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August 25, 2011

Detroit is focus of Midwest weekend

MORE HELMHOLDT: Mailbag | Weekend's best

There are several big showcases in the Midwest this weekend, including the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown in Cincinnati and the Big Day Prep Showdown in Detroit. Rivals.com will have coverage of games at both events, with Midwest Analyst Josh Helmholdt in Detroit for the Big Day Prep Showdown, preceded by a Friday night matchup of Detroit Catholic Central and Dearbon (Mich.) Fordson. Here are five things he is looking forward to seeing this weekend.

1. Farminton Hills Harrison vs. Detroit Cass Tech: The final, and featured, game of the Big Day Prep Showdown is probably the top game on the schedule in the state of Michigan this fall. Harrison is the reigning Division 2 state champions and Cass Tech made it to the state semifinals a year ago. Between them they have 10 prospects listing Division I offers, including six that are already committed to Big Ten programs. Both teams also have several rising junior prospects who will eventually be recruited to the D-I level.

2. To which position does 2013 jumbo athlete Wyatt Shallman project?: Detroit Catholic Central's Shallman is 6-3, 250 pounds, running consistent 40-yard dash times in the 4.7 range and he is only 15 years old. He could play tailback, fullback or on the defensive line in college. Michigan is legitimately recruiting him to carry the football, so does that make Shallman a freakish Brandon Jacobs-type tailback, or will he be better suited to line up at defensive end or fullback in college? We should get a better feel after Friday against Dearborn Fordson.

3. Cass Tech's defensive backs vs. Harrison's receiving corps: Led by four-star cornerback Terry Richardson, Cass Tech's entire defensive backfield is headed to the Division I level after college. The 5-9, 170-pound Richardson is joined by three-star safety Ruben Lile, Buffalo-bound cornerback Will Rembert and safety Brandon Berry, who holds four Division I offers. On the other side of the football, Harrison brings four-star wide receiver Aaron Burbridge, three-star tight end Devin Funchess and rising junior Gairus Coleman. Quarterback [/db]Jake Vento[/db] also has the ability to get the ball to his playmakers.

4. Can Dennis Norfleet keep his momentum going?: The Detroit King running back tore up the 7-on-7 scene this off-season with his Maximum Exposure team. The 5-7, 175-pound back was electric at events in Bradenton, Fla., Dallas and Pittsburgh, showing off his sensational agility and explosiveness. Now we get to see Norfleet with the pads on again. Last year we saw that he can carry the ball 25-30 times a game and take a pounding. He will have his work cut out for him on Saturday against one of the state's top teams in Brother Rice.

5. Several top 2013 prospects from the state of Michigan: Besides Shallman and Coleman, this weekend's slate of games will also allow us to see Brother Rice linebacker Jon Reschke, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard quarterback Mason Sarosi, Dearborn Fordson running back Ahmad Al-Aboody, Detroit Cass Tech cornerback Jourdan Lewis, defensive tackle Kenton Gibbs and offensive linemen Karel Finley and Dennis Finley. These represent some of Michigan's best offerings in the 2013 class.



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