Recruiting & Scouting

Commitments continue to be made by some of the state's top prospects

Football   | Scott Burnstein

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School is out for summer and the college commitments keep coming.

Several of the state’s top football players have hooked up with programs at the next level in recent weeks. The Big 10 and Big 12 conferences both got in on the action.

Cedric Boswell (Birmingham Groves), Navon Mosley (West Bloomfield) and Quinn Nordin (Rockford) are headed for the Big 10. Martell Pettaway (Detroit King) and Marquis Smith (Ypsilanti) are Big-12 bound.

At 5-11 and 215 pounds Pettaway is sturdily-built and considered by most scouting services the second-best tailback in the state. Only Michigan-commit Matt Falcon (Southfield) is rated higher. Pettaway committed to West Virginia earlier this month.

“Getting to West Virginia has been my goal for a while now,” Pettaway said. “I fell in love on my visit last year. I think we’re a nice match, we fit each other’s styles well.”

The past three seasons Pettaway was at St. Clair Shores South Lake. He transferred to King after the first semester. Last fall he registered 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns, sporting a gaudy 8.5-yards per carry average. West Virginia got the nod over other power conference scholarship offers from Michigan State, Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati.

Scout.com’s national recruiting director Allen Trieu views this upcoming season an important one for Pettaway, entering his first year at a high-profile program like King.

“I think we’ll find out a lot about Martell this year,” Trieu said. “There’s no doubt he’s a tough runner, one with good balance and one who has flashed real brilliance. He’ll play some better competition and he’ll have some more protection up front blocking for him, he hasn’t been running behind a real strong offensive line the last couple seasons. So just those two things alone should help his cause at King and give him a boost.”

Viewed as the quintessential sleeper prospect, Smith will be joining Pettaway in the Big 12. The versatile 6-foot-1, 185 pounder – his recruited position is listed as “athlete” – committed to Kansas after blasting on to the national scouting radars with a series of eye-opening camp, combine and 7-on-7 performances this offseason. Previously committed to Eastern Michigan, Smith played quarterback for Ypsilanti last fall, guiding the Grizzlies to the playoffs. Kansas coaches project Smith as either a wide receiver or defensive back.

Trieu is a fan of the connection between Smith and Kansas.

“Marquis might not have the press clippings of other top kids around the state, but he’s very talented and one of the better pure athletes in his class,” Trieu said. “Kansas could have just gotten itself a real find.”

Boswell, a burner in the backfield last fall for Groves, committed to Iowa as a cornerback. As a junior, Boswell rushed for 1,331 yards and 15 touchdowns. He’s been clocked at 4.3 in the 40-yard dash and is an all-state sprinter in track.

The change in positions in his future doesn’t intimidate him.

“I’m confident I’ll be able to adapt to playing on defense in college,” Boswell said. “The coaches there have converted a lot of guys like me and I have the faith in my own determination and natural skills that I know I’m going to make it work.”

Coming off of a breakout season, Mosley, an impact player on both offense and defense last year at West Bloomfield, committed to Purdue as a safety. At the high school level, he plays all over – wide receiver, running back, strong safety, free safety, cornerback and rover back.

“I couldn’t