Cornell Wheeler trying to recruit West Bloomfield stars Makari Paige, Donovan Edwards to Michigan

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Donovan Edwards

West Bloomfield linebacker Cornell Wheeler has already committed to Michigan and is now playing the role of recruiter, trying to bring a teammate or two with him to Ann Arbor.

Wheeler showed his ability to go sideline to sideline during his junior year, getting in on 146 tackles, including 11 for lost yardage, to help West Bloomfield reach the regional final.

Now, Wheeler is working hard to get Makari Paige, a four-star safety and fellow 2020 prospect, to commit to the Wolverines.

Paige has Michigan in his top seven and is taking his first official visit to Kentucky this weekend before returning to compete in West Bloomfield’s 7-on-7 competition Sunday.

Wheeler is also trying to recruit another teammate, 2021 four-star running back Donovan Edwards, who has 30 offers, including Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State.

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“I’m getting ready for my senior year, trying to help West Bloomfield do what it has never done before, win a state championship,” Wheeler told The Detroit News.

West Bloomfield lost to OAA Red rival Clarkston in the Division 1 state title game in 2017, then lost to Belleville in the regional final last year.

“I’m committed to Michigan and now I’m trying to get Makari, Donovan and some other guys to go there with me.”

After Kentucky, Paige’s next recruiting visit is Ohio State on June 21.

 “I’ve narrowed my list down to seven – Purdue, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio State and Penn State,” Paige said. “It’s been nerve-wracking, but I’m enjoying it too, looking ready to have some fun on the visits.”

Cornell Wheeler (44)

Edwards rushed for more than 700 yards, averaging more than seven yards a carry, before missing the last five games, including all three postseason games, due to an ankle injury.

Edwards has a combination of strength and speed; he is 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds, and runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash. He is interested in Michigan, and had a conversation with offensive coordinator Josh Gattis on Sunday.

“I talked to Coach Gattis last Sunday, he’s cool,” said Edwards. “I like the way they run the offense. They give the football to their running backs. They pound the rock. I went up there two months ago and Coach Gattis was showing us the way he was planning to use the new offense and I liked it.

“I like Michigan State too. I like the way they run their offense, kind of the way we run it here with a deep back and an up back. I’m excited to be in the backfield with Anthony May this year. I’m more of a power back and he’s elusive.”

C.J. Harris will return at quarterback for West Bloomfield, and he is committed to Ohio University.

West Bloomfield coach Ron Bellamy said the school is planning an impressive season-opening doubleheader Aug. 30 when Division 1 state runnerup Clarkston plays Southfield A&T at 4 p.m., followed by West Bloomfield vs. Oak Park.