Instate Juniors: Two Southfield kids.

Spotted at a game last fall were two kids from Southfield, Mich. Will the Game Watson/Rondell Biggs connection continue?

Michigan Junior to Watch: Isaac Price

Name: Isaac Price
School: Southfield
State: Michigan
Position: Strong Safety/Wide Receiver
Height: 6-4
Weight: 195 lbs.
Forty: 4.50 sec.

2002 Honors: Oakland Press pre-season top 60 players in Oakland County

I doubt that there is another city in the state that has produced, on a per capita basis, as many Division 1 football players as Southfield over the past couple of years. Southfield High has produced such athletes as big Gabe Watson (Michigan), DaJuan Warren (Illinois), Maurice Alexander (Minnesota), Jerome Bennett (Miami-Ohio) and Khalid Walton (EMU) the past couple of years. Southfield-Lathrup has seen Rondell Biggs (Michigan), Joe Karaska (MSU), Fred McConnell (Northwestern), Clarence Glenn (Illinois State), Brandon Hector (Akron), Lonnel Bess (CMU). 2003 and the years ahead will see more of the same at both schools. Southfield coach David Rees told me the other day that he usually has about four Division 1 athletes per class walking the halls of Southfield High. The big question mark is getting them to focus on academics so that they can qualify. One player who won't have any problem qualifying or receiving Division 1 offers is the next great player out of Southfield High – Isaac Price. In fact, Price has had a Big Ten offer on the table since last summer. How many rising seniors in Michigan not named Trent can you say that about?

Southfield head coach, David Reese, had this to say about Isaac earlier this month: "Isaac was a sophomore starter at tight end, a position that we used as an inside slot receiver. As a junior he was injured a lot until late in the season and was used mainly as an outside linebacker. He will start at strong safety and wide receiver as a senior and those are the positions he projects at in college. Isaac is just a tremendous athlete in terms of his ability to do things. He has nothing but upside and has great jumping ability. He's 6-4, 195 and runs a 4.5 forty. He's a tough kid and a hard worker. He's a no-brainer Big Ten kid. He dominated at Minnesota's camp last summer and was offered by Minnesota. Illinois will probably offer soon. He will be up for the Michigan State junior day and they will probably offer. He's a definite top 5 prospect in the state. He doesn't have a lot of junior film so he may not receive a lot of the early ink of other in-state kids but after the summer camps he will probably be offered by all the Big Ten schools. He has no favorite yet, but of course he likes Minnesota because they have offered him. Michigan is definitely recruiting him and is talking about him. If his dad were picking he would choose Michigan tomorrow because his dad is a huge Michigan fan. Isaac's grades are fine and he will easily qualify."

Isaac Price is a bit of a hidden secret as a college prospect as he was injured for much of his junior season. As a result, he didn't garner the sort of post-season recognition that attracts the interest of people trying to put together a checklist of potential Division 1 prospects. Those in the know, however, realize that Isaac is an outstanding prospect. He was so dominant at the Minnesota camp last summer that he was offered on the spot. In my book he is a superior college prospect to Southfield graduating seniors DaJuan Warren (Illinois) and Maurice Alexander (Minnesota). As a Michigan fan, remember his name. His combination of size and speed matches the sort of profile the Michigan coaches look for at wide receiver and safety.

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Michigan Junior to Watch: Dewayne Roland

Name: Dewayne Roland
School: Southfield-Lathrup
State: Michigan
Position: Offensive Tackle/Defensive Tackle
Height: 6-4 1/2
Weight: 275 lbs.
Forty: 4.80 sec.
Bench Press: 300+
Squat: 30 reps at 225
GPA: 2.4 core
ACT: 18

As I mentioned earlier in my profile of Isaac Price, the city of Southfield produces many outstanding football prospects. Today I'm going to profile Dewayne Roland, a lineman who should follow in the tradition of other outstanding linemen who have matriculated from Southfield-Lathrup High the past couple of years: Rondell Biggs (Michigan), Joe Karaska (MSU), Fred McConnell (Northwestern), Clarence Glenn (Illinois State), Brandon Hector (Akron). In fact, according to his coach, Stephon Thompson, Roland could well be the best of the bunch. And you should know that Coach Thompson was Maurice Williams' head coach at Detroit Pershing several years ago, so he knows talent when he sees it.

Here is what Lathrup head coach Stephon Thompson had to say about DeWayne the end of January: "Dewayne was a two-way starter as a junior at offensive tackle and defensive tackle. He's 6-4 1/2, 275 and runs a 4.8 forty. He runs like a deer. He's outstanding. He's very quick and extremely agile. He reminds me of Maurice Williams. He has tremendous eye-hand coordination. As a junior he had 65 pancakes. He benches over 300 pounds and squats the entire gym. He can do 30 squat reps at 225 pounds. He's a phenomenal specimen. He's very quick and aggressive. He is without a doubt much quicker and more agile than Fred McConnell (Northwestern signee) and Joe Karaska (MSU freshman). And his power ranks with them as a run-blocker, but his pass blocking is much better. He has a 2.4 or 2.5 core GPA and had an 18 on the ACT as a sophomore. He's a definite top 5 prospect in the state. All of the Big Ten schools have been in: Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State. The college coaches say he finishes well on blocks, has great explosiveness, is very agile and picks up blitzes extremely well. Eric Campbell loves his feet. He has offers from Big Ten schools. I won't say which schools, but not Michigan yet. We will find out on Michigan once they see his junior tape. He has no current college favorite and is pretty open"

Like Isaac Price, Dewayne is a bit of a sleeper as he didn't garner any All-Area honors after his junior season. That's because Lathrup had a very average year and the minimal honors that did go around went to the graduating seniors like McConnell. I look for Dewayne as emerging as a potential top ten in-state prospect and he should receive plenty of Big Ten offers in the months ahead. Dewayne has already attended at least a couple of football games at Michigan. By the way, word on the "street" is that Dewayne's dad is a big Michigan fan.

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