Jim S' Words:
RB Kevin Grady (5-10, 220 lbs., 4.4 in the 40) from East Grand Rapids
Early Michigan verbal. What more is there to say about him? The state's top prospect and perhaps the top runing back in the nation and best running back to emerge from the state since Jerome Bettis. Made all of the all-state dream teams as a junior. Recently named EA Sports National Junior Player of the Year after rushing for 2,507 yards and 39 touchdowns this past season. Runs with a rare combination of size, power, vision and speed.
"Kevin is the best high school football player I have ever been around," East Grand Rapids coach Peter Stuursma told the Associated Press. "He's the entire package. He can run over you, run around you, make you miss, he can catch, he can throw." "He has great field vision," Coach Stuursma told the Detroit News. "He's such a special young man. To put up the numbers he put up his freshman and sophomore years (more than 1,000 yards each season), you ask yourself, 'How can you top that?' And he has. What separates him from the rest is he wants to be great."
DL Terrance Taylor (6-1, 280 lbs., 4.80 in the 40) from Muskegon
One of only two confirmed in-state offers from Michigan, there have been rumors that Terrance is a silent verbal to Michigan. I don't really know about that, but I do know that he really likes Michigan and the Wolverines are currently his strong favorite. Terrance is another youngster who made a name for himself as a freshman starter for a strong program. He was a consensus First Team All-Stater as a junior, quite a rare feat for a lineman. He was also named by USA Today as one of the top 10 junior players in the nation.
Muskegon head coach Tony Annese had this to tell me about him last spring: "Terrance has been a starter since his freshman year. At DT as a freshman and DE as a sophomore. He will also start at OT as a junior. He's 6'2 and now weighs about 275 or 280, down from his sophomore season weight of 295. He runs a 4.9 or 5.0 forty. He wrestled at 275 this year and went something like 27-1. He weighed in 0.1 too heavy at districts so they wouldn't let him wrestle. He can really run for a big kid. This Saturday at the state powerlifting championships he lifted in the super heavyweight division (275+ pounds) and set a state record with lifts totalling 1310 pounds. This is the best total in state history since the meet commenced in 1986. Terrance squatted 610, dead lifted 620 and bench pressed 380 pounds. Keep in mind that in powerlifting competiton you need to go below parallel in the squat and you need to pause it on your chest in the bench press. Under normal conditions he can bench press it 410 pounds without the pause. As a freshman in track he threw the shot put 52 feet. He's overwhelmingly powerful. It's amazing his strength and his ability to move as a big kid. He's just a dominating physical specimen. From a strength standpoint he's second to none. Last year I thought he was the strongest freshman in the nation and now he must be the strongest sophomore in the nation. He's a good, solid football player. He has a 2.5 GPA. We hope and think he will qualify. He's at the top of the list of sophomores in the state. He went to U-M's camp last summer and to a few of their games last fall. He will attend the U-M Nike combine this spring."
Here is what the Detroit Free Press ad to say about him in naming him to their Dream Team: " DL TERRANCE TAYLOR School: Muskegon. Class: Junior. Size: 6-1, 280. Highlights: Made 68 tackles, 10 sacks and 15 hurries. 4.95 40-yard dash. Coach Tony Annese: 'He's one of the most powerful athletes I've seen. He's a big kid who can run 1effectively and he's very quick for his size. He's hardworking.'"
Here is what the Detroit News had to say about him in naming him to their Dream Team: "Terrance Taylor, Muskegon. A two-year, two-way starter at tackle, Taylor is one of the state's top power lifters. At 280 pounds, he is still able to run the 40-yard dash in under five seconds. He helped lead the Big Reds to the Division 2 region finals last season and to the district final this season. Through 10 games, he had 60 tackles and six sacks, and 13 times he forced the quarterback to hurry his throw, resulting in an incomplete pass. 'He's the most powerful athlete I've ever been around,' Coach Tony Annese said. 'He's a vicious type of player. He took the attitude that I'm going to get after the ball.' Michigan has offered Taylor a scholarship."
There's no questioning his size and athletic ability, but the big key with Taylor will be whether he can get half a step quicker and whether he will be able to become a consistent every down sort of player.
Jim S' Instate Super Seven: The Super Two!
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