The Catch 22 is a list we’ve put together at the Lansing State Journal since 1985 and this year Warren De La Salle quarterback and Michigan commit Shane Morris heads up the annual list.
It was close between Morris and Birmingham Brother Rice and MSU linebacker commit Jon Reschke for the top spot. I liked a few sleepers on this list, most notably Detroit Douglass’ Demetrious Stinson and Detroit East English tight end Khalid Hill, who will be at Michigan in the fall. Don’t forget about Derek Edwards as well at No. 22 out of Detroit Catholic Central. Central Michigan has a solid reputation for getting offensive linemen into the NFL. Eric Fisher may be one of the top offensive linemen taken in this year’s NFL Draft. What are your thoughts on the list? Any player in particular that you would have on that didn’t make it?
It was interesting looking at the players on the last few Catch 22 lists that the Mid-American Conference schools were getting. As East English defensive back and Ball State commit Desmond King explained in the article that ran with the list, the gap between what’s left for MAC programs and what the big programs take for their recruiting classes is closing rapidly. I think it’s also important to point out some of the staying power within these programs through coaching changes. Take a look at Central Michigan, for example. They lost Brian Kelly to Cincinnati, then Butch Jones to Cincinnati and brought in Dan Enos from Michigan State, who just led them to a bowl victory over Western Kentucky in December. Brady Hoke took Ball State to new heights in 2008 with a 12-1 record before leaving for San Diego State. Even after losing a coach like Hoke, Ball State was back with nine wins this season and in a bowl. Northern Illinois lost Jerry Kill to Minnesota and Dave Doeren came in and took them to a BCS Bowl this year. The MAC will always have coaches poached as coaches move up to the next job that pays more and offers more exposure. Contiunity from year to year despite coaching changes, sometimes several over the course of a decade, is important in being able to pitch a MAC program to a recruit.
Here are a few players to watch for next year’s Catch 22:
Drake Harris, WR, Grand Rapids Christian – Might have been in the Top 3 of this year’s list and would have made last year’s Catch 22 as a sophomore. The Michigan State commitment has recently decided he would only play football in college as opposed to playing both football and basketball. Since that proclamation, he has received offers from Ohio State and Alabama.
Malik McDowell, DE, Detroit Loyola – Helped lead Loyola to the Division 7 state title game this past season as a junior. He’s 6-foot-6 and almost 300 pounds, leaving him with the ability to play defensive end or defensive tackle in college. Has offers from Michigan, MSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford and Wisconsin.
Chance Stewart, QB, Sturgis – Wisconsin commit is 6-foot-6 and has been on the recruiting radar since he was a freshman. Stewart committed to the Badgers very early and it will be interesting to see if he doesn’t collect a few more offers, even while committed, now that Bret Bielema is at Arkansas.
Damon Webb, DB, Detroit Cass Tech – Ohio State commit who held offers from LSU, Michigan, MSU and Wisconsin. At 6-foot, has good size for a defensive back.
Deon Drake, LB, Detroit Cass Tech – Michigan State commit who was almost a bit overshadowed by so many Cass Tech defensive prospects that were going to Division I schools this year. Also was a running back on a state championship team.