The 2017 Detroit Free Press All-State Dream Team, selected by Free Press special writer Mick McCabe. Capsules and coach quotes compiled by Free Press special writer Keith Dunlap.
E: Xavier Wade
School: Holland West Ottawa
Vitals: Senior, 6-feet-3, 185 pounds
Stats: Had 74 receptions for 1,192 yards and 16 touchdowns, rushed for 135 yards on two carries, returned a kickoff for a touchdown and had two interceptions on defense.
West Ottawa coach Ryan Oshnock: “I truly believe Xavier Wade will be remembered as one of the best wide receivers the west side of Michigan has produced. If you get the opportunity to meet him, he is an even better guy in person. We were truly blessed to have someone with the natural ability, positive practice habits and grit Xavier brought to this program the past two seasons.”
E: Taj Mustapha
School: West Bloomfield
Vitals: Senior, 6-2, 175
Stats: Committed to Wisconsin, Mustapha finished with 65 catches for 1,087 yards and seven touchdowns in helping West Bloomfield reach the Division 1 state final.
West Bloomfield coach Ron Bellamy: “He is an ultimate competitor and a very coachable player. Taj wants to win first and he is willing to do what it requires to be successful.”
Slot: Jack Morris
School: Utica Eisenhower
Vitals: Senior, 5-11, 185
Stats: As a running back, he had 582 yards and 11 touchdowns on 110 carries. As a receiver, he had 16 receptions for 374 yards and six touchdowns. He also became the starting quarterback in the final weeks of the season, passing for 606 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions. On defense he had 36 tackles, and on special teams he had a punt-return average of 18.5.
Eisenhower coach Chris Smith: “His toughness and ability to play anywhere on the field helped us to an 11-1 record and MAC Red championship.”
OL: Mike Furtney
Vitals: Senior, 6-5, 280
Stats: The Wisconsin-commit helped anchor a rushing attack that produced 2,600 yards. On defense, he had 82 tackles, 10 for loss, and two sacks.
Milan coach Jesse Hoskins: “Mike is a great ambassador for the Milan community. Not many people are born with Mike’s natural gifts, but I hope the young people in Milan will strive to be like Mike. Wisconsin is getting exactly what their culture attracts: A no-nonsense, hard-working, fine young man.”
OL: A.J. Reed
Vitals: Senior, 6-7, 285
Stats: Spearheaded a line that helped Muskegon rush for 5,120 yards and win the Division 3 state championship. Reed was a big reason Muskegon (14-0) ran for 363 yards in a 28-10 win over Farmington Hills Harrison in the state final.
Muskegon coach Shane Fairfield: “A.J. has been a very solid piece of the success of our program. He’s anchored the left side of that line. A three-year starter and very comforting as a head coach to have a kid like that."
OL: Tyrone Sampson
School: Detroit East English Village
Vitals: Senior, 6-3, 315
Stats: A four-year varsity starter who started 54 consecutive games, Sampson played all five positions along the offensive line in his career and graded out as a 98 percent pass blocker. He has committed to Syracuse.
East English Village coach Rod Oden: “Tyrone not only wants to win the individual matchups every snap, he wants to dominate his opponent and drive them into the ground. His aggressive style has been a key component to our overall team success.”
OL: Devontae Dobbs
Vitals: Junior, 6-5, 270
Stats: Was anchor for an offensive line that propelled Belleville to a school-record 437 points. He didn’t allow a sack all season.
Belleville coach Jermain Crowell: “He’s just a genuinely good person, which is the best thing about him. He’s a humble kid who never gets too excited about his ranking in the country or ranking in the state. He’s a team-first guy. He’s a big guy who is nimble on his feet and athletic.”
OL: Stewart Newblatt
Vitals: Senior, 6-4, 255
Stats: Spearheaded a rushing attack for the Division 1 state champions that ran for 2,000 yards. On defense, he had 55 tackles and three sacks.
Clarkston coach Kurt Richardson: “He was the main guy we ran behind. He was our leader and captain.”
QB: La’Darius Jefferson (Captain)
Vitals: Senior, 6-2, 210
Stats: Michigan State commit ran for 2,095 yards and 33 touchdowns on 225 carries. In the passing game, he went 67 of 117 for 1,205 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Muskegon coach Shane Fairfield: “He is very aware of how lucky and fortunate he is to be in the position he is. He just wants to share that with his teammates.”
RB: Isaac Moore
School: Livonia Franklin
Vitals: Senior, 5-11, 200
Stats: Rushed for 1,771 yards and 14 touchdowns on 267 carries in helping Franklin reach the Division 2 state final.
Franklin coach Chris Kelbert: “He was our workhorse. Whenever we needed to get that first down, we went to him. He got better and stronger as the season went along. His best games were our final five or six games of the year."
RB: Nolan Fugate
School: Grand Rapids Catholic Central
Vitals: Senior, 6-1, 210
Stats: Ran the ball 345 times for 3,024 yards and 36 touchdowns. He also had 20 receptions for 318 yards and six touchdowns.
Catholic Central coach Todd Kolster: “Nolan’s work ethic and determination to help our team be great was outstanding his whole career. He is a difference-maker on and off the field. His understanding of the game really has grown and helped propel him to be one of the best in the state.”
K/P: Jake Moody
Vitals: Senior, 6-0, 177
Stats: Made 12 of 17 field goals, including ones from 58, 57 and 55 yards. As a punter, he had a 39.6 average and had four punts downed inside the 10-yard line.
Northville coach Matt Ladach: “Jake is a tremendous young man. He has been a difference-maker in our program for the past four years and we will miss him greatly.”
DL: Jalen Mayfield
School: Grand Rapids Catholic Central
Vitals: Senior, 6-feet-5, 275 pounds
Stats: Committed to Michigan, Mayfield had 17 sacks, three fumble recoveries, and 89 tackles, 18 for loss.
Catholic Central coach Todd Kolster: “An Army All-American that is a great teammate and works harder and harder each week. Great character, competitor and leader. He helped our younger guys grow to make our team better. He is just scratching the surface at how great he can become.”
DL: Ovie Oghoufo (Captain)
School: Farmington Hills Harrison
Vitals: Senior, 6-3, 190
Stats: Notre Dame commit had 77 tackles and six sacks on defense. On offense, he led the team with 31 receptions for 497 yards and five touchdowns.
Harrison coach John Herrington: “On the field, he’s pretty tenacious. He can go sideline to sideline and he can get after the quarterback.”
DL: Aidan Hutchinson
School: Dearborn Divine Child
Vitals: Senior, 6-7, 250
Stats: Hutchinson finished with 65 tackles, 27 for loss, and four sacks. Committed to Michigan, he also had 36 catches for 416 yards and eight touchdowns on offense.
Divine Child coach John Filiatraut: “Aidan has great physical attributes and a great motor. He plays hard every play. He combined superior technique with phenomenal intangibles. He is a great player and great teammate.”
DL: Ryan Hayes
School: Traverse City West
Vitals: Senior, 6-7, 260
Stats: Committed to Michigan, Hayes received constant double- and triple-teams but managed 19 tackles, three for loss, and 1.5 sacks.
West head coach Tim Wooer: “Ryan is the total package. A great player and multi-sport athlete, he excels in the classroom, has great character outside of school, and is a humble, first class student-athlete.”
LB: DeAndre Square
School: Detroit Cass Tech
Vitals: Senior, 6-1, 200
Stats: Committed to Kentucky, Square finished with 92 tackles, 17 for loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception.
Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher: “Hard hitter, tough and has great speed. He is an all-around player. A great leader and great team captain. Most importantly, he is coachable. He listens well.”
LB: Kyle Minder
School: Jackson Lumen Christi
Vitals: Senior, 6-0, 200
Stats: A two-way force, Minder had 88 solo tackles and 40 assists, four sacks and two fumble recoveries. On offense, he ran for 1,015 yards and 20 touchdowns on 146 carries.
Lumen Christi head coach Herb Brogan: “Kyle is a complete football player and an old-school throwback. He led by example and was a major reason we are two-time state champions.”
LB: Marcel Lewis
School: Clinton Township Chippewa Valley
Vitals: Junior, 6-1, 210
Stats: Lewis accumulated 88 tackles, 11 for loss, three sacks, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Has scholarship offers from Iowa State, Central Michigan and Kent State.
Chippewa Valley head coach Scott Merchant: “Everything one could want in a linebacker: Size, speed, athleticism, strength and a passion for the game. The heart and soul of our defense, he loves contact and is a punishing tackler.”
LB: Lou Baechler
Vitals: Senior, 5-10, 210
Stats: Baechler had 96 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and forced fumble.
Canton head coach Tim Baechler: “He played the last six games with a cast over his broken arm. He was the heart and soul of our team. He made all our checks and calls defensively, but what separates him from most linebackers is his ability to read and react. It allowed him to play so fast that he could attack and avoid blockers better than any linebacker I have ever had.”
DB: Reggie Pearson
School: River Rouge
Vitals: Senior, 5-10, 180
Stats: Committed to Wisconsin, Pearson had 100 tackles, seven for loss, eight interceptions and two forced fumbles. He had 21 interceptions in his career.
River Rouge head coach Corey Parker: “I think he had a great season. He definitely made a lot of plays for us on defense and helped lead our team to our fourth district and third regional championship in a row. We are proud of his accomplishments. We are definitely excited about his future and everything he will become as a man in today’s society.”
DB: Kalon Gervin
School: Detroit Cass Tech
Vitals: Senior, 5-11, 170
Stats: The consensus top senior in the state who has committed to Michigan State, Gervin had 10 pass breakups, 38 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and an interception return for a touchdown.
Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher: “He’s fast, quick, has good hands and great skills set at his position. A great person and student. Has great social skills and is a great leader.”
DB: Jaeveyon Morton
School: Detroit King
Vitals: Senior, 5-9, 160
Stats: Committed to Iowa State, Morton had two interceptions and 40 solo tackles.
King head coach Tyrone Spencer: “Jaeveyon was a player who at any time can have a major impact in the game in all three phases. He was a four-year player and our team captain.”
Coach: Mike Giannone
School: Warren De La Salle
Stats: In his second year with the Pilots, Giannone led De La Salle to the Division 2 state championship, its second in school history. It was Giannone's third title as a head coach after winning two at Macomb Dakota.
© Gannett Co., Inc. 2018. All Rights Reserved