This is the fourth in a series of profiles on the top 15 players on The Detroit News Blue Chip list. Today: No. 12, Detroit Cass Tech linebacker DeAndre Square.
DeAndre Square has matured physically and mentally during the last couple of years at Detroit Cass Tech, a reason it won a state championship his junior year and had another deep postseason run this past fall.
Square, who earned a spot on The Detroit News Dream Team, played multiple positions during his senior year to help Cass Tech reach the Division 1 state semifinals, losing to West Bloomfield in a defensive battle, 9-7.
“I liked the way I went out, the ending didn’t come out like we wanted, but I gave it my all,” Square said.
Square was most proud of his versatility, playing his normal linebacker position in addition to cornerback, safety and receiver when called upon by longtime head coach Thomas Wilcher.
“I felt I was versatile my senior year and I was proud of that,” Square said. “I played safety, corner and a little bit of receiver, along with my normal linebacker spot. I feel I improved the most weight wise. I wasn’t weighing too much and I gained a lot of weight in the past year.
“I played at 180 my junior year and now I’m at 205. I put in a lot of time in the weight room, ate a lot too. I want to be at 215, 220 by the start of the season.”
Square can now bench press 300 pounds, up from 225, a reason he bulked up to play at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds.
Now, Square will try to continue to develop and mature at the next level.
He graduated early and already is attending classes at Kentucky, where he is involved in winter conditioning while learning the playbook to get ready for spring practice.
Kentucky is a team on the rise in the SEC, finishing 7-6 (4-4 SEC) this past fall with wins over South Carolina — which defeated Michigan in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day — and Tennessee while losing to Northwestern (24-23) in the Music City Bowl.
No doubt, Kentucky assistant coach Steven Clinkscale has made great strides while recruiting in the Detroit area, bringing in multiple talented players for head coach Mark Stoops and his staff to work with, including Oak Park four-star guard Marquan McCall — No. 5 on The Detroit News Blue Chip list — to join Square in the 2018 class.
“Kentucky is a program that’s on the rise, trying to get guys to come in and play early and just change the program around and I’m just excited to be a part of that,” Square said.
“Marquan McCall and Tyler Markray (Walled Lake Central), a lineman and a running back, are also guys from the area that will be going to Kentucky.”
Square picked Kentucky over Power Five schools like Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, LSU, Missouri, Arizona and Iowa State.
Square got in on 84 tackles and forced four fumbles his senior season, but he also made a huge play on offense, a 47-yard reception to the Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 3 to set up the winning TD in a 32-26 regional title game win.
“It was big, we had some receivers hurt in that game and Coach (Wilcher) called my name and it felt great to come through with that catch,” Square said.
Wilcher on Square: “He’s fast, quick and tough and would do whatever was asked of him without question and then do it at a high level.”
BLUE CHIP PROFILES