High School football
The Prep Kickoff Classic showcase, put on by the Detroit Sports Commission down at Wayne State each year now, is just terrific. I have always wanted to see the State of Michigan football players put on display to bring attention to just how good they are. The showcase does that for football -- and I enjoy it each year because of the level of competition that is being displayed there. They are now bringing very good teams from Ohio to play in it as well.
Detroit DePorres, Inkster High, and now Oak Park Coach Greg Carter is a program changer. Oak Park is his latest project -- and he now has them moving towards tradition and winning. Coach Carter's recipe for success: respect, discipline and accountability. The win over Orchard Lake in the Kickoff Classic was huge for this program, because it establishes them as a player on the scene of high school football in Michigan. Last season in his second year at Oak Park, hey were young and expectations were low - but the team made the playoffs. This year after the victory over the Eagles of Orchard Lake they will not be sneaking up on anyone. With Oak Park playing in one of the toughest leagues in the state -- OAA -- Coach Carter is up to the task.
Michigan's complaint box
Last week many fans were not very happy with the way things went in a 59-9 mashing of the Chipawas of Central Michigan. So I am guessing that expectations are really high for this team! My opinion Wee One: the team is still young at many positions but for the first game I thought it went well. Let's start with Devin Gardner. He threw 2 interceptions. You never want turnovers in any game but it is something that can be corrected. His first interception was a good play by the corner; the second play -- he should not have thrown that football; the corner was ahead of the wide receiver and that should have been a check down or tuck and run. With that being said he still had a solid game, and those are things that in film he will learn from and he will get better at.
The play calling by Al Borges was good. He mixed things up enough to give this week's opponent Notre Dame a lot to think about. Borges' play calling on passing plays was very solid as he used every skill position well. The running plays were mixed well with the passing plays, and I like the different ways Michigan used the running backs on counters, sweeps, and the power I. Coach Borges and this young offense have a lot of upside. Michigan's style as a balanced offense, with the players they have, will help make them unpredictable -- giving defenses many things to defend against.
He is the type of player that isn't great at one thing but good at many things -- and with the way Michigan is using him you can tell. On kickoffs and punt returns he was a block or two from breaking one and taking it to the house. When Dennis came in on offense, Michigan looked to get him the ball because of how explosive and dynamic he can be. In Norfleet, Al Borges has a player that he can use in multiple ways this season -- and I expect him to do just that in order to put more pressure on defenses which will have to adjust to him being out on the field.
He's a kid that came in with high expectations at the wide receiver position and then made the change to defense, and I am really happy for him. Cam has been moved around and gone through a few coaching changes but he didn't give up nor did he lose confidence in himself or his talent. Against Central Michigan he was noticeably causing havoc out on the field. There was a concern that with Jake Ryan getting injured who could fill his role so hopefully there wouldn't be a drop off. Cam has not just filled in -- he is putting in work, and I didn't see a drop off in what he brings to the field.
I know many Michigan fans are thinking twice about how the Wolverines lost out on Trevon Blueitt. Well I say good for him he felt like that was the best place for him. I feel like that about most kids that make the decision they feel is best for them. As far as the Wolverines go well they are going to keep plugging along to find the best player for their program. There was a time not too long ago that Blueitt going to another school over Michigan would be devastating to the program. The days of crossing their fingers that a player commits is long gone with this staff -- they are not wired that way. That way they recruit multiple kids that have interest in what they do as a program. dDd they want Blueitt? Of course. Are they demoralized by his loss? No. With the relentless way they recruit they will continue to get the players that fit what they do on and off the floor. Getting Blueitt would have been nice, but there is no reason to panic. Michigan basketball will be just fine.
Dre's Blog: MI HS FB, U-M FB and Hoops
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