This is The Detroit News Dream Team for 2018. The Detroit News All-State teams are here:
David Ellis, 6-1, 195, Sr., Chippewa Valley
Ellis was a three-year starter, getting things done at a high level in all three phases of the game for the MAC Red champions. He had 39 receptions for 636 yards and more than 1,700 all-purpose yards and 20 TDs, including five on special teams. He used his 4.4 speed to score on a 99-yard run in a regional final win over Dearborn Fordson and on a 94-yard kickoff return in the state championship game win over Clarkston. He was a hard-hitting tackler from his secondary position, getting in 45 tackles while breaking up five passes. Ellis will play at Indiana.
James Gilbert, 6-2, 180, Sr., Muskegon Mona Shores
Gilbert was the big play man all season, coming up with 61 receptions for 1,466 yards and 15 TDs to help Mona Shores reach the Division 2 state championship game, a 29-16 loss to Warren De La Salle. He was a standout free safety as well, getting an interception and making four tackles in the title game. Gilbert has an offer from Ferris State and is getting interest from MAC schools.
Tre Mosley, 6-2, 180, Sr., West Bloomfield
Mosley had a strong senior season, coming through with 45 receptions for more than 1,000 yards and 10 TDs to help West Bloomfield reach the Division 1 regional final, losing 13-10 at Belleville. “Tre is one of the best wide receivers in the nation,” Coach Ron Bellamy said. “Tre has an unbelievable work ethic and competitiveness and is one of the best I’ve seen around.” Mosley will play at Michigan State.
Anthony Bradford, 6-5, 360, Sr., Muskegon
Bradford, who has committed to LSU, was a dominant blocker for Muskegon during its run of three consecutive Division 3 state championship game appearances, winning the title in 2017 and then having its 27-game winning streak come to an end in this year’s championship game loss to Detroit King.
Logan Brown, 6-7, 310, Sr., East Kentwood
Brown helped East Kentwood earn an Ottawa Kent Conference Red Division championship and a Division 1 district championship game appearance. “He’s an amazing athlete, really no weakness, got better every year,” Coach Tony Kimbrough said. “He really got better at finishing blocks. He led us in pancake blocks, had two or three a game. He has all the tools to play at the college level, playing at Wisconsin, who is getting a gem.”
Devontae Dobbs, 6-4, 300, Sr., Belleville
Dobbs was one of the premier tackles in the country, opening holes for running backs while giving Christian Dhue-Reid time to throw for 2,759 yards and 39 TDs to earn Belleville its first regional championship in program history. Dobbs will play at Michigan State.
Justin Rogers, 6-3, 300, Jr., T, Oak Park
Rogers is a five-star lineman, the No. 1 guard in the nation for the 2020 class, helping Oak Park win the OAA White division championship. He also opened the season at linebacker, causing havoc with his size and athleticism, getting in on 22 TFL, seven sacks while forcing four fumbles. “Justin is big, explosive and super athletic,” Coach Greg Carter said. “He is a very gifted player who can put a team on his back for long stretches.” Rogers has offers from multiple national powers, including Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Clemson, Michigan and Michigan State.
Rocco Spindler, 6-5, 260, So., Clarkston
Spindler was a dominant two-way player, opening holes for the running game while also taking on two and three linemen as a defensive player to help Clarkston reach the Division 1 state championship game for the second straight year. “He stepped it up,” said Clarkston coach Kurt Richardson. “After we lost Delly (Garrett Dellinger), we told him that he had to step up his leadership and step up his play on both sides of the ball and he did just that. He showed his toughness and just never came off the field.” Spindler has already been offered by Michigan and Ohio State.
Tommy Schuster, 6-1, 190, Sr., Chippewa Valley
Schuster was a three-year starter for Chippewa Valley, completing 69 percent of his passes during his senior year while throwing for 1,858 yards and 26 TDs with one interception, owning the school record for career passing yards (4,956) and career passing TDs (67). He hit on 22-of-25 passes (88 percent) for 379 yards and five TDs in the semifinal and state championship games. “It’s great to have a kid like Tommy Schuster who is so efficient and just wants to win,” Coach Scott Merchant said. “We ask him to do so many things. He’s reading. He’s checking plays, he’s checking protection. He’s unflappable, just has unbelievable poise.”
Rod Heard, 5-10, 170, Sr., Farmington Hills Harrison
Heard was a jack of all trades for Harrison, an outstanding running back who could also operate out of the wildcat while being an impact player at cornerback and on returning kicks. He rushed for 1,492 yards (5.7 yards per carry) and 22 TDs while grabbing 16 passes for two TDs and returning two kicks for scores. He also had 47 tackles while breaking up six passes and intercepting a pass. Heard will play next year at Northwestern.
Nick Thomas, 6-0, 205, Sr., Jackson Lumen Christi
Thomas started his senior season with six TFL, including four sacks in a 34-12 win over five-time Division 5 state champion Grand Rapids West Catholic, then ended his career by rushing for 249 yards and a pair of TDs in a 42-28 Division 6 state championship win over Montague at Ford Field. He finished the season rushing for 1,943 yards and 32 TDs, averaging 10 yards a carry while getting in on 124 tackles from his linebacker spot, including 12 sacks. Thomas will play at Air Force.
Cameron Martinez, 5-11, 190, Jr., Muskegon
Martinez transferred in from Muskegon Catholic Central and took off right where La’Darius Jefferson (Michigan State) left off to help Muskegon go unbeaten and push its winning streak to 27 straight games before a Division 3 state championship game loss to Detroit King. Martinez rushed for 2,527 yards and 38 TDs, including a modern-day school record 352 yards (23 carries) and six TDs in a 55-35 win over crosstown rival Muskegon Mona Shores. He ran for 211 yards (37 carries) in the Division 3 state title game loss to Detroit King. Martinez already has offers from Michigan, Syracuse, Northwestern and Kentucky.
Trystan Mattson, 6-1, 180, Sr., Clarkston
Mattson was a big weapon for Kurt Richardson this season, making 14-of-18 field goals, including five over 40 yards while converting on 34-of-36 PATs and averaging 35 yards a punt. “He has a strong leg and has been cool, calm and collected all season as a kicker and punter,” Coach Kurt Richardson said. Mattson will play for Buffalo.
Ruke Orhorhoro, 6-4, 280, Sr., River Rouge
Orhorhoro was a dominant threat for River Rouge, getting in on 50 tackles, including 20 TFL and 12 sacks. He scored two TDs, forced a fumble and recovered two fumbles. “Exceptional effort and enthusiasm came from this big guy,” Coach Corey Parker said. “He plays the game smart and physical and doesn’t care what the score is while he’s doing it.” Orhorhoro will play at Clemson.
Darius Robinson, 6-6, 250, Sr., Canton
Robinson caused havoc for KLAA opponents, getting in on 68 tackles, including 12 TFL, getting six sacks while recovering a fumble. “Darius was a great leader and a very hard worker,” Coach Andy Lafata said. “He did anything asked of him to help his team win.” Robinson is getting recruited by multiple Power Five Conference schools.
Mazi Smith, 6-3, 310, Sr., East Kentwood
Smith continued his strong play to help East Kentwood win the Ottawa Kent Conference Red Division title. He clogged up the middle to stop the run while putting pressure on the quarterback, getting in on 81 tackles, including 16 TFL while forcing three fumbles. “He’s a once in a lifetime type of player, just from his dominance on the field and leadership,” Coach Tony Kimbrough said. Smith will enroll early at Michigan.
Adam Berghorst, 6-7, 245, Sr., Zeeland East
Berghorst was a force for Zeeland East as a two-way player, opening holes as an offensive tackle while getting in on 70 tackles from his defensive end spot, including 16 TFL. “Adam was a dominant player for us all year on both sides of the ball,” Coach Derek Pennington said. “He is clearly one of the top linemen in the state of Michigan with offers from Michigan, Notre Dame and MSU.” Berghorst, who is also a standout baseball player as a pitcher/first baseman, will sign with Michigan State to play football later this month.
Lance Dixon, 6-3, 215, Sr., West Bloomfield
Dixon was a factor on both sides of the ball for West Bloomfield, getting in on 91 tackles from his linebacker spot, including 11 TFL and five sacks. He also played tailback after sophomore sensation Donovan Edwards went down with an injury in Week 7, rushing for nearly 100 yards in a win at Oak Park. Dixon will play at Penn State.
Jacob Dobbs, 5-11, 205, Sr., Warren De La Salle
Dobbs played physical and consistently got to the football, getting in on 81 tackles to help De La Salle repeat as Catholic League and Division 2 state champions. He made 16 tackles in the state championship game win over Muskegon Mona Shores, setting the tempo with a pair of fourth down stops in the opening quarter. “Jacob has a 4.0 grade-point-average, is committed to Holy Cross,” Coach Mike Giannone said. “He’s a great leader, knows the game extremely well and plays with a lot of intensity and passion.”
Marcel Lewis, 6-1, 220, Sr., Chippewa Valley
Lewis was a physical factor for Chippewa Valley, helping his team win the MAC Red title, then the Division 1 state championship. He had 76 tackles while also grabbing 13 passes from his tight end position, scoring four TDs. “What can you say about Marcel Lewis that hasn’t already been said?” noted Coach Scott Merchant. “He is a striker. He doesn’t just tackle people, he runs through them. He plays his best in big games when you need him most.” Lewis will play at Michigan State.
Julian Barnett, 6-2, 190, Sr., Belleville
Barnett was a deep threat on offense and an outstanding defensive back, helping Belleville earn its first regional title in program history. “Julian Barnett on any other team would be a serious candidate for Mr. Football and this speaks to Julian’s maturity. Instead of worrying about his numbers he’s grown to be strictly concerned with his team’s success,” Coach Jermain Crowell said. Barnett will play at Michigan State.
Josh DeBerry, 6-1, 175, Sr., Warren De La Salle
DeBerry was a shut-down corner while also playing receiver and running, at times, out of the wildcat to help De La Salle repeat as Catholic League and Division 2 state champions. He had 37 receptions for 780 yards and nine TDs while intercepting five passes. “Josh is one of the most dynamic players I have ever coached,” Coach Mike Giannone said. DeBerry has 16 offers, including one from Northwestern.
Marvin Grant, 6-2, 200, Sr., Detroit King
Grant, who is committed to Purdue, played safety and linebacker this season, playing wherever coach Tyrone Spencer needed him to make the team better. He was a physical presence in the state title game win over Muskegon, making sure speedy quarterback Cameron Martinez didn’t get outside him while playing outside linebacker, also recovering a fumble in the game. He finished with 71 tackles, including 18.5 TFL while forcing four fumbles and recovering three fumbles.
Kyron McKinnie-Harper, 6-1, 185, Sr., Detroit Cass Tech
McKinnie-Harper was a two-way standout, grabbing 23 passes for 487 yards and nine TDs while also getting in on 32 tackles, breaking up 28 passes and intercepting six passes, returning two for TDs. “He has great feet, long arms with good ball skill that helped him get six interceptions and break up 28 passes,” Coach Thomas Wilcher said. McKinnie-Harper has multiple MAC offers.
Luke Elzinga, 6-4, 200, Sr., Grand Rapids Christian
Elzinga was ranked as one of the top punters in the nation. He averaged 49.6 yards a punt, including a long of 76 yards to help his team earn a state playoff appearance. “He’s had three punts this year that were 70 yards in the air,” Coach Don Fellows said. “He’s an NFL kicker.”
Coach of the Year
Phil Jacobs, Dexter
Jacobs took over a struggling Dexter program that was coming off of three consecutive 0-9 seasons prior to 2017, then suffered through another winless season. However, he quickly turned things around this season, guiding Dexter to a Week 2 win over Ypsilanti to end a 42-game losing streak, then to the program’s first state playoff appearance, losing to South Lyon 31-24 in overtime to finish 6-4. “This year’s team invested in their success by embracing the everyday process of going to work,” Jacobs said. “Our team formed a true brotherhood. Not only did our guys play for one another on the field, but they spent time together away from football as well.”