Donovan Peoples-Jones of Detroit Cass Tech highlights the Associated Press Division 1-2 all-state team, earning Player of the Year honors for his outstanding play on both sides of the ball and special teams.
Peoples-Jones, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior, was ranked as the No. 1 receiver in the country and lived up to the billing. He had 54 receptions for 946 yards and 15 TDs heading into the Division 1 state championship game against Detroit Catholic Central.
Peoples-Jones made the big plays too, hauling in a two-point PAT pass for the difference of a 43-42 semifinal win over Saline, then grabbing a 20-yard TD pass in the final minute of a 32-28 semifinal victory over Utica Eisenhower.
“I’ve never been into numbers, just want to do whatever I can to help my team win,” Peoples-Jones said. “I’ve just done everything my coaches wanted me to do to get better every day. It’s important to be a team player and I think my general knowledge of the game has gotten better and I think I’ve been a better leader this year, too.”
Peoples-Jones plans to enroll to college early, narrowing his field of college choices to Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Florida and Florida State.
Other first-team receivers include Ambry Thomas of Detroit King, Anthony D’Annibale of Novi, Kameron Ford of Walled Lake Western and Hunter Rison (MSU) of Ann Arbor Skyline.
D’Annibale had 87 receptions for 1,223 yards and 18 TDs, setting a state record for Class A/Division 1 with six TD receptions in a win over Hartland.
The offensive line is made up of Michigan State-bound Jordan Reid of Cass Tech, Mustafa Khaleefah (MSU) of Dearborn, JaRaymond Hall (Michigan) of Oak Park, Rob Hudson (Purdue) of Walled Lake Western, Blake Bueter of Detroit Catholic Central, Matt Surma of Utica Eisenhower, Jack Saylor of Birmingham Brother Rice, Antonio McCants of Detroit Western and Ian Hall of Grandville.
Rodney Hall (Northern Illinois) of Cass Tech and Bruce Mann of Midland Dow are the quarterbacks while 2,000-yard rusher Jared Jordan of Grosse Pointe North earned a spot as a first-team running back, along with Tariq Reid of Davison, Connor Hibbard of Saline and Nick Capatina of Detroit Catholic Central.
MSU-bound Cody White of Walled Lake Western is the specialist. He started the first three games of the season at quarterback, filling in for the injured Johnny Tracy, throwing for 492 yards and nine TDs. He had 42 receptions for 694 yards and nine TDs from his normal receiver spot and also ran for 547 yards, averaging 10.9 yards per carry.
Michigan-bound Jaylen Kelly-Powell of Cass Tech joins Jordan Ulmer (Iowa State) of Belleville and Kade Messner of Romeo as first-team defensive backs.
The first-team linebackers are made up of Lorenzo McCaskill (Cincinnati) of Southfield A&T, Cepeda Phillips (Kent State) of Detroit King, Nate Wagner of Birmingham Groves, Sal Sidebotham of Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central and Isaac Darkangelo of Detroit Catholic Central.
Jack McKenna of Walled Lake Northern is the first-team kicker, converting on 7-of-9 field goals with a long of 43 yards. Taylor McCarty of Lake Orion is the punter, averaging 44 yards a punt. Brendan Flaherty of Birmingham Groves was voted as Coach of the Year after guiding the Falcons to an OAA White Division championship and a spot in the Division 2 state semifinals.
Division 1-2 All-State Football List
The 2016 Associated Press High School Division 1-2 Football Team, selected by Michigan sportswriters and broadcasters.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Donovan People-Jones, Detroit Cass Tech, senior
Rodney Hall, Detroit Cass Tech, senior
Bruce Mann, Midland Dow, senior
Jared Jordan, Grosse Pointe North, senior
Tariq Reid, Davison, junior
Connor Hibbard, Saline, senior
Nick Capatina, Detroit Catholic Central, senior
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Detroit Cass Tech, senior
Ambry Thomas, Detroit King, senior
Hunter Rison, Ann Arbor Skyline, senior
Anthony D'Annibale, Novi, senior
Kameron Ford, Walled Lake Western, senior
Antonio McCants, Detroit Western, senior
Jordan Reid, Detroit Cass Tech, senior
Mustafa Khaleefah, Dearborn, senior
Ian Hall, Grandville, senior
Matt Surma, Utica Eisenhower, senior
Jack Saylor, Birmingham Brother Rice, senior
Blake Bueter, Detroit Catholic Central, senior
JaRaymond Hall, Oak Park, senior
Rob Hudson, Walled Lake Western, senior
Cepeda Phillips, Detroit King, senior
Sal Sidebotham, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, senior, Lorenzo McCaskill, Southfield A&T, senior
Nate Wagner, Birmingham Groves, senior
Isaac Darkangelo, Detroit Catholic Central, junior
Jordan Ulmer, Belleville, senior
Jaylen Kelly-Powell, Detroit Cass Tech, senior
Kade Messner, Romeo, senior
Cody White, Walled Lake Western, senior
Jack McKenna, Walled Lake Northern, senior
Taylor McCarty, Lake Orion, senior
Brendan Flaherty, Birmingham Groves
(Players receiving two or more votes from the panel)
Johnny Tracy, Walled Lake Western
Dequez Weathers, Bay City Central; Marcus Sanders, Canton
Xavier Wade, Holland West Ottawa; Devante Walker, Traverse City Central
Patrick Nauert, Grosse Pointe South; Joe Schaefer, Lowell; Tyrone Sampson, Detroit East English; Ali Fayad, Dearborn; Reid Thompson, Fenton; Joe Schneider, Romeo
Fitz Doud, Traverse City Central; Thor Soffredine, Traverse City West; Treshaun Hayward, Ann Arbor Skyline
Zhamaine March, Detroit East English
Brady Douma, Lowell
Cam Shook, Grosse Pointe South
Chris Smith, Utica Eisenhower
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-STATE
Tanner Hallock, Forest Hills Central; Mike Phillips, Dearborn; Scotty Nelson, Detroit Jesuit; Hamze Elzayat, Dearborn Fordson; Nolan Bird, Grand Ledge; Josh Czarnota, Fenton; Max Wittwer, Utica Eisenhower; Deangielo Sanderson, Port Huron; Zach Schwartzenberger, Saline; Joey Wiemer, Temperance Bedford; Ross Herron, Berkley; Alec Bageris, Novi; Kyle Wood, Rochester Adams; David McCullum, Waterford Mott; Bryce Veasley, West Bloomfield; Ryan Brennan, Howell.
Nate Stephens, Lowell; Elijah Collins, Detroit Jesuit; Jay'Vion Settles, Battle Creek Lakeview, Dylan Crankshaw, Fenton; Paris Partee, Holly; Joey Zelenka, Grand Haven; Ernest Allen, Birmingham Groves; Derek Lynch, Bloomfield Hills; Mike Fluegal, Clarkston; Keith Fields, Waterford Mott; Karry DeBose Jr., Warren Cousino.
Andre Welch, East Kentwood; Jaeveyon Morton, Detroit King; Tanner Koth, Bay City Central; Blake Bogan, Grand Blanc; Troy Brown, Flint Carman-Ainsworth; Calvin Johnston, Grand Ledge; Jaylen Hall, Macomb Dakota; Kiewuan Graham, Bloomfield Hills; John Adams III, Ferndale; Thomas Loftus, Rochester; Garrett Winn, West Bloomfield; Keegan Cossou, Greenville.
Ryan Hayes, Traverse City West; Matt Kelly, Grandville; Lane Potter, Hudsonville; Zac Darwiche, Dearborn Fordson; Nick White, Forest Hills Central; Andrew Sharp, Grosse Pointe South; Damani Green, Detroit King; Logan Vandermeulen, Lowell; Ed Brecht, Lapeer; Zach Slezak, Davison; Carlos Vettorello, Detroit Jesuit; Ben Sherwin, Traverse City Central; Brent Walters, Traverse City West; Kris Campbell, Waterford Mott; Kevin Murray, Midland Dow; Devan Anzarut, Midland Dow; Greg Landis, Midland; Trevor Carr, Temperance Bedford; Noah Nicklin, Clarkston; Nick Novak, Lake Orion; Jackson Ross, Detroit Catholic Central; Dominick Williams, Oak Park; Tristan Leinen, Stoney Creek; Adam Seiler, Pinckney; Wes Smith, Pinckney.
Dalton Agers, Hudsonville; Sam Kinne, Lapeer; Antjuan Simmons, Ann Arbor Pioneer; Spencer Stephenson, Midland Dow; Dylan Stackhouse, Oak Park; Keith Powe, Southfield A&T; Jack Aigner, Brighton.
David Graham, Grosse Pointe South; Devonni Reed, Belleville; Collin Heard, Birmingham Groves; AJ Thomas, Detroit Jesuit; Raine Potts, Portage Central; Darius Pruitt, Kalamazoo Central, Xavier Farr, Grand Ledge; David Jeffers, Temperance Bedford; Vincent Gray, Rochester Adams; Braxton Blackwell, South Lyon.
Donovan Johnson, Detroit Cass Tech; Marquise Thorns, Southfield A&T.
Dan Riser, Forest Hills Central; DeMetrio Lopez, Muskegon
Morley Fraser, Bay City Central; Eric Schugars, Traverse City Central; Kyle Zimmerman, Davison.