Football previews: Michigan Metro
Eric Coughlin of The Detroit News previews the Michigan Metro Athletic Conference football season. Teams listed in predicted order of finish.
Junior tight end/wide receiver D'Andre Gaines will factor big into an experienced offense that returns seven players, including senior athlete Jalen Mustin, junior running back Keyshawn Smith, who had 850 yards and eight touchdowns last season, plus another athlete, junior Andrew Holston. Eight starters return on coach Chanterius Brock’s defense, including senior safety Terrance Brown, junior middle linebacker Cortez Dingle, junior defensive tackle Michael Sessoms, senior defensive end Shandon Smith and senior outside linebacker Freddie Robinson.
DETROIT COMMUNITY (4-5)
Coach Del Humphrey's team has nine returning starters on offense, led by senior running back/wide receiver Rayvon Williamson, senior quarterback Melike Moore and a three-year starter senior athlete, Kenny Thornton. On defense, six starters return, including senior safety-linebacker Kejuan Sanders and senior linebacker/defensive end Antonio Bobo-Brown.
DETROIT UNIVERSITY PREP SCIENCE & MATH (2-7)
Coach Tarif Kumasi will rely on five returning offensive starters, including senior wide receiver Winston Williams, who had 25 catches, 400 yards receiving and four touchdowns last season. Junior quarterback Maurice Jones will start under center after not playing last year. On defense, five starters return including junior linebacker Tommy Kyles and senior middle linebacker Shawn Townsend.
MELVINDALE ACADEMY FOR BUSINESS & TECH (0-9)
ABT will try to bounce back from a winless year with four returning offensive starters, including senior wide receiver Dejuan Brown and sophomore running back Dante Perry. First-year coach Eric Bradford has five returning starters on defense, including senior twins Kenny and Keontae Lyles.
RIVER ROUGE (10-3)
Eight starters return on offense, including junior slot receiver Xavier Smith, junior running back Deandre Bulley, and 1,000-yard rusher Calees Jenkins for coach Corey Parker. Senior quarterback Emanuel Ferguson is headed to Air Force next season after racking up more than 1,000 yards passing and 700 rushing. The defense returns five starters and will be led senior defensive ends Ruke Orhorhoro (Clemson) and Jalen Henderson. Linebackers Yusuf Abdul-Aziz and Deshawn Walker will help shore up the the second level, and dynamic kick and punt returner Daraun McKinney will be a special teams weapon.
HARPER WOODS (3-6)
Coach Rod Oden comes over from Detroit East English, bringing a bevy of talented transfers along with him. The quarterback position will be manned by senior Corey Graham. Senior running back/cornerback Jordan Anderson (Bowling Green), and senior offensive tackles Rachon Gulley (Morgan State) and James Drain (Morgan State) join three returning starters on offense. Only two starters return on offense, but senior transfers Elija Griffin at cornerback and T.J. Gunter at linebacker will have this unit performing much better than it did last year.
DETROIT UNIVERSITY PREP (5-4)
University Prep only has one returning starter on offense, a unit that will be spearheaded by senior running back Cortez Rankins, and a first-year starter at quarterback, senior Reginald Love. Junior cornerback Darien Green, senior defensive tackle Devin Laws and senior defensive end Ryan Johnson are the three returning starters on defense for coach James Pollard.
Five starters return on offense for new coach Chris Vitale, led by a trio of senior linemen in Ty'Rice Ford, Rodjay Harris and Zach Brown. Senior running backs Christopher Rickett and Noah Price-Stokes step into starting roles along with junior quarterback Antoine Tramble. Slot receiver Noah Burns will look to cause havoc in opposing secondaries. On defense, four starters return, including junior linebacker Dashaun Morris, senior cornerback Jalen Caldwell and junior defensive lineman Justin Collins. Sophomore lineman Micah Brown will make an impact on both sides of the ball.