SMSB Notebook: Updates on the Top Players and Recruits

SMSB Notebook: Updates on the Top Players and Recruits

Football

SMSB Notebook: Updates on the Top Players and Recruits


The Detroit-based SoundMind SoundBody football camp held its annual 7-on-7 competition on Thursday, featuring a number of Michigan and Power 5 commits and targets.


SMSB Notebook: Updates on the Top Players and Recruits

SoundMind SoundBody Takeover returned on Thursday.

And all the heavy hitters locally were there.

Belleville (MI) has a big swagger after going undefeated. Detroit (MI) King’s offense looks incredibly potent, with senior Dequan Finn and his cadre of wideouts. West Bloomfield (MI) is going to be a force. Oak Park (MI), led by Ohio State QB commit Dwan Mathis looks like it will be a tough out for any team it faces. And, somehow, Detroit (MI) Cass Tech is flying under the radar.

WolverinesWire was on hand at Liggett High School in Grosse Pointe Woods (MI), and while we didn’t get to catch all of the teams in action, here’s our big takeaways as far as on-field performance, and what we’re hearing about each of the players as it pertains to their recruitment:

Beast-mode

2020 Detroit (MI) King four-star WR Rashawn Williams

Williams gets WolverinesWire’s first-ever Beast Mode distinction, looking mostly unstoppable on the field. He’s fast, strong, and tough to lockdown. One rival coach noted that Detroit King “has the best receiving corps in the state,” of which Williams is tops.

We saw him wrestle away an underthrown ball from a defensive back for a touchdown. We saw him high point the ball. We saw him get off jams with ease. He was very rarely rendered ineffective in a full evening’s worth of performances.

This offseason, he told WolverinesWire he’s working on getting off jams at the line of scrimmage and his footwork. He models himself after DeAndre Hopkins and Allen Robinson as a receiver.

Recruiting:

Williams tells WolverinesWire that the three schools that have been recruiting him the hardest are Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State. As of right now, Ohio State seems to be standing out, he said. While he claims he has no favorites, the Buckeyes certainly have his attention.

“It’s just the way they’re recruiting 2020 athletes,” Williams said. “I see a whole bunch of 2020 prospects that have been to Ohio State, and that’s something that I probably want to be a part of.”

He says he’d like to be a package deal with King WR Lemuel Watley and OT Deshawn Ingram (2019). The only school that’s made that look like a possibility at this juncture is MSU, as they’ve offered Watley, Williams said.

The standouts

2019 Belleville (MI) DE Tyrece Woods

In a 7-on-7, you don’t have the traditional defensive line setup, so Woods played mostly at wide receiver for the Tigers. And, with Julian Barnett only playing a handful of snaps in the first game, Woods showed out at wideout, catching no less than 10 passes and 3 touchdowns, in what we saw.

Incredibly impressive feats of athleticism for a defensive end.

“I’m just out here having fun — I’m an athlete, for real,” Woods said. “I’m quick off the ball, wide with my hands, and I’m just a powerful guy.”

Recruiting:

Woods had a collection of MAC-level offers, but just two weeks ago, that changed big time, when he picked up an offer from Michigan — which he told WolverinesWire at the time was essentially his dream school. He continued that sentiment on Thursday, talking about what that Michigan offer means to him.

“I was speechless,” Woods said. “It’s been a long time coming. They’ve been recruiting me since the ninth grade, and it just finally came.

“That pregame is one of the greatest in the nation. It can’t get any better than that — in front of 110,000, 112,000 running out the tunnel. Everybody screaming, the band playing ‘Hail! to the Victors!’ It looks like the guys having fun.”

But Woods is looking to take all of his official visits, so he’s not going to make a quick decision. The plan is to commit in mid-November and enroll early at his school of choice. The most important thing to him at the next level is academics.

And the Wolverines have to watch their backs. Woods says he’s been hearing a lot from Ohio State as well as Michigan State, Northwestern, Memphis, UCF and USF.

2019 West Bloomfield (MI) LB Lance Dixon

Like Visa, Lance Dixon was everywhere you want to be on Thursday. His length and speed were apparent, and he disrupted many a play against high caliber competition.

Look no further than this clip of him staying in coverage and batting away a pass in the endzone:

Dixon is versatile, reads the ball well, has good flexibility and can make up ground quickly if the falls behind.

Recruiting:

It had been reported that Dixon would be visiting Michigan last week on an official visit, but he refuted that on Twitter, saying that he had never set it up.

He tells WolverinesWire that Michigan is out, and now he’s only considering Penn State and Wisconsin.

“At this point, it’s Penn State and Wisconsin is what it’s going to be,” Dixon said. “Michigan’s still a great school. Definitely great academics, great football program. Just not the right fit for me.”

Dixon says he plans to make a decision before the season. He particularly likes that Penn State is pitching him at SAM linebacker. If we were to prognosticate as of current as to his future choice, the Nittany Lions would be our pick for Dixon.

2020 West Bloomfield (MI) S Makari Paige

Like we said earlier, not many players were able to shut down King’s Rashawn Williams, but in the reps we saw Williams and Paige going at it, Paige took Williams out of the equation.

This was a pretty consistent note for Paige, who was pretty lockdown no matter who the opposition. As a Top247 four-star recruit, rated by 247Sports as the 193rd-best prospect in the 2020 class, expect more of the same going forward.

Recruiting:

Right now, on the 247Sports Crystal Ball, there are for predictions for Paige, all four for Michigan.

Paige has been to Ann Arbor a few times, and is piqued by how Chris Partridge and Don Brown see him fitting in, saying he can play at corner, safety or even VIPER. He spoke more on what he likes about the Wolverines.

“The defense interests me, how they win at defense and how they formation go,” Paige told WolverinesWire. “And the coaching staff, as well (as) the environment.”

But Paige also has an Ohio State offer, and Larry Johnson has been aggressive recruiting him. Paige says that Michigan and Ohio State are the two schools going after him hardest, and the Buckeyes are equally as intriguing as the nearby maize and blue.

“They DB U,” Paige said of Ohio State. “They got defensive backs in the NFL. They got Marshon Lattimore, Denzel Ward going right now. A lot of DBs.”

He’s not looking to make any sorts of decisions until next year’s offseason. But he would like to get to Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan again once the recruiting dead period lifts.

2019 Detroit (MI) Cass Tech ATH Ormondell Dingle

We saw Dingle, who’s currently committed to Central Michigan, make two big plays, out-jumping the defensive back and high-pointing the ball on fade routes in the end zone. Both were spectacular displays of athleticism that caught the attention of everyone who was in the vicinity.

Dingle is listed as a safety, but we could see him playing on either side of the ball. And with his length — he’s about 6-foot-2, 190-pounds — he could do some damage wherever he plays and wherever he goes.

2023 Detroit Spartans QB Dante Moore

Now, this one is a little different, because it wasn’t the same set up, in helmets and such. The recent Michigan offeree was part of the 7-on-7 squad set up and coached by Wolverines running back Chris Evans, and they played without helmets against the junior West Bloomfield squad when we saw them.

Moore showed his age — at first — but then settled in nicely as his offense got going. He threw several deep bombs, hitting the receiver where only he could go get it. Even several of the incompletions down the stretch were put where only the receiver could make a play. But once he got going, he started hurling touchdown after touchdown. Lots of potential here if he keeps growing.

The Others:

  • We were also impressed with Detroit (MI) Cass Tech LB Devin Nicholson (an Eastern Michigan commit) and S Jalen Graham (a Purdue commit). We could see both getting traction from bigger schools if they continue to play at this high level.
  • Same thing can be said of Detroit (MI) King QB Dequan Finn (committed to Central Michigan). Like we mentioned earlier, the Crusaders may have the best WR corps in the state, but they also have to get the ball somehow. Finn made good reads and hit his guys in what turned out to be a series of bloodbaths at the hands of a potent King offense.
  • We didn’t pay a ton of attention to 2019 West Bloomfield (MI) WR Tre Mosley, but from what we saw, he was a long, effortless looking receiver who was open a lot. He has offers from Michigan and MSU with a 100% MSU 247Sports Crystal Ball.
  • We missed Michigan commit Andre Seldon, who only seemed to have played in the first game or two — same as MSU commit Julian Barnett. We likewise only caught a handful of throws from Ohio State commit Dwan Mathis (Oak Park), but we can see the unbridled, raw talent there. He still needs some consistency, in our opinion, but he’s going to be really good down the line.

Final thoughts:

  • Michigan RB Chris Evans is such a natural coach. He was so active with his group and told WolverinesWire that he’s been actively scouting the state for players to join his 7-on-7 team. “We even got a player from East Lansing. If you’re good, I’m gonna find you,” he said.
  • Former Michigan assistant Gwen Bush was there, now running her own outfit. She told WolverinesWire that where she could help find academic fits for student-athletes who were prospectives to Michigan, now she can do the same for players with any school.
  • Big props to Curtis Blackwell and Vito Chirco and team, who continue to put on excellent showcases for local athletes. There was a solid turnout, with us, Gaizka Crowley of XOS, Allen Trieu of 247Sports, Jeremy Birmingham from Lettermen Row, Josh Newkirk from The Michigan Insider and Jeff Corrion for The D Zone. Blackwell has really done a fantastic job building and enhancing this community, and since he left MSU, he’s put the whole SoundMind SoundBody operation into overdrive.
  • Also in attendance, former Michigan fullback Khalid Hill, now with the Seattle Seahawks.

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