Running back Marques Stevenson will lead his Lake Orion (Mich.) team into the Division 1 Michigan state semifinals this weekend against Detroit Cass Tech. The 5-8, 180-pound back will be looking to continue a senior campaign that has already produced exceptional numbers.
Stevenson topped the 1,600 season rushing yard mark in Lake Orion's most recent win. He also has 21 touchdowns on the season. As a junior he split carries in the Dragons' backfield, but he is the feature back this year for his team.
"I've been the main guy and have been exploding a bit more this year, so it's been a great senior year," Stevenson said. "A lot of runs that used to be 10 or 15-yarders, I am turning those into 40 and 50-yarders now. The speed aspect and just the ability to make plays has gone up."
Stevenson received his first scholarship offer back in the spring from Air Force. It is not surprising that a military academy would be the first to offer Stevenson because he carries a 3.6 GPA in the classroom besides having Division 1 football abilities.
"I took an unofficial visit out there when they played BYU earlier in the season and really liked what I saw out there," Stevenson said. "After getting a chance to see them in person, it definitely helps my view on the whole thing. I got to talk to some of the football players there and ask them about what it is like. A lot of them come from similar background situations as me and I can see myself fitting into a situation like that a little more than four or five months ago."
Besides Air Force, Stevenson has been hearing from the likes of Central Michigan, Bowling Green and Iowa State this fall. Central Michigan and Bowling Green were scheduled to be in his school this week, and Iowa State has called the Lake Orion head coach requesting film.
"The interest has been picking up and I expect it to pick up a lot more when I put the foot down on recruiting," Stevenson said. "When the season wraps up I will hunker down with this stuff, but I've really been focusing on getting as far as we can in the playoffs."
Lake Orion advanced to the state semifinals after beating Utica Eisenhower 17-10 in the state quarterfinals last weekend. They now head into a showdown with Detroit Cass Tech, which features several Division 1 prospects in their 2011 and 2012 classes, many of whom Stevenson has run into at off-season camps and combines.
"I don't know any of them personally, but I have seen a lot of them on the camp circuit," Stevenson said. "I've been to camps with Delonte Hollowell, Terry Richardson and Kishon Wilcher, so I'm pretty familiar with those players.
"We feel very confident about the way we are playing. We're going into this game the way we would go into any game. They are having a great season and we are having a great season so there is no lack of confidence. We totally believe that if we do what we have to do, we're going to be tough to beat."