Michigan Dominates Detroit News 2011 Dream Team

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The 2011 Detroit News Dream Team is out and Michigan has reversed has put a lock-down on the State of Michigan.  Here are the gory details for Michigan State and others who recruit the state against the Wolverines.  Michigan has been vital to Mark Dantonio’s success at MSU and it appears that he will no longer have free reign in the state as he did while Rich Rodriguez was at the University of Michigan.

1. Mario Ojemudia

Farmington Hills Harrison

DL/OL, 6-3, 225

Commitment: Michigan

Ojemudia is the first player from Oakland County to be selected as the top Blue Chip prospect since Will Johnson of Lake Orion in 2004. Like Johnson, Ojemudia committed to U-M. Ojemudia’s selection ends six consecutive seasons the top player had come from a school in the Detroit Public School League. A three-year starter at offensive right tackle, he started the last two seasons at defensive tackle. “Mario is the most dominant defensive tackle we’ve ever had,” coach John Herrington said. Ojemudia led the team in tackles the last two seasons. This season he had 71 tackles, 33 assists, two blocked kicks and a school-record 14 sacks.

2. Terry Richardson

Detroit Cass Tech

DB/WR/KR, 5-9, 165

Commitment: Michigan

A starter in the secondary and at receiver the past two seasons, Richardson had an interception in each of his last three games to give him five for the season. He had 25 receptions, including one for 36 yards and a touchdown in the Division 1 final. Motivated and committed to be the best, Richardson was selected as the state’s top player in the preseason. “He really understands the technical aspect of playing in the secondary,” coach Thomas Wilcher said. “He knows how to jump routes.” Richardson is slated to play cornerback at U-M.

3. James Ross

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

LB/TE, 6-1, 210

Commitment: Michigan

Ross is the 13th player from St. Mary’s in the past nine seasons to be named to the top 15 Blue Chip list. Like Richardson, Ross led his team to a state (Division 3) championship this past season. A three-year starter at linebacker, this season Ross had 118 unassisted tackles, 55 assists, 13 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and he caused three fumbles. A terrific open-field tackler, Ross sheds blockers with ease.

4. Royce Jenkins-Stone

Detroit Cass Tech

LB/RB, 6-2, 215

Commitment: Michigan

Jenkins-Stone was one of the state’s hardest-hitting tacklers. He was at his best in the biggest games as he gained 120 yards on 22 carries, played every down on defense from his middle linebacker spot and scored the only touchdown in Cass Tech’s 6-3 victory over Utica Eisenhower in a Division 1 semifinal. “He stepped up his game the second half of the season,” coach Thomas Wilcher said. On defense he had 115 unassisted tackles, 11 tackles for loss and two interceptions.

5. Aaron Burbridge

Farmington Hills Harrison

WR/DB, 6-2, 185

Commitment: Michigan State

Burbridge started for two seasons on both sides and he also returned punts and kickoffs. Burbridge was a playmaker no matter where he played. This season he had 32 receptions for 753 yards and six touchdowns. Burbridge returned a kickoff for a touchdown and an interception for a touchdown. Burbridge is a superb athlete who made a number of outstanding catches, many of the one-handed variety.

6. Matt Godin

Detroit Catholic Central

DL/OL, 6-6, 265

Commitment: Michigan

Godin is a two-way, two-year starter who likely will play defense at U-M. He’s expected to add 20 to 30 pounds by the time he gets into the starting lineup. Athletic for his size, Godin uses his quickness to pursue ball carriers and he’s relentless in rushing the quarterback. C.C. coach Tom Mach said Godin played “unselfishly” and was the ultimate team player. This season Godin had 70 tackles, including 18 unassisted and nine sacks.

7. Devin Funchess

Farmington Hills Harrison

WR/TE, 6-4, 215

Commitment: Michigan

Funchess is impressive physically. He has great hands and is able to use his big frame to out-jump defenders for the football. Stronger this past season, Funchess worked hard in the weight room to improve his upper body strength. He didn’t have a great senior season, as he had just 24 receptions but he often drew attention away from other receivers. One of his best qualities is his ability to gain yards after a catch.

8. Danny O’Brien

Flint Powers

DL/OL, 6-2, 302

Commitment: Tennessee

In addition to his physical presence, O’Brien is a proven leader. Powers was 1-8 his junior year and started 2-4 this past season before winning its final eight games to capture the Division 4 title. “I told him he set the bar from day one,” coach Bob Buckel said. “This was my first year at Powers and my first day I looked at Danny and said, ‘Oh my goodness.’ As impressive as he is physically, he’s quick for someone who weighs 300 pounds.” O’Brien likely will play defense at Tennessee, possibly nose tackle.

9. Ron Thompson

Southfield

TE/DE, 6-4, 230

Commitment: Syracuse

Thompson had a tremendous senior season, remarkable when one considers it was just his second season playing football. He had 14 tackles for loss on defense, but look for Thompson to play on the offensive side in college. He has tremendous hands and is extremely agile, which makes it difficult for defensive backs to bring him down. This season he had 57 receptions for 729 yards and nine touchdowns.

10. Ben Braden

Rockford

OT, 6-7, 320

Commitment: Michigan

Braden’s size tells the story. He’ll play offensive tackle in college. Rockford has had a number of quality linemen under coach Ralph Munger, including Joe Staley (San Francisco), who has been selected to the Pro Bowl. Braden has a ways to go before he gets his shot at the NFL but Munger said Braden’s attitude is top-notch. “He has all the physical attributes,” Munger said. “He’s a low-key individual. He’s calm, patient. But when he’s on the field he takes on a whole new personality.”

11. Evan Winston

Muskegon Heights

DE/OT, 6-4, 255

Commitment: Missouri

Winston is the first top 15 Blue Chip prospect to commit to Missouri since running back Marcus Woods (Farmington Hills Harrison) in 2003. Winston started for three seasons on defense and was in on 175 tackles the past two. “He’s a monster coming off the edge,” coach Tony Blankenship said. This past season Winston had 31 unassisted tackles, 10 sacks, 22 tackles for loss and he forced five fumbles.

12. Jamal Lyles

Southfield-Lathrup

LB/QB, 6-4, 215

Commitment: Michigan State

Athletically, Lyles takes a back seat to no one. He could have played receiver for coach Stephon Thompson this season, but Thompson needed a quarterback so that’s where Lyles played. But it’s on defense where Lyles excelled. He had 135 tackles, 19 for loss and four interceptions. Lyles also defended the pass like a strong safety. “He runs like a deer and he brings the pain,” Thompson said.

13. Drake Johnson

Ann Arbor Pioneer

RB, 6-1, 215

Commitment: Michigan

A record-setting back, Johnson he rushed for 2,805 yards and 38 touchdowns in what was a breakout season. Like Lyles, Johnson could be a sleeper in this year’s class. Schools from the Mid-American Conference were the only Division I schools that had shown great interest in Johnson until U-M made its scholarship offer. He’s also the two-time champion in the high hurdles. Johnson’s leg strength allowed him to break through arm tackles.

14. Dennis Norfleet

Detroit King

RB/KR, 5-6, 180

Commitment: Cincinnati

What Norfleet lacks in height he more than makes up for in determination and speed. He’s one of the top basketball players in Detroit and is also a sprinter in track. Norfleet is an intelligent running back. He knows how to follow his blockers and has the speed to break long runs. A three-time first-team All-Metro Detroit selection, Norfleet scored 52 touchdowns the past two seasons. He had 260 carries this season for 2,033 yards.

15. Ruben Lile

Detroit Cass Tech

WR/DB, 6-3, 200

Commitment: Iowa

Lile started for two seasons at safety and showed his versatility as a receiver this season. He had 29 receptions for 525 yards and six touchdowns, and it’s possible he could be a star receiver at the Big Ten level. Lile had a 46-yard touchdown reception in the Division 1 final. “He made some big catches for us in the playoffs,” coach Thomas Wilcher said. On defense this season Lile had 40 tackles and three interceptions.

 

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