Recruiting & Scouting

FOOTBALL: The Future of Cass Tech is Bright Says Freshman Receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones

   | Branden Hunter

State Champs! Sports Network

Detroit Cass Tech has won two straight Division 2 Michigan state titles (2011, 2012), but that is not the most impressive thing about this football program. It's the number of playes that graduate, and take their skills to the collegiate level that is turning heads.

Last season, 12 players from the 2012-2013 squad signed letters of intent to various Division 1 and Division 2 schools, from schools including Michigan and Notre Dame. Over the last seven years, the Cass Tech football program has produced a whopping 27 Division 1 players, and countless other players who have gone on to play at D2 and D3 schools across the country.

With that much production off the field, and what it has accomplished on the field, kids from all over metro-Detroit are looking to play at Cass Tech. And the train that is Cass Tech football doesn't look to be slowing down either, as eight of it's upcoming juniors and senior hold Division 1 scholarship offers.

Tech's 2016, and 2017 crop of players look as strong as ever too. One incoming freshman to keep an eye on is wide receiver Donovan People-Jones. At 6-0, 169-pounds coming from middle school, the expectations for him are already sky high. The Cass Tech coaching staff has raved about his abilities and potential. Peoples-Jones will play on Cass Tech's varsity squad immediately, and should also see early playing time.

"I am very excited about the upcoming season," he said. "To be on varsity as a freshman, playing with a team that has won back-to-back state championships is great."

People-Jones seemed almost destined to attend Cass Tech.  He grew up watching them, a big fan of the football team over the years, and both of his parents were Technicians. As a freshman this season, it might be a season or two before his is a household name on such a strong team, however, People-Jones has already outlined what he plans to accomplish at Cass Tech.

"Cass Tech has a great academic program," Peoples-Jones said. "Growing up, Cass Tech always was a team that produced many Division 1 players, so I would wanted to go to a school that I would have given me the best opportunity to go to whatever university I wanted to. I would like to help Cass Tech get four more championships," he added. "I just want to work hard every day and continue to develop physically and mentally. I want be the best wide receiver I can be, and hopefully that is the best receiver in the nation."

Cass Tech makes an annual trip to the University of Alabama every summer for their 7on7 tourney, and Peoples-Jones made the trip down with them this summer. Alabama, and other top schools have not begun recruiting Peoples-Jones yet, but that may change in the near future. On his visit to Tennessee last week, he did get the opportunity to view the campus, and meet with the coaches.

"Alabama was fun", he said. "It was a great experience to be able to walk the same halls and streets as some of the top players now in the NFL. But I have to say, it was very hot. I haven't heard from any schools yet, but Coach Stripling and I from the University of Tennessee are starting to build a strong relationship."

Cass Tech opens it's season in a highly anticipated game against Southfield High at Wayne State on August 30. Peoples-Jones' size, running, and jumping abilities will be need on the edge for the Technician in that game, as well as for the season, catching balls from quarterback Jayru Campbell. Keshawn Gilmore (junior) Marvin White (junior), LaVert Hill (sophomore) and Demetric Vance (sophomore) are a few other top Cass Tech underclassmen who will also look to contribute to the team's success, along with the seniors.

"We just have to work hard and stay focused," said Peoples-Jones. "If we go in, take it day-to-day and get better, we will match their bar, if not set it higher."