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Friday Night Recaps Week 15: State champs!

Welcome to the last installation of Friday Night Recaps for the 2018 season! It’s been a real treat (and sometimes maddening) chasing down the performances of all of Michigan’s commits this season.

I learned some really cool information about these young men that hopefully gets everyone excited for the excellent recruiting class Michigan is bringing in. This has to be one of the most fun and tight-knit classes in history, based off of all the joking and ribbing they give each other on Twitter.

There was also plenty of success on the field. Two members won state championships, with two others playing for their own next week. School and state records were set, and some players led their teams to the best seasons in school history.

There were only five Michigan commits playing last week, and four of them were victorious. Giles Jackson and Jack Stewart still have games left in their season, but like I said last week, I’ll throw in how they did in a Recruiting Roundup later on. I’m still going to give them their spotlight and recap their seasons, though. Without further ado, let’s wrap up some seasons for the last time!

Season Wrap-up

Giles Jackson

Giles Jackson and his Freedom squad won in crazy fashion, coming back from being down 21 points, to win 35-34, when their opponent failed a two-point conversion with 15 seconds left.

Freedom now advances to the North Coast Section Championship next Saturday against San Ramon Valley, who Freedom beat earlier this season.

California playoffs are confusing, but this means they’re playing for the Northern California regional title in their Division. It’s the second highest classification, behind the Open Division, where teams like De La Salle play.

Jackson hauled in a 66-yard reception for a touchdown to pull Freedom ahead 28-21 in the fourth quarter. He’s tallied over 1,200 yards from the slot this season, with 13 touchdowns through the air. He’s also rushed for 200 yards and three more scores. He’s the type of electric, speedy athlete that Michigan fans have been pining for after the Ohio State game.

Quintel Kent

Arguably no other commit has improved their stock more during their senior season than Quintel Kent. He’s been bumped up five or six times by 247, while cutting his state ranking in half in the process. He saved his best performance of the season for the state championship game, where St. Edward’s took down the No. 1 overall seed Colerain, 24-10, in the largest state classification.

After starting the season 0-2, it didn’t look like this would be the year for St. Edward’s. But they got hot in the playoffs, winning five straight as a seven-seed. This is the school’s fourth state title.

Kent was one of the stars of the championship game, catching eight balls for 120 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a key pass breakup on defense to seal the game late while Colerain was driving.

On the season, Kent caught 52 passes for 865 yards and 12 touchdowns, while finishing second-team all-state. He was also a terror as a kick returner, taking two back for touchdowns, with several other long returns. Kent showed polish as a route runner on the outside, with good hands and a knack for stepping up in the spotlight. Michigan seems to have found a gem in Ohio.

Nolan Rumler

Dominant is the only word to describe both Rumler and his team’s performance this season. Rumler capped off a high school career in which he started all 60 of Hoban’s games since he was a freshman. As a senior, he captained a perfect 15-0 season, which culminated in a 42-28 win over Massillon for the school’s fourth straight state championship.

Rumler is Michigan’s second longest tenured commit, holding steady in the class for well over a year. Lining up at left tackle for Hoban, he’s been a tenacious blocker who usually doesn’t stop until his opponent is on the ground. He’s an offensive linemen so there’s not stats to tally, but he has been named first-team all-state for the last two seasons. You can watch his senior highlights and count how many times he pancakes someone to get a taste.

Jack Stewart

The Connecticut state playoffs are quirky, resulting in Stewart and New Canaan playing two games since the last Friday Night Recaps was posted. Last Tuesday, they upset No. 1 seed Shelton in the opening round of the playoffs as the eighth seed. Stewart, who plays on both sides of the ball, was a terror, racking up three sacks and four tackles.

Then, on Sunday, New Canaan beat Fairfield Prep 38-7, in dominating fashion.

Now, New Canaan will be making their 11th appearance in the state title game in the last 13 years, facing undefeated Greenwich and Michigan target Cornelius Johnson in the finals. Adding a layer of intrigue is the head coaches of both schools. New Canaan is coached by Lou Marinelli, who is the father of Greenwich coach John Marinelli. This soap opera plotline will be fascinating to follow on Saturday.

Jalen Perry

Last week, I completely forgot to add Perry to the chart, but thankfully his season ended last week, just in time for a season wrap-up! Perry’s Dacula crew went 11-3 on the season, before falling the in state semifinals last weekend to Northside, by a score of 14-7.

Perry also plays on both sides of the ball for his team. Purely scouting off of his senior season Hudl film, he nabbed three interceptions, broke up six additional passes, and had four tackles. On offense, he plays a slot receiver/H-back role in their spread triple-option offense. He scored four touchdowns through the air and three on the ground, with a bunch of more yards I wasn’t going to try to estimate.

At 6’1”, 188 pounds, Perry is a return to the tall, rangy defensive backs that made up the 2018 defensive back class. He looked good playing man coverage and used his hands well, subtly grabbing and tugging, which has been a characteristic of Michigan cornerbacks. Some hold the opinion that Perry could move to safety eventually with his size.

Thank you for reading along throughout the high school football season. I can’t wait to see these athletes suit up for the Maize and Blue and continue the success they’ve had on the gridiron at the next level.

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