Big Winners: Grand Valley State and Ferris State
To put it simply, the Lakers and Bulldogs cleaned up this year. Not just on talent from Oakland County, but statewide talent:
Grand Valley State reeled a dangerous trio from Southfield, Tre Walton, Brandon Bean and Jeff Madison, while also picking up Jake Slobin (See Below), and bringing in a very underrated and accomplished quarterback in Grand Blanc's Bart Williams along with Clarkston's Chris Calvano. Don't forget about St. Mary's running back Parker McInnis, who had a D-1 offer from Eastern Michigan on the table, but decided to sign with the Lakers.
Ferris State brought in a very talented class as well, bringing in Slobin's teammate, Garius Coleman and Anthony Darkangelo, one of the more dominant two way players in Oakland County this year, along with Malik Washington, Brandon Harding and Brian Williams, who all played key roles in Oak Park's resurgence last fall as well as Farmington defensive lineman Michael Purry.
Biggest Sleeper: Nick Boswell (Birmingham Detroit Country Day)
Boswell was overlooked by some D-1 schools, but did have offers to play at lower levels of football and decided to accept a preferred walk-on spot at Western Michigan. A LOT of teams missed on the Country Day linebacker, who proved to be one of the most sure tacklers in Oakland County last season.
Biggest Sleeper Part II: Chaz Miller (Lake Orion)
Miller has flown under the radar for some reason, but has proven to be a serious play-making threat on just about every down during his high school career with the Dragons. That shouldn't change once he gets to Saginaw Valley State as he should prove to be a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses over the course of the next few years.
Biggest Steal: Jake Slobin (Farmington Hills Harrison)
It hasn't changed since his commitment, and it's not going to change now. Slobin still remains as the biggest steal to come out of Oakland County this year. Slobin was a tackling machine from his defensive line position last year and Grand Valley State should expect more of the same over the course of the next few years.
Biggest Steal Part II: Anthony Darkangelo (Catholic Central)
Darkangelo, much like Slobin, in my mind showed he was a D-1 prospect throughout his high school career, so for Ferris State to manage to get him on campus is huge for the Bulldogs. Darkangelo proved to be a menace on offense and defense as he piled up the rushing yards and tackles for the Shamrocks, who made it to Ford Field in back-to-back seasons.
Biggest Surprise: Poet Thomas (Birmingham Detroit Country Day)
When it came down to his final few teams he was considering, it might not be that big of a surprise that Thomas chose Texas Tech over the likes of Syracuse and Arkansas Pine-Bluff. But with an offer from Florida on the table, it came as a bit of a surprise that the Gators weren't in the top couple of teams under consideration.
Smallest Surprise: Jon Reschke (Brother Rice)
Reschke has had Michigan State as his top choice for a while now and even as some big offers continued to roll in for the senior linebacker, he stuck with Michigan State. So there was no surprise to be had on Wednesday when he officially became a Spartan.