Instate Jrs: Det. Redford, Grand Ledge

Jim S.' junior profiles continue. Here are two more legitimate prospects for our future "Instate Top Ten" rankings (there are a LOT of legit contenders this year!): a Detroit Redford football/basketball prospect, and a Grand Ledge offensive lineman.

Michigan Junior to Watch: Jamaal Lock

Name: Jamaal Lock
School: Detroit Redford
State: Michigan
Position: Defensive End
Height: 6-7
Weight: 240 lbs.
Forty: 4.7 sec.
Bench Press: 215 lbs.
GPA: 2.6

2002 Honors: Detroit News Honorable Mention All-Metro Detroit (Line); Detroit News First Team All-Detroit (Line); Detroit Free Press Honorable Mention All-Detroit (Line).

Jamaal's combination of size and athleticism makes him one of several intriguing Detroit PSL prospects to keep an eye on this recruiting season. Last fall I knew that he was rated as a top 15 in-state basketball prospect and that he was a teammate of Michigan verbal Dion Harris. However, what really caught my attention were a couple of one-liners in the Detroit Free Press during weeks three and four of the prep football season. Week 3: "Junior defensive end Jamal Lock made 14 tackles, including five sacks"; Week 4: "Junior Jamal Lock had 15 tackles, including three sacks." After reading these, I knew that Jamaal was a prospect to really keep an eye on.

Detroit Redford head coach Hanif Echols had this to say about Jamaal earlier this month: "Jamaal was a junior starter at defensive end and also played at tight end and wide receiver. He's 6-6 or 6-7, 235 or 240 and runs the forty in about the high 4.6 range. He's a great pass rusher, is tough against the run and is real physical. As a junior he had 15 sacks and about 72 tackles. He's a Division 1 prospect and a better football than basketball prospect (Steve Bell of rated him late last year as among the states top 15 junior basketball prospects). He's a Big Ten caliber player in football. His upper body just needs to get stronger. He is physically strong on the football field but needs to hit the weight room and get thicker. He bench-presses 215 pounds. Illinois came in to talk to me personally about him while Boston College, CMU and WMU are sending a lot of mail. He's also hearing from Michigan State, Indiana, Minnesota and a few other MAC and Big Ten schools. Michigan has not been in contact yet. He most definitely could play at a school like Michigan or Michigan State. He's a heck of a football player. He just needs to hit the weight room. Jamaal has a 2.6 GPA. He loves both football and basketball. I'm unsure if he has any favorite schools. As a freshman and sophomore he played JV football. That's because he missed summer football practice while playing basketball. I wouldn't let him play varsity as a sophomore because of that even though I brought him up to the varsity as a freshman for the PSL and state playoffs. Before his junior season he attended summer football practice so he played varsity this year."

Redford defensive coordinator Charles McCullough had this to say about Jamaal in early February: "Jamaal was a junior starter at defensive end and occasionally started at wide receiver and tight end. He's 6-7, 250. He's a vicious player and a hard worker. I like the way he plays. He has good foot speed and quickness. He also stars in basketball. He can be a Division 1 football player. He's also a pretty good kid."

An opposing head coach in the PSL had this to say about Jamaal last month: "He has great size and is a real physical kid."

Here is what the Detroit News had to say when it named him First Team All-Detroit: "Jamaal Lock, Redford: Lock had 14 sacks and 72 tackles for the Huskies. He also had 1- catches at tight end. ‘He's a ferocious pass rusher,' Coach Hanif Echols said. ‘Teams had to plan for him to stop the pass rush.'

Jamaal reportedly wears U-M jerseys at basketball practice, and is a good friend of Michigan verbal Dion Harris. He is probably a sub-Big Ten-caliber prospect in basketball, so in my view football is his future. The best part of his basketball game is his footwork, a skill that is also quite important for a football prospect. The big question will be whether he can add the strength required to play Division 1 ball. He certainly has the size and athleticism to do so.

Jamaal checks LeBron James


Michigan Junior to Watch: Blake Botek

Name: Blake Botek
School: Grand Ledge
State: Michigan
Position: Offensive Guard
Height: 6-3
Weight: 305 lbs.
Forty: 5.1 sec.
Bench Press: 330 lbs.
GPA: 3.3

2002 Honors: Detroit News Honorable Mention Class A All-State; Associated Press Honorable Mention Class A All-State; Lansing State Journal All-Lansing Area Dream Team (OL).

As a junior Botek was one of the outstanding players in the tough CAC. He should emerge as one of a handful of high-level Division 1 prospects in the Lansing area this coming year.

Grand Ledge head coach Pat O'Keefe had this to say about him in early February: "Blake will be a three-year starter at offensive guard. He's 6-3, 305 and runs a 5.1 forty. He was All-Area, All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-State as a junior. He bench presses about 330 or 335 pounds. He's a big strong guy and he has great leverage. Technique-wise he's excellent in both run and pass protection. He's a definite Division 1, Michigan-level prospect. He's absolutely the same caliber as (former Michigan and Grand Ledge player) Andy Brown. He's absolutely a top 10 in-state prospect. He's receiving letters every day from all the Big Ten and MAC schools. He has no offers yet but is receiving a lot of correspondence. He's a good student with a 3.3 or 3.4 GPA and he just took the ACT. In fact, we just sent film into Stanford."

Here is what the Lansing State Journal had to say about him in naming him All-Lansing Area Dream Team: "OL Blake Botek, Grand Ledge, 6-2, 305, jr. Botek is a two-year starter at right guard and did not allow a sack as the top lineman for an attack that averaged 21 points a game. He earned Class A all-state honorable mention and is a Division I prospect."

The Detroit Free Press had the following to say about Blake before his junior season: "Blake Botek (6-2, 290)…..Botek, a strong tackle with good leverage, reminds Grand Ledge coach Pat O'Keefe of former Comet lineman Andy Brown, who dominated before heading to the University of Michigan."

Grand Ledge has produced several big-time players in recent years, including Northwestern TE Joe Wohlscheid and Iowa QB Ken Bohnet. Blake should follow in the tradition of Grand Ledge players matriculating to Big Ten schools. He's that good.

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