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RED DIVISION

Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2014 record in parentheses

1. Clarkston (14-0, 7-0), 2. West Bloomfield (9-2, 6-1), 3. Lake Orion (4-5, 4-3), 4. Rochester Hills Stoney Creek (5-4, 3-4), 5. Oxford (6-4, 5-2), 6. Troy Athens (2-7, 1-6), 7. Bloomfield Hills (2-7, 2-5), 8. Troy (1-8, 0-7)

Top four players

1. When it comes to high school football, they don't get much better than Clarkston senior running back Nolan Eriksen (5-foot-9, 188), who ran for 1,505 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2014. "He can take a 5-yard gain and turn it into a touchdown," Clarkston coach Kurt Richardson said. "We know what he's made of."

2. A three-star MSU commit as a wide receiver, West Bloomfield's Trishton Jackson (6-2, 181) is a playmaker extraordinaire. He'll be the team's starting quarterback, but also will get some looks at wide receiver.

3. A three-star Purdue commit as a defensive back, Navon Mosley (5-11, 181) gives West Bloomfield a difference-maker on defense. He also presents a threat to opposing defenses, as he can line up as a wide receiver and running back with playmaking ability.

4. Lake Orion senior defensive back Jaylen Wiggins is a Toledo commit. Playing in the secondary, Wiggins (6-0, 167) should be a great complement to the big and athletic defensive front of Lake Orion.

Top four story lines

1. Is Clarkston's run over? Though no rival coaches will come out and say it because they know the kind of talent pipeline that runs through Clarkston, this could be the year that the two-time defending state champion is dethroned in the OAA Red. Clarkston is returning just four starters. Richardson is breaking in a new quarterback and a completely new starting five on the offensive line.

2. Anthony Reiner appears to be the man to take over as Clarkston's quarterback With the departure of D.J. Zezula, Richardson says that Reiner is the front-runner for the job. A senior with a lot on his plate, Reiner will probably be the biggest factor into whether or not Clarkston wins the division.

3. Can West Bloomfield win its first conference title? With Trishton Jackson at the helm, West Bloomfield made the playoffs in 2014 for the first time in six seasons. With 30 players returning in 2015, including Jackson, West Bloomfield knows that the time to strike is now. "We've got to work really hard to get to where we were last year," coach Ron Bellamy said. "If we want to be better than we were last year, we've got to work even harder than that." A showdown with Clarkston looms in Week 3.

4. What is Lake Orion's ceiling? A series of injuries caused Lake Orion to miss the playoffs last season for the first time since 2000. Coach Chris Bell says in order for his team to be successful, it has to make teams respect the passing game. That charge is on the shoulders of sophomore quarterback Caden Prieskorn.

WHITE DIVISION

Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2014 record in parentheses

1. Southfield (9-4, 6-1), 2. Farmington Hills Harrison (10-3, 6-1), 3. Rochester Adams (5-4, 4-3), 4. Farmington (7-3, 7-0 Blue), 5. Oak Park (8-3, 6-1), 6. North Farmington (4-5, 2-5), 7. Birmingham Seaholm (4-5, 3-4), 8. Rochester (1-8, 1-6)

Top four players

1. Farmington Hills Harrison senior Khalid Kareem is ranked the No. 1 defensive end in Michigan by Scout.com for the 2016 class. A four-star prospect, Kareem (6-4, 257) is heading south to play for Nick Saban at Alabama next fall.

2. A three-star recruit committed to UM, Farmington senior linebacker David Reese (6-1, 238) anchors the Farmington defense. Impressively, he's a four-year varsity starter and already holds the school tackling record.

3. A three-star recruit with interest from UM and MSU, Oak Park junior lineman Ja'Raymond Hall (6-5, 255) is going to be charged with helping to protect one of the few playmakers returning for Oak Park, quarterback Chauncey Lowman.

4. A menacing linebacker for conference favorite Southfield, Will Small (5-10, 200) is a senior poised to dominate. Small is receiving interest from both UM and MSU, but right now he's focused on trying to win a state championship. Though Southfield is usually known for churning out big time defensive linemen, Small will be the force that drives this defense in 2015 as the line is replacing some key graduates.

Top four story lines

1. With word that Farmington Hills Harrison could be closing in 2016, longtime coach John Herrington has seen a lot of players transfer in the offseason. Herrington is just 19 wins shy of Al Fracassa's record for most coaching wins in state history. Harrison has won a record 13 state titles, but the future of the program is cloudy. It will be interesting to see how the players who have stuck around respond on the field.

2. Southfield is loaded and poised for a big run. Two junior starters from Harrison transferred in the offseason, and with a lot of talent returning, the sky's the limit for coach Tim Conley's squad.

3. How will Oak Park rebound? Oak Park lost a lot of highly regarded recruits from last year's 8-3 team. With quarterback Chauncey Lowman as one of the team's lone returning playmakers, coach Greg Carter will turn to the players rising from a junior varsity squad that went 9-0 last season to make an immediate impact.

4. Farmington back in the White: After going 7-0 in the OAA Blue last season, Farmington returns to the White for a step up in competition. "We have high expectations," coach John Bechtel said. "We're comfortable here. We're going to be a good football team."

BLUE DIVISION

Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2014 record in parentheses

1. Birmingham Groves (7-4, 5-2), 2. Berkley (6-4, 5-2), 3. Auburn Hills Avondale (5-4, 4-3), 4. Southfield-Lathrup (4-5, 3-4), 5. Ferndale (4-5, 3-4), 6. Royal Oak (0-9, 0-7 White), 7. Pontiac (1-7, 1-6), 8. Hazel Park (0-9, 0-7)

Top four players

1. With over 60 catches and 700 yards receiving last year, Berkley wide receiver Nolan Given is the premier playmaker in the Blue. "It's hard to stop 6-4, 220," coach Chris Sikora said of Given. "He's going to be dominant."

2. At his size, Southfield-Lathrup defensive end Eyioma Uwazurike (6-6, 255) is going to be a handful for Blue Division foes. He's a three-star recruit with a handful of offers from Division 1 programs.

3. Birmingham Groves senior Cedric Boswell might be going to Iowa next year as a defensive back, but teams in the Blue are going to have to deal with this playmaker as a running back for one more season. Boswell (5-11, 172) rushed for 1,350 yards and 15 touchdowns last season.

4. Berkley senior linebacker Austen Wood (6-1, 220) made 113 tackles in 2014, and he's receiving interest from a number of Division 1 programs entering his senior year.

Top four story lines

1. Lathrup's coach over the last three seasons, Keith Stephens, passed away from pancreatic cancer over the offseason. New coach Jason Solomon also has to deal with the fact that this is likely the final season of Lathrup football, as plans are to have the school merge with Southfield following the school year.

2. With Farmington moving up to the White, Berkley and Birmingham Groves likely will stage a good fight for the top of the division. The two will meet in early October.

3. After a tumultuous season in which it finished without a win, Royal Oak has moved to the Blue. New coach Ray McMann is at the helm, and he knows the work he's got ahead of him. "We're just coming in with our positive attitude," McMann said. "Us being there and building that trust, they're starting to buy in to what we want to do."

4. Can Avondale get in? At 5-4 last season, Avondale put together its seventh consecutive winning season but missed on a playoff spot. Without that one big star on the field, coach Steven Deutsch knows his team has to take a by-committee approach.

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