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Meet The Detroit News Football Dream Team 2019

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Ends

►Latrell Fordham, 6-4, 180, Sr., Davison

Fordham was a big-play receiver for Davison, never more apparent than his 74-yard TD catch in the Division 1 state championship game at Ford Field to give his team a 14-3 cushion in an eventual 35-25 win over Brighton. He had 49 receptions for 954 yards (19.5 average) and 12 TDs.

“Latrell was a huge factor in our success even when he was not getting the ball,” Coach Jake Weingartz said. “Obviously, he is explosive as anybody in this 2020 class of wide receivers. He put up huge numbers even with having a bad ankle for the majority of the season. Even when he was not getting the ball teams had to account for him in the pass game giving us great numbers to run the football. What most people do not know is that he is a lock-down corner as well. His ability on defense to shut down the opposing team’s best wide receiver helped us win the whole thing.”

Fordham will play next year at Ball State.

►Jace Williams, 6-4, 185, Jr., Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Williams showed his talent when he grabbed three TD passes in Catholic Central’s 44-0 win over Detroit Country Day in the Division 4 state championship game. He had 61 receptions for 970 yards and 13 TDs this season, missing two postseason games due to an injury.

“Jace is a great athlete with a great work ethic,” Coach Todd Kolster. “He’ll do whatever it takes to win and that’s catching three TD passes in the state championship game or eating up double coverage so other guys have success. He’s always been a great basketball player, but now he’s figured it out how to play receiver as well.”

Williams, who has offers from Michigan State, Nebraska, Boston College and Kentucky, is also getting interest from Minnesota and Iowa.

Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen

►Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen, 6-1, 180, Sr., Walled Lake Western

Yaseen put up big numbers with 86 receptions for 1,646 yards and 20 TDs to lead Western to a Division 2 regional championship and state semifinal appearance. He also got in on 47 tackles from his secondary position while intercepting two passes.

“Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen is the best wide receiver in the state,” Coach Alex Grignon said. “Single coverage equaled touchdowns all year long. He is just as dangerous taking a jet sweep or hitch as he is going vertical. Any time he touched the football he had a great chance to score. He has a hidden gear speed wise that separates him from other elite talent in the state.”

Yaseen will play next year at Northwestern.

Offensive line

►Garrett Dellinger, 6-5, 280, Jr., Clarkston

Dellinger came back to play at a high level after undergoing surgery twice to repair torn labrum injuries in the off season. He is considered No. 1 rated tackle in the nation for the 2021 class by 247Sports.

“He’s got great feet, played on the basketball team so he moves real well and he has long arms, which helps him,” Coach Kurt Richardson said. “He’s a great leader too.”

Dellinger has several offers from national powers, including Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan.

►Dallas Fincher, 6-4, 260, Sr., East Kentwood

Fincher was a consistent force on the offensive line, getting things done at a high level for East Kentwood to help his team reach the state playoffs.

“He led the team in pancake blocks while not allowing a sack all season,” Coach Tony Kimbrough said. “He’s a great offensive lineman, a very good run and pass blocker. He had no holding calls. He’s known as a technician and is a three-year starter who can play all five positions, a great captain and leader for us.”

Fincher will play next year at Michigan State.

Damon Payne

►Damon Payne, 6-4, 295, Jr., Belleville

Payne was outstanding on both sides of the ball for Belleville, helping his team win the KLAA championship, along with Division 1 district and regional titles. He got in on 59 tackles, including 22 tackles for lost yardage, eight sacks while not giving up a sack as an offensive lineman.

“Damon’s a three-year starter and this year played almost every snap,” Coach Jermain Crowell said. “He dominated on both sides of the ball, even playing throughout the playoffs on a bad ankle, and the scary thing is he’s still getting better.”

Payne, who received his first offer in the eighth grade from Georgia, also has offers from Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, Penn State, Auburn, Michigan, USC and Michigan State.

►Josh Priebe, 6-5, 275, Sr., Edwardsburg

Priebe was a strong, physical guard, a reason he received 32 offers and will be playing at Northwestern. He had 29 pancakes in 11 games and led an offense that had 4,248 rushing yards, averaging more than nine yards a carry.

“Josh has been a dominant player for the last three years as an offensive guard,” Coach Kevin Bartz said. “What sets Josh apart from other big offensive linemen is his quickness and agility. Josh’s ability to move effectively combined with his intelligence, strength and tenacious attitude put him in an elite group of offensive linemen.”

►Justin Rogers, 6-3, 300, Sr., Oak Park

Rogers is one of the premier players in the country, strong and fast and physical. He can play multiple positions on both sides of the ball, not giving up a sack during his senior year while getting six sacks and forcing three fumbles and recovering two fumbles.

“Justin was a four-year starter and can dominate on either side of the ball,” Coach Greg Carter said.

Rogers will play next year at Kentucky.

Zach Trainor

Quarterback

►Zach Trainor, 6-2, 205, Jr., Walled Lake Western

Trainor was accurate, completing 74.5 percent of his passes for 3,845 yards and 44 TDs with just four interceptions to help Western win the Lakes Valley, district and regional championships before a 57-56 Division 2 state semifinal loss to Muskegon Mona Shores.

“You would never know Zach was only a junior this year,” Coach Alex Grignon said. “From the first week to the last he was laser focused. He can stretch the field vertically or get surgical underneath and pick defenses apart. I don’t think it’s too common to give high school quarterbacks the freedom to check at the line or call backside routes on his own and we wouldn’t trust just anyone to do that. But this kid watches a ton of film, asks questions and brings ideas to the table about what he likes based on what he sees on film. He is as competitive as they come.”

Running backs

►De’Andre Bulley, 6-0, 245, Sr., River Rouge

Bulley, a big, physical back, rushed for 1,976 yards and 22 TDs, including a 220-yard, three-TD performance in a 49-14 regional final win at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and a 33-yard TD run in the 30-7 Division 3 state championship game win over top-ranked Muskegon.

“De’Andre Bulley is our workhorse, 245 pounds, just a really powerful back who bruised defenses as the game went on and was a dominating force in the fourth quarter of our games this year,” Coach Corey Parker said. “He was determined to take over games in crunch time, which made him difficult to deal with for defenses.”

Bulley decommitted from Akron and has offers from San Diego State, Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan.

Donovan Edwards

►Donovan Edwards, 6-1, 185, Jr., West Bloomfield

Edwards had a healthy junior season, rushing for 1,326 yards and 16 TDs, averaging nine yards a carry, to lead West Bloomfield to an OAA Red Division championship and Division 1 regional final appearance.

“Every game we went into he was the best football player on the field,” Coach Ron Bellamy said. “He’s a very competitive kid and he was very productive as a running back, receiver and in the return game.”

Edwards has 31 offers, including Ohio State, Georgia, Notre Dame, Penn State and Michigan.

Athlete

►Cameron Martinez, 5-11, 190, Sr., Muskegon

Martinez was an outstanding dual-threat quarterback for Muskegon and could also excel on special teams, helping Muskegon advance to the Division 3 state championship game. He finished the season with 2,228 rushing yards (264 carries) and 36 TDs while also completing 64-of-109 passes for 1,258 yards and 11 TDs.

Martinez will play next year at Ohio State.

Kicker

►Avery Burch, 5-9, 160, Sr., River Rouge

Burch was a special weapon for River Rouge, connecting on 78-of-80 PATs while going a perfect 9-for-9 on field goals, including a 31-yarder to open up a 24-7 lead in the Division 3 state championship game win over Muskegon at Ford Field, accounting for a total of 105 points on the season.

“Mr. Automatic gave us confidence in all phases of our special teams,” Coach Corey Parker said. “He’s been a tremendous captain and an example of what the young men in our program look like as he maintained a 3.7 grade-point average in all four years of high school.”

Defensive linemen

►Rayshaun Benny, 6-4, 270, Jr., Oak Park

Benny was a dominant two-way lineman to help Oak Park win the OAA White Division championship. He only allowed one sack while getting in on 75 tackles, five sacks and forcing three fumbles and recovering two.

“Rayshaun has graded out as our top offensive lineman for the last two years,” Coach Greg Carter said. “He’s super athletic and is an unbelievable competitor.”

Benny has 32 offers, including LSU, Georgia, Ohio State, Penn State, Oregon, Auburn and Michigan.

►Jamari Buddin, 6-3, 190, Jr., Belleville

Buddin showed his versatility by playing linebacker and defensive end, using his great speed and skill to get in on 61 tackles, including 29 tackles for lost yardage, nine sacks. He also had 18 quarterback hurries.

“Jamari Buddin is big, fast and violent,” Coach Jermain Crowell said. “He’s a dominating force in both the run and passing game. Opponents should always make a note of where he is. He will be bigger, faster and stronger next year.”

Buddin, a four-star recruit, has more than a dozen offers, including Michigan, Penn State, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Florida State and Michigan State.

Rocco Spindler

►Rocco Spindler, 6-4, 305, Jr., Clarkston

Spindler was one of the best two-way players in the state, doing an outstanding job of blocking while also getting in on 52 tackles, including six for lost yardage.

“Rocco started every game on both sides of the ball since his freshman year and has played at a high level,” Coach Kurt Richardson said. “We move him all around on defense and he can play anywhere down for us. He’s a great leader, helps the young kids.”

Spindler has offers from multiple major powers, including Ohio State, LSU, Alabama, Florida, Penn State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Michigan.

►Billie Roberts, 6-4, 280, Sr., Muskegon

Roberts is a four-year starter for Muskegon, helping the team to a 52-4 record, including a Division 3 state championship in 2017. He was the anchor on an offensive line, which helped lead the way to 4,100 rushing yards and 80 TDs while only giving up three sacks in 14 games. Defensively, he got in on 39 tackles, including 10 tackles for lost yardage.

“Billie has been a four-year starter for us, a hard worker with an amazing personality,” Coach Shane Fairfield said. “He’s been a force on both sides of the football. He’s had a huge impact on our program and will be extremely hard to replace.”

Roberts has multiple Big Ten offers, including Michigan State, Minnesota and Indiana.

Linebackers

►Logan Pasco, 6-0, 210, Sr., Davison

Pasco developed into one of the premier defensive players in the state, getting in on 16 tackles, including three tackles for lost yardage in a 35-25 win over Brighton in the Division 1 state championship game. He had 166 tackles, including 21 for lost yardage while intercepting five passes.

“Logan was one of the best middle linebackers in the state this year,” Coach Jake Weingartz said. “He had a nose for the football and is as tough as they come. His high football IQ is what sets him apart. This was very evident in the Division 1 state title game when he finished with 16 tackles, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble. His work ethic got him to where he is today.”

Pasco will play next year at Youngstown State.

Jaylen Reed

►Jaylen Reed, 6-0, 190, Jr., Detroit King

King coach Tyrone Spencer moved Reed from safety to linebacker midseason and he responded by playing well in his new position. He got in on 119 tackles while forcing seven fumbles.

“He’s the leader of the defense, communicates well,” Spencer said. “He made our defense better when we moved him to linebacker. He’s so athletic and versatile that if you need him to cover a receiver he can or if you need him to drop back in coverage he can. He cover a running back, he can cover a receiver, he can do a lot of things, plus he’s physical and aggressive enough to pass rush. He’s forced five fumbles so he’s just a turnover machine.”

Reed has 20 offers, including Florida and Penn State.

►Cornell Wheeler, 6-1, 230, Sr., West Bloomfield

Wheeler showed his athleticism by going sideline-to-sideline to get in on 140 tackles, including 10 tackles for lost yardage, forcing three fumbles while recovering two. He made 20 tackles in a comeback win over Lake Orion.

“He’s the best defensive player in the state of Michigan, just watching his preparation every week, film study, weight room and how he goes about his business,” Coach Ron Bellamy said. “He’s just a fierce leader.”

Wheeler will play next year at Michigan.

Defensive backs

►Enzo Jennings, 6-0, 180, Sr., Oak Park

Jennings is an outstanding cover corner with great speed and skill, helping Oak Park win the OAA White Division title. He made 65 tackles while intercepting four passes and recovering three fumbles, returning one for a TD.

“He’s strong, fast, durable and competitive,” Coach Greg Carter said. “Enzo started every game during his four-year career. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever coached.”

Jennings will play next year at Penn State.

Makari Paige

►Makari Paige, 6-3, 190, Sr., West Bloomfield

Paige used his size and strength to be a force in the back end to help West Bloomfield win the OAA Red Division title while becoming one of the premier teams in the state.

“He’s a freak athlete, 6-3, 190-pound safety who has the ability to play free safety or strong safety, he can also come and cover your best receiver, which he did on numerous occasions, and he has the ability to come in the box and be a middle linebacker,” Coach Ron Bellamy said.

Paige will play next year at Michigan.

►Brady Rose, 5-7, 150, Jr., Muskegon Mona Shores

Rose was short in size, but big in production to lead Mona Shores to the Division 2 state championship with a 35-26 victory over Detroit King. With starting quarterback Caden Broersma out with an injury. Rose took over at quarterback and ran for 90 yards (21 carries) and three TDs, hitting on 8-of-11 passes for 122 and a TD while also getting in on a team-high 10 tackles and picking off a pass, which led to a TD and 28-20 lead. For the season, he rushed for 685 yards and 14 TDs, had 17 receptions for 205 yards and three TDs, threw for 429 yards and two TDs, and had 82 tackles and six interceptions from his secondary spot.

“Brady is a kid with tremendous athletic ability and has an incredible motor,” Coach Matt Koziak said. “You add the fact that he has the highest football IQ of any player that I’ve ever coached, and you have a pretty special talent.”

►Andre Seldon, 5-9, 160, Sr., Belleville

Seldon played at a high level in all three phases in getting things done as a cornerback, receiver and return man to help his team win league, district and regional championships. He had six interceptions while breaking up three passes from his secondary position while averaging more than 25 yards a punt return, including four TD returns.

“Andre is a three-year starter and an Under Armour All-American,” Coach Jermain Crowell said. “I believe he’s the best defensive back in the state and one of the best in the country. He’s a playmaker and it doesn’t matter if it’s him on offense, defense or special teams, he’s going to make plays.”

Seldon will play next year at Michigan.

Punter

►Tylor McCoon, 6-4, 195, Jr., Traverse City Central

McCoon averaged 43 yards a punt on 22 attempts, putting eight inside the 20.

“Tylor is a great athlete to have at that position,” Coach Eric Schugars said. “He is very consistent and valuable to our team, helps us win the field position battle. He is a great student athlete as well.”

Coach of the Year

►Corey Parker, River Rouge

Parker guided River Rouge to the Division 3 state title with a dominating 30-7 win over No. 1 Muskegon, bringing home its first state championship trophy in school history.

“This was a special team because of their passion for the game of football,” said Parker, who completed his 10th year as head coach at River Rouge. “They loved every bit of it, lifting, study hall, film session and practice. What a great group of men they developed into who will stand alone in history as 2019 Division 3 state champions.”