Before the playoffs began, we made a list of potential State MVP's. From that list of 23 players, only five are still playing.
RB Grant Niemiec - OLSM: No one runs harder than Niemiec. The guy is an absolute thrown-back with his hard-nosed style. He doesn't have to do anything flashy and teams like Western and Eastern have offered him because he flat out gets it done.
ATH Jourdan Lewis - Detroit Cass Tech: Lewis may be the best overall football player in the state, but he's on a team that has more talent than any other in Michigan. RB Mike Weber has been getting most of the offensive work during the playoffs, so Lewis' role has been more limited than we expected. We expect him to have a big game this week when it's all on the line.
ATH Marcus Smith - Muskegon: Smith is electrifying. The biggest obstacle he faces in the MVP race is the fact that his team is STACKED with talent, so he doesn't have to do it all. Last week, big John King rushed for 4 TDs, so you never really know who's going to steal the show in Muskegon.
QB Alex Van De Vusse & Junior WR Drake Harris - GR Christian: Van De Vusse has thrown for 3183 yards this year, and Harris has 1557 receiving yards. Sick stats. Both these guys are on another level, and their play during the playoffs is solidifying their standing as the best QB-WR tandem in the state.
Several other guys have stepped up and had huge playoff performances. Many of these guys are underclassmen, and we felt compelled to share this list with you so you'd know who to keep your eyes on this week.
Sophomore WR/RB Alex Schafer - Beal City: Has been tearing it up, and with his older brother playing QB for Beal City, he'll definitely get the ball put in his hands.
Junior DT Malik McDowell - Detroit Loyola: No other player in Michigan dominates the line the way McDowell can.
Senior LB Jon Reschke - Brother Rice: Defensive players never get the recognition they deserve, but Reschke is a difference-maker in every sense of the word.
Senior RB/S Anthony Darkangelo - DCC: The best player on a great team.
Juniors RB Richard Wilson, QB Tyler Weigers & WR Mo Ways - Detroit Country Day: Ridiculously talented three-headed offensive monster.
DL/FB Austin & RB/DB Ashton Hundley - A.A. Gabriel Richard: Twin brothers who are like thunder & lighting.
FB Payton White & RB Ben Mallo - Constantine: The west-side's version of thunder & lighting.
Sophomore QB Jon Wassink - GR South Christian: This young kid has been slinging it all year, but he has really stepped it up over the past few weeks.
Sophomore RB Mike Weber - Detroit Cass Tech: He carries the load on one of the most talent-laden squads Michigan has ever seen.
RB Keymonne Gabriel - Detroit Loyola: Clearly one of the best small-school RB's in Michigan. He is the primary offensive-weapon on a team favored to win it all.