Instate Juniors: The King Kids

Jim S. has kept missing Jim Reynolds, the Detroit Martin Luther King Head Coach. So I talked to the MLK Coach yesterday: about early-top-ten prospect Bernard Faithful, and possible-top-tenner Wendall Brown.

Detroit Martin Luther King's Bernard Faithful
Position: Outside Linebacker/Defensive End
Height: 6-3
Weight: 220 lbs.
Forty: 4.7 sec. (est.)

2002 Honors: Detroit News 2nd Team All Detroit (DE) and Honorable Mention All Metro (DE).

Detroit Martin Luther King High School has become one of, if not the, best football program in the Detroit PSL league (they went 9-0 in league play in the 2002 season before losing to Det. Pershing in the playoffs). And they are becoming one of the best (albeit informal) 'pipelines' to U-M (the best in SE Michigan: Orchard Lake St. Mary's and Detroit Bishop Gallagher). Detroit King has recently sent Ernest Shazor and Larry Harrison to the Wolverines, and conventional wisdom is that if the 02/03 Michigan class had been 20+ in size then King's Samad Cain would have been part of it. The top juniors in the MLK program are outside linebacker/defensive end Bernard Faithful and inside linebacker Wendall Brown. Both attended the recent Junior Day for the OSU basketball game, and were spotted as well at the Iowa basketball game and at last fall's MSU football game.

Detroit Martin Luther King Head Coach Jim Reynolds is a coach who does not 'hype' his players -- in fact King does not keep individual stats on its kids (although Reynolds told me he thinks he should have his assistants start tallying them). Here is what he said to yours truly about Faithful yesterday. First, I told him Bernard has been listed at 6-4, 230 lbs. "That's a little too big. I'd say he's 6-3, and 220 lbs. right now. Bernard plays tight end and defensive end for us. We're not sure what he will play at the next level ... quite possibly outside linebacker. Bernard is a four year starter for us. He has been playing good, but he has to do better. Bernard will play Division 1 football. It's just a matter of him meeting the challenge. We're trying to get our juniors who will be seniors to step up now. This is his senior season coming up, so he has to really make plays and become dominant. In the spring evaluation period colleges start coming out, so it's time for him to really show what he can do. Bernard is quiet more than anything else, and so far he has just been taking care of himself. He has to become a senior leader."

Regarding Faithful's recruitment: "Coach Campbell (Michigan assistant Eric Campbell, who recruits the PSL) has been here, and invited him to a couple basketball games. Coach Campbell invited five of our kids actually. There haven't been scholarship offers yet. So as far as how hard Michigan or other schools are recruiting Bernard, I'd say ... Michigan is interested. Our kids all like Michigan ... and Michigan State ... because they can get to their games to see them. Bernard has been to the Michigan camp -- most of our kids go to the Michigan camp. I'm pretty sure he'll be there again this summer."

Here is what DetroitScouting.Net had to say about Faithful in naming him All PSL East: "Very good at chasing down the quarterback, following in the tradition of tough King linemen."


Detroit Martin Luther King's Wendell Brown
Position: Inside Linebacker
Height: 6-1
Weight: 220 lbs.
Forty: 4.65 sec. (est.)

2002 Honors: Detroit Free Press 1st Team All State, Detroit News 1st Team all Detroit, 2nd Team All Metro.

Here is what Martin Luther King Head Coach Jim Reynolds said to yours truly about Brown yesterday: "Wendall has great enthusasism. He's among the hardest working ball players we've had. He works extremely well, and he has a lot fun doing it. He's gotten bigger, he's 6-1, and up to 215-220 lbs. now. Wendall can be a Division 1 kid. We talked about it. He's sort of like (former Wolverine from Det. Pershing) Larry Foote -- he can work hard enough to be successful and play in a top program. He's an inside linebacker. At 6-1, 220 he's big enough. As an inside backer he makes plays. He can run ... he runs a 4.65 so it's not so much the straight ahead 40 time, it's the 'wanting to get there' speed that he has. He's running track to work on his speed. I'm pretty sure Wendall will go to the Michigan camp this summer."

Reynolds told the Detroit Free Press regarding Brown: "Not the most talented player we've ever had here, but he has a great attitude and enthusiasm."

One more thing: the five MLK juniors that were invited to basketball games: "Defensive back/wide receiver Blake Fims, free safety and maybe quarterback Chris Johnson, and our starting tailback and DB Butler Benton (Det. News Hon. Men. All Metro) -- as well as Bernard and Wendall."

The Michigan Insider Top Stories