Special report from our friend Jeff Corrion, who is the president and CEO of the D Zone: Check out his website at http://www.thedzone.net/
The D Zone was in attendance for Wayne State University’s satellite camp with special guest coaches from the University of Florida. This literal once in a lifetime experience was the first time that an SEC coaching staff held a satellite camp to coach and evaluate the abundantly talented region of Detroit & Metro Detroit, as well as others from around the state who traveled to Detroit.
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Two players entered the camp with offers from Florida already; Cass Tech 2017 WR Donovan Peoples-Jones and Cass Tech 2017 OT Jordan Reid. Neither Peoples-Jones or Reid competed in the camp, but rather observed the camp. Peoples-Jones wore a Florida Gators jumpsuit to the camp, which should surprise no one as he’s made it clear they’re his childhood team growing up and the top contender to land his commitment & early enrollment.
Speaking of early enrollment, Farmington 2016 LB David Reese was in attendance, as he was in Michigan for his high school graduation. Reese and his father stopped in to observe the camp.
Detroit King 2017 CB Ambry Thomas looked like an “Athlete” before his Junior year, but really polished his cornerback skills during his junior season and this off-season. Thomas has legit speed and fluidity to create electricity. Thomas has improved a ton physically to standout and impress, he rarely will allow a receiver to get better body position than him, which easily allows him to bat down passes or break on the ball for an interception. Thomas was clocked with a 4.39 hand forty. With Florida offering Ambry Thomas the Gators became the 40th school to offer Thomas. Thomas mentioned in the past that he was interested in SEC schools such as Florida, but the possibility of showcasing his talent down south seemed to be blocking him. Fortunately for Ambry Thomas the opportunity for Florida to come here for a camp allowed that connection and evaluation to occur.
Oak Park 2019 QB/DB “ATH” Dwan Mathis will draw offers at; Quarterback, Receiver, and Defensiveback before he graduates high school. Mathis showed his athleticism before camp started by “slam dunking” the football over the goal posts with ease in front of the coaches. That sight was much more of what came on Sunday as Mathis put his athleticism aside and looked amazing throwing the ball. Mathis has looked solid in the past throwing the ball, but really not as good as Sunday, he constantly rifled the ball with a quick release and consistent in doing so. Mathis had little to no dupe throws Sunday as all were tight spirals that cut through a strong breeze with ease. Mathis didn’t earn an offer directly following the camp, but even Stevie Wonder would know that Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier were impressed with the soon to be Sophomore who holds 3 offers, but that will be in double-digits soon. SEC rival, Kentucky has offered Mathis, but as a defensive back.
Belleville 2019 OT Devontae Dobbs was the first Freshman from Michigan to be offered by an SEC school – Kentucky a few weeks ago and that should come to no surprise to anyone. Dobbs earned his 7th offer from Florida on Sunday as he said prior to the camp he wasn’t being recruited by Florida yet, “I have not yet created a bond with the Florida coaching staff. But I feel one will be created soon!” That’s truly the beauty of camps as it provided Dobbs and others with an opportunity that would not have been there. Dobbs as a lineman is very physical, aggressive, and attacks the defensive lineman. He’s quick on his feet, but being a Freshman is still figuring out his body which is where you’ll see a major improvement his Sophomore season. Dobbs is a long way to go in recruiting process, but the main contenders for him should emerge following the month of June.
De La Salle 2017 DB/Slot Allen Stritzinger had his best camp performance that we ever seen, but it was definitely not a one time thing. Stritzinger always does good and following an injury his Junior season, he was hungry and focused. Stritzinger performed well at DB and WR Sunday. On the defensive side of the ball where he probably projects to play in college, he was smooth and loose running & defending receivers. Stritzinger displayed his physical attributes on numerous occasions. On the offensive side of the ball, Stritzinger had 2 very impressive catches where he climbed the ladder to bring 2 catches in. Stritzinger’s first one was extremely impressive as he was knocked out of his route, but blazed down the sidelines and hauled in a contested pass, somehow holding onto the ball as he fell to the side. Stritzinger holds 12 offers with Michigan being the biggest name. If Florida doesn’t see him more this summer, they definitely will want to see his Senior film.
Belleville 2019 WR Julian Barnett is another Freshman who is getting started out on the right path as he turned in a impressive performance. It was the first time we seen Barnett outside of 7on7 and he was solid as you can be. Barnett creates separation well and is in the 6’1-2″ range making him a developing vertical threat. At such a young age, you wouldn’t guess he’s just a Sophomore as he doesn’t back down from anyone, constantly competing with the top DB’s. Barnett holds early offers from; Iowa State, Toledo, and Kentucky.
Belleville 2018 CB Patrick Lupro is one of the fast rising CB’s you’ll find anywhere in America. After crushing competition across the midwest the past few months, Lupro continued his success. Lupro moves very well and is simply extremely physical. Lupro jammed receivers routinely and has 2-3 reps where he left the receiver on the ground, ending the rep. Lupro holds 3 MAC offers, but is a ticking time bomb for more to follow.
Lapeer 2017 OT Edward Brecht is as big of a sleeper as there in Michigan on the offensive line. Brecht moves well for 6’6″ 280-290ish lbs and is built like a starting collegiate Offensive Tackle already! We hate the comparison of Jack Conklin who went from walk-on to an 8th overall draft pick as Brecht looks a mirror image of Conklin while he was a Senior at Plainwell HS, but Brecht will certainly turn at least 1 head to earn an offer and not need to walk-on or grayshirt.
Lansing Everett 2017 CB/WR DeShaun Lowery is no doubt a fan of the Gators growing up and looked anything but star struck in front of the coaches. Lowery was dialed in and worked hard the entire camp. He was lined up against the top receivers and defensivebacks and like everyone there, won some and loss some. Lowery fought through Ambry Thomas at one point in 1 on 1’s, creating massive separation. The Lansing product earned an offer from NAIA school Siena Heights and Lowery will always be a candidate for a preferred walk-on as he competes with a chip on his shoulder each play.
Michigan Lutheran Seminary 2017 WR/CB Casey Williams held an early offer from Western Michigan, but things have quieted down for Williams since surprisingly. Williams came down from Saginaw and had impressive camp, he’s constantly fighting for reps and when he does he fights hard to win his rep. Williams has good physical tools and speed to land more MAC offers as he’s one who will compete hard each rep.
Clarkston 2017 LB Nick Stalworth is a true middle linebacker, but covers ground at unbelievable rate continued to impress us. Stalworth only had 1 pass completed on him on 1 on 1’s which is a testament to his cover skills. The camp season allows for evaluation of Linebackers pass coverage which for most colleges is a very coveted skill set. Very few MLB’s have the cover ability that Stalworth does. Stalworth is still in search of his first offer, which unfortunately for being an inch or two below short of what a coach wants, but talent and production wise Stalworth is there.
Oak Park 2017 RB/LB Dylan Stackhouse entered the camp as one of the most well put together prospects in the camp. Stackhouse has a ton of upside as he’s built like a freak and his potential is waiting to be tapped. Everyone in attendance was intrigued by Stackhouse.