Prep football preview: Detroit PSL
2016 record in parenthesis; listed by predicted order of finish.
CASS TECH (14-0, 6-0)
PSL champion Cass Tech won the Division 1 state championship to cap a perfect season and now must replace quarterback Rodney Hall (Northern Illinois), receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones (Michigan), running back Donovan Johnson (Penn State) and several other key players. Still, Cass Tech is loaded with talent, led by the state’s top player in cornerback Kalon Gervin, linebacker DeAndre Square, defensive end Andre Carter, quarterback Aaron Jackson, receiver Brandon Gray and running back Lew Nichols III.
MUMFORD (8-3, 6-0)
Mumford returns the majority of its starters from a state playoff team, highlighted by linebacker Keonte Streater, receiver/linebacker Brandon Green, quarterback Laviean Fields (11 touchdowns), running back Cerell Lewis (850 yards rushing, six touchdowns), and receivers Anthony Taylor and Jason Singleton. Mumford also has a veteran offensive line that includes Caron Evans (6-foot, 325 pounds) and Bryant Evans.
CODY (6-4, 5-1)
Cody has 18 starters back, led by Davion Hightower, who was the PSL 100- and 200-meter champion, and sophomore safety Joshua Wiley, who had four interceptions and forced five fumbles last season. Receivers Jermaine Clack and Joseph Thomas, and running back James Smith also are key players.
NORTHWESTERN (3-6, 2-4)
Former U-D Jesuit defensive coordinator George Harris takes over as coach. He inherits a team led by three-year center Treycell Houston, tight end Anthony Leonard, sophomore quarterback Troy Ikner, junior cornerback JahRule Carson-Fontaine and senior cornerback/running back Everett Hart.
HENRY FORD (2-7, 2-4)
Henry Ford has a big senior class to try and climb up the standings, led by senior quarterback Xavier Williams, 1,000-yard rusher Diondre Brown and three-year starting offensive lineman Jalen McKinney. Junior Phillip Dotson will be a key performer at linebacker.
KING (12-2, 5-1)
The defending two-time Division 2 state champion returns its aerial attack with junior quarterback Dequan Finn, receiver/defensive back Jaeveyon Morton (38 receptions, 567 yards, 13 touchdowns, six interceptions) and sophomore receiver Rashawn Williams, who has an offer from Ohio State, playing behind an offensive line anchored by Josh Mayberry and Jeremiah Hardge. Junior safety Marvin Grant, who has offers from Michigan, Notre Dame and Iowa, and junior defensive end Tyrece Woods lead the defense.
CENTRAL (7-5, 2-4)
Central showcases one of the top QBs in the league in senior El Julian Jordan (6-3, 220), a Western Michigan commit who threw for 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns last season. Expect an experienced offensive line of Colin Sartor, Trevon Roberts and Marcus Tuft to open holes for running back Chaim Austin. Darrius Adkins and Jerrod Vines, who has an offer from Toledo, arguably make up the best kick return tandem in the state.
DENBY (8-2, 5-1)
Coach Tony Blankenship’s team has a strong defense led by Jaylin Early (15 sacks) and tackle Dave Blake up front and Brandon Stevenson in the secondary.
Stevenson also averaged nearly 40 yards a punt. On offense, running back Armani White is back after rushing for 700 yards last season.
RENAISSANCE (3-6, 2-4)
Drake Wilkins takes over as head coach after sitting out last season following a long, successful career at Madison Heights Madison. He says 6-4 sophomore Raquan Bell will develop into the elite quarterback in the league. Defensive end Vernon Rush, offensive tackle Demerion White and running back Cameron Childress are some other key players.
PERSHING (3-6, 3-3)
Peter Brown takes over as head coach after a five-year stint as defensive coordinator at Detroit Western. Calvin Smith (6-2, 340) will make his presence felt on both sides of the line. Brown also expects big things from basketball players D’Juan Seal, a 6-4 receiver, and Jalyn Benning, a 6-6, 230-pound tight end.
DOUGLASS (1-8, 1-5)
Shaheed Saleem guided Detroit City to the Class D state championship in basketball in 2000. Now, he will try his hand as a football coach for the first time. Saleem, a Mumford grad, will watch Jalen Brown (6-3, 335) anchor the line on both sides of the ball. Quarterback/linebacker Ja’lon Randall and running back/linebacker Aaron Johnson also are key performers.
EAST ENGLISH VILLAGE (5-4, 4-2)
East English will be hungry after missing the state playoffs for the first time in the program’s five-year history. Coach Rod Oden’s team is loaded with talent, led by two-way lineman and Syracuse commit Tyrone Sampson, defensive end Desjuan Johnson (20 sacks) and four-year starter Zhamaine March, who rushed for 1,300 yards last season and is a shutdown corner.
WESTERN (5-4, 3-3)
Western returns quarterback Derrick Corbin (20 total touchdowns), defensive end Dayone Smith (86 tackles), receiver Tre Richard and running back Matt Anderson.
OSBORN (5-5, 2-4)
Junior Isaiah Watts returns at quarterback and will have a number of weapons to work with in running back Timmon Murphy, receiver Josiah Lewis and junior tight end Malik Brown. Christian Sharpe (11 sacks) and Maurice McCloud (75 tackles) lead the defense.
Dean Godfrey brings his Delta program into the PSL after competing as an independent program last season. Quarterback Robert Beaty III (1,300 passing yards, 600 rushing) has options in receivers Malik Rocks and Trayvon Jones and sophomore tight end Latrell Thompkins (6-2, 220).
SOUTHEASTERN (1-8, 0-6)
Courtney Dinkins is the new coach at Southeastern. He will be looking for big contributions from quarterback Anthony Johnson, running back Geris Gordon, linebacker Damari Covington-Woods, two-way lineman Leon Simms and receiver/cornerback Deshawn Bartley.
CMA (1-8, 0-6)
Quan Edgar takes over at CMA after accepting the coaching job in mid-July. Edgar, who was the assistant coach at Renaissance the past two years, inherits a program that hasn’t won more than one game each of the last three years.