Detroit Free Press Sports Awards: Meet the football finalists

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Highlights from Dearborn Divine Child's Aidan Hutchinson during the team's 35-0 win over Detroit Cody in the Division 3 district semifinals on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. Video by Tom Lang/Special to DFP Wochit

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Detroit Free Press Sports Awards logo.(Photo: Detroit Free Press)Buy Photo

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The inaugural Detroit Free Press Sports Awards, presented by Detroit Area Honda Dealers, is set for May 18 at the Detroit Fillmore. The red carpet event will bring together the best high school athletes in the Detroit-metro area, and .

Eight player of the year finalists in each MHSAA sport will be chosen by the Free Press, and the winners will be announced live during the awards ceremony. The finalists will receive a complementary ticket and one free ticket for a guest to the event. Additional tickets may be purchased by the general public at  .

Later this week, the Free Press will announce finalists for boys soccer (Monday), volleyball (Tuesday), girls swimming and diving (Wednesday), boys tennis (Thursday), boys and girls cross country (Friday) and girls golf (Saturday).

Here are the eight finalists for football player of the year:

Kalon Gervin

Detroit Cass Tech, Sr.

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Detroit Cass Tech's Kalon Gervin, who is signing with Michigan State, participates during the signing day event on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, at the Horatio Williams Foundation in Detroit. (Photo: Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press)

The stats: Gervin had 10 pass breakups, 38 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and an interception return for a touchdown.

The buzz: Entered season as top senior in the state, and has committed to Michigan State. Gervin has all the tools to be a great defensive back in college. He chose the Spartans over Oregon.

Aidan Hutchinson

Dearborn Divine Child, Sr., DE/TE

Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Dearborn Divine Child. (Photo: Dearborn Divine Child athletics)

The stats: 65 tackles, 27 TFL, 4 sacks; 36 rec., 416 yards, 8 TDs.

The buzz: Michigan commitment used his size, speed and technique to his advantage on defense on defense and also was a reliable target for quarterback and Michigan State-commit Theo Day in the passing game.

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Marcel Lewis

Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, Jr.

Marcel Lewis, Chippewa Valley (Photo: Special to the Detroit Free Press)

The stats: 88 tackles, 11 for loss, three sacks, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

The buzz: Chippewa Valley coach Scott Merchant said Lewis was the “heart and soul” of the team’s defense with his speed, strength and tenacity. He has scholarship offers from Iowa State, Central Michigan and Kent State.

Jake Moody

Northville, Sr., K

Jake Moody, K, Northville. (Photo: Northville athletics)

The stats: Made 12 of 17 field goals, including from 58, 57 and 55 yards.

The buzz: The consensus No. 1-ranked kicker in the state, the strong-footed Moody had range like no other on field goals and changed field position with his punting. He has scholarship offers from Central Michigan, Army, Air Force, Bowling Green, Tulane and Texas State.

Jaeveyon Morton

Detroit King, Sr., DB/WR

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Detroit King's Jaeveyon Morton, who is signing with Iowa State, looks on as he is introduced by his coach Tyrone Spencer as they participate during the signing day event on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, at the Horatio Williams Foundation in Detroit. (Photo: Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press)

The stats: 40 solo tackles, 2 interceptions; 24 rec., 292 yards receiving.

The buzz: Iowa State commit was a reliable weapon on offense, a dangerous kick returner and most prominently a shutdown defensive back. Four-year varsity player.

Ovie Oghoufo

Farmington Hills Harrison, Sr., LB

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Detroit Free Press 2017 All-State Dream Team member Ovie Oghoufo of Farmington Hills Harrison poses for a photo with N.F.F. State of Michigan Chapter president Tony Versaci during the National Football Foundation State of Michigan Chapter awards banquet at the Dearborn Inn in Dearborn on Dec. 10, 2017. (Photo: Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press)

The stats: 77 tackles and six sacks on defense; team-leading 31 receptions, 497 yards and five TDs on offense.

The buzz: Notre Dame commitment is versatile enough to play along the defensive line or at outside linebacker, which he did for most of this season for the state runner-up Hawks. He was a nice security blanket as a tight end on offense, making big third-down catches.

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DeAndre Square

Detroit Cass Tech, Sr., LB

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Detroit Cass Tech's DeAndre Square, who is signing with Kentucky, thanks his family as he participates during the signing day event on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, at the Horatio Williams Foundation in Detroit. (Photo: Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press)

The stats: 92 tackles, 17 TFL, 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles.

The buzz: Square was a force for the Technicians all season. He committed to Kentucky in June and despite overtures from other programs, has signed with the Wildcats.

Max Wittwer

Utica Eisenhower, Sr., QB

Max Wittwer, Utica Eisenhower (Photo: Special to the Detroit Free Press)

The stats: Completed 45 of 57 passes for 1,035 yards, 11 TDs and two interceptions. Rushed 49 times for 265 yards and 4 TDs.

The buzz: Wittwer was one of the state’s top quarterbacks the past two years, compiling a 20-1 record as a starter. He might have carried Ike to a state championship if not for a season-ending knee injury in Week 7.

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