had always played two ways. My endurance was better and having experience and confidence also played a role."
BLUE CHIP COUNTDOWN
No. 14 Cole Chewins, Clarkston (Miami of Ohio)
No. 15 Mike Danna, Warren De La Salle (Central Michigan)