Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech won its first state championship in school history this past fall, and last Wednesday, coach Tom Wilcher saw seven seniors sign Division-I letters-of-intent from his special 2012 class.
Jenkins-Stone committed to the Wolverines during the spring game over a national offer list that included the likes of Alabama, Florida, Miami, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
Two of them in Under Armour All-American cornerback Terry Richardson and U.S. Army All-American linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone inked with Michigan. They’ll be seeing a lot of former teammates, linebacker Laron Taylor and safety Ruben Lile, who both signed with Big Ten rival Iowa. Defensive backs Brandon Berry and Will Rembert are headed to Buffalo, where they’ll run into defensive tackle Louis Palmer, who is all set for Central Michigan.
Ranked as the nation’s No. 25 outside linebacker and No. 209 prospect overall, the 6-foot-2, 228-pound Jenkins-Stone committed to the Wolverines during the spring game over a national offer list that included the likes of Alabama, Florida, Miami, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
“They’re getting a kid that is athletic,” Wilcher said. “A kid that has great hands, catches the ball well. Good feet. Strong and has great speed for the linebacker position. One that can cover backs coming out of the backfield. Michigan runs the same style of defense we run, so I think hell fit right in. He’ll know all the calls and all the gaps, and I think he'll adjust quickly.”
Richardson also had a national offer list, choosing Michigan over Alabama, Iowa, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, UCLA and USC among others. He checks in as the nation’s No. 12 cornerback and No. 142 prospect overall.
“I think Terry’s greatest opportunity would be coming in as a nickel back or dime back his freshman year,” Wilcher said, adding that he thinks Richardson will play very early. “I think it will be hard to keep a player with good feet and can cover well off the field.”
Wilcher says Lile’s best football is ahead of him in Iowa City. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Lile was a two-way standout for Cass Tech and chose the Hawkeyes over offers from Cincinnati, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.
“He still has a lot of growth and a lot of potential,” Wilcher said. “He has the height and speed to give you whatever you need offensively or defensively. I think they’re getting a great player and maybe a great two-way player. I see Ruben maybe one day being a great prospect on Sundays.”
Taylor gave his pledge to Iowa over Cincinnati and Indiana, and along with Jenkins-Stone, gave Cass Tech the best linebacker corps in the state.
Richardson also had a national offer list, choosing Michigan over Alabama, Iowa, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, UCLA and USC among others.
“I think he has great instincts,” Wilcher said. “He runs well and has great cover ability. He has good size and strength. He understands the rules and philosophy in the defense. He’s going to another team that runs the same style of defense, so he should be able to fit right in. It should be a smooth transition for him.”
According to Wilcher, Buffalo is getting a steal in Berry.
“I think Brandon can be a dynamic player,” he began. “He should be able to come in and make an impact on special teams. All he has to do is keep his head on his shoulders and keep developing, and I think he can become one of the best players in the MAC conference. He has good size and speed and he has a good nose for the ball. He’s a head hunter.”
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Rembert joins Richardson as one of the many talented players to come out of the Cass Tech secondary. Recent graduates include Dior Mathis who is now at Oregon and Delonte Hollowell, who just finished his freshman season at Michigan.
“Will is going to bring a lot of size to the defense,” Wilcher said. “He brings size and good cover skills. He may be that wide-side corner people are looking for. He may be a good nickel or dime package guy coming in early.”
The 6-foot-2, 265-pound Palmer picked up a couple offers late in the process, but Wilcher says he expects to see him on the field early for the Chippewas.
“He has great size, great speed and has great hands,” Wilcher said. “He understands his position really well. I could see him coming in and starting and helping Central Michigan out right away.”
Junior class looking good for the Technicians
College recruiters continue to make their way over to Cass Tech as the talent pool is nowhere close to drying up.
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Dawson played his sophomore season at Houston (Texas) Cypress Ridge before transferring back to Cass Tech following the semester. He holds early offers from Arizona State, Baylor, Florida State, Indiana, Missouri and Syracuse.
Last week, Michigan offered the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Lewis, joining Toledo. Like Dawson, he is hearing from programs coast to coast.
-Syracuse has offered athlete Delano Hill.
-Central Michigan, Northern Illinois and Toledo have offers in to defensive tackle Kenton Gibbs.
-Wilcher says he has one of the best prospects in the country in freshman quarterback Jayru Campbell.