Recruit Corley on his choice: 'I’m still not really sure'

David Goricki
The Detroit News

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl, featuring the best high school seniors in the nation, will be played Saturday in San Antonio. Few, however, will be concerned about the football game.

Most of the attention will be on the four- and five-star recruits who will announce before and after commercial breaks where they plan to play in college.

The state of Michigan’s No. 1 recruit, Detroit King four-star receiver/cornerback Donnie Corley, will pick from his final four choices of Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Tennessee.

“I still don’t know, I have an idea, but I’m not 100 percent sure,” Corley said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon after finishing practice. “I’m still not really sure. I’ll wake up (Saturday morning) and make up my mind. The longer I wait, the tougher it is.

“The whole recruiting process has been fun, going to different states and experiencing it with my family, having fun with my family, but the toughest thing is making up my mind. There are a lot of schools that seem to be a good fit for me.”

Corley, who plans to enroll Monday at his soon-to-be announced school, had 59 receptions for 1,403 yards and 16 touchdowns his senior season.

Michigan also is hoping to get two other commitments during the game: Four-star receiver Dylan Crawford of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., is down to Michigan and Oregon, while five-star tight end Isaac Nauta from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is deciding between Michigan, Georgia and Alabama.

There are five other players from Michigan playing in the game, including Corley’s teammate, King cornerback Lavert Hill. Also playing are Detroit Cass Tech safety Demetric Vance and tackle Michael Onwenu, Plymouth tackle Michael Jordan and Battle Creek linebacker Brandon Randle.

But, Vance (Michigan State), Onwenu (Michigan), Jordan (Ohio State) and Randle (Michigan State) already know where they will play their college ball.

Hill won’t be announcing his decision until the Feb. 3 National Signing Day. He plans to take visits to USC (Jan. 15), Michigan State (Jan. 22) and Clemson — which offered him Monday — on Jan. 29.

Hill, also a receiver, had 12 interceptions this season. He said his final five schools are Michigan, MSU, Clemson, Tennessee and USC. His older brother, Delano, plays safety for the Wolverines.

Corley and Hill will be the focus of Friday night’s award banquet for the Army All-American Bowl, with Corley up for Player of the Year honors and Hill, Defensive Player of the Year honors.

“It means a lot, that all the hard work pays off, it’s truly an honor,” Hill said. “This whole week has been a great experience, real exciting, something I haven’t been a part of before.

“We arrived Sunday, received our clothes and stuff, talked, then Monday had a two-a-day practice, practiced for like five hours, then had a two-hour practice Tuesday.”

Hill’s highlight?

“We went to a Spurs game Wednesday night, had a great time and (former Spurs All-Star center) David Robinson gave a bunch of us his floor seats,” he said. “Demetric (Vance) and Donnie (Corley) went down there with me, had a great time.”

It was back to practice Thursday morning after Wednesday’s day off. The players also had community service, talking to kids at a hospital.

Vance said this experience will prepare him for college ball, knowing that every rep counts when competing with the best players.

“It’s all about mental preparation,” Vance said. “You don’t get as many chances or reps as you do in high school so you have to do 100 percent on the first play. I want to go out Saturday and put on a good show for Detroit, go out and make plays to represent the city. I love going out and competing against the best. I’m just soaking it all in.”

Corley, Hill, Vance and Onwenu will play for the West, while Jordan and Randle will play for the East. Ann Arbor Skyline linebacker Daelin Hayes (Notre Dame) arrived Thursday but will not practice nor play because of an injury (separated shoulder) suffered early in the season.

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U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Kickoff: 1 p.m. Saturday, Alamodome, San Antonio

TV: NBC

Player of the Year finalists

*Derrick Brown, DL, Lanier High, Buford, Ga. — Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi State

*Donnie Corley, WR/CB, Detroit King — Michigan State, Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio State

*Jacob Eason, QB, Lake Stevens (Wash.) High — Georgia

*Simi Fehoko, WR, Brighton High, Cottonwood Heights, Utah — Stanford

*Shea Patterson, QB, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. — Mississippi

*Brandon Peters, QB, Avon (Ind.) High — Michigan

Defensive Player of the Year finalists

*Derrick Brown, DL, Lanier High, Buford, Ga. — Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi State

*Kash Daniel, LB, Paintsville (Ky.) High — Kentucky

*Brendan Ferns, LB, Saint Clairsville (Ohio) — Penn State, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Maryland, Cincinnati

*Lavert Hill, CB, Detroit King — Michigan State, USC, Clemson, Tennessee

*Josh King, DL, Hinsdale South, Darien, Ill. — Michigan State

*Dexter Lawrence, DL, Wake Forest (N.C.) High — Clemson