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Belleville — A big thunderstorm went through the area late Monday afternoon just before Jermain Crowell was set to begin his head coaching career with the Tigers.

Crowell, who was defensive coordinator at Detroit Cass Tech the last several years, including the Division 1 state championship years in 2011-12, will inherit a 3-6 team which returns some talented players, along with numerous transfers who have Division 1 potential.

More than 60 players were going through exercises in the gym before taking the field later after the sun came out.

When asked if he was pleased with the numbers, Crowell replied "I won 't be happy until we win."

Crowell and members of his staff took players to camps throughout the country to get exposure, just like he did in the past at Cass Tech with its head coach, Thomas Wilcher.

"We traveled all over the country, took kids to Penn State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, " Crowell said. "Some of the players got offers, George Douglas, a 2017 linebacker got an offer from Cincinnati, and Dwan Mathis, a 2019 quarterback got an offer from Cincinnati."

So, will Mathis start at quarterback as a freshman?

"I don't know who will start at quarterback because we have a senior, Connor Sampson who is also a good quarterback," Crowell said. "It's great to have competition. We want to compete in every game and get better and better as a team. You don 't see a championship team until about the middle of October."

Crowell brought in his friend and former mentor, NFL player Steve Hawkins as his defensive coordinator and Kevin Rogers as his offensive coordinator.

Hawkins' son, Justice Williams, a 6-foot-5 defensive end, is an Eastern Michigan commit.

david.goricki@detroitnews.com

twitter/DavidGoricki

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