FNV Defensive Player of the Year Watch

Every year FNV picks an offensive and defensive player of the year along with an overall player of the year.

While last year’s FNV Overall Player of the Year, Jalen Johnson (Monroe) has moved on, both of last year’s defensive and offensive Players of the Year return with Grosse Ile’s Johnny Blanzy (LB) and Milan’s Tristen Hines (RB/R/QB) returning for their senior seasons.

Here is a quick watchlist of who we think are Defensive Player of the Year candidates.

Johnny Blanzy LB Grosse Ile: The 6-1, 215 lb LB led Grosse Ile to an undefeated regular season and a Huron League Championship. Blanzy recorded 148 tackles that included 7 TFL’s

Sam Cousino LB SMCC: The 6-3, 225 lb FNV All-Blog pick recorded 68 tackles last season including 8.5 TFL’s while leading the Falcons to a 9-3 record and a birth in the D7 Regional Final.

Justin Chambless LB Airport: Chambless had an outstanding junior season at LB as he recorded 149 tackles for the 4-5 Jets.

Tommy Gardner DE Riverview: The 6-2, 195 lb DE is a high energy guy on the edge for the Pirates that missed the entire 2018 season after tearing his ACL in the preseason scrimmage last year. As a sophomore in 2017, Gardner recorded 40 tackles for a team that made it to the D3 semi-finals.

Cray Pennington DE Milan: A virtual unknown to fans outside of Milan, the 6-0, 230 lb DE had a huge season for the 8-3 Big Reds in 2018. Pennington recorded 78 tackles including 16 TFL’s.

These are obviously FNV’s thoughts. Please respond if we missed anyone.

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Who will win the FNV Defensive Player of the Year?
454 votes · 454 answers

21 thoughts on “FNV Defensive Player of the Year Watch”

  1. If Blanzy gets 150 tackles like last year, it will be no contest. I would guess Cousino to challenge him unless somebody else has a great year. I do think defenders on a T team will have to overcome statistical comparisons due to their offenses eating the clock. Can’t wait to find out

    1. that’s a good point about the T teams. Justin LaPlante his junior year had an absurd amount of tackles for being on defensive half the time he was on offense. It just showed how dominant he was I believe he got to 110 through 10 games. averaging around 10-12 a game.

  2. How about harris from Monroe? The kid can play he had 6 ints and 3 forced fumbles as a junior i think he should be a name to watch as the year goes on

    1. Idk what there feeding Blanzy but that is a big extremely strong kid.

      Cousino big kid not as muscular or strong as Blanzy, but definitely more explosive, and faster.

      * Both do not leave field. 2-way
      Blanzy OT Cousino RB

      Personally have not seen anyone the past two years that play the position better then these two. Not saying there aren’t any other great MLB’s on other teams but no one that plays on there level.

  3. Armchair Analyst

    I think Gus Flint could make a case to be on the list here as well. Solid defensive end, who controls the edge, and gets after the qb. Look how cc struggled with him out in the playoffs a bit, sand creek comes to mind with the big outside runs.

    Another player could make a case is the other GI linebacker, not familiar with the name off the top of my head. Good solid player especially next to Blanzy. Could have a great year with teams looking to get two blockers on Blanzy.

    People forget that Hines is a great corner, playmaker back there that has a knack for making plays on the ball. Anyone know which side of the ball he committed to EMU for?

    Lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball across the area.

    In the end I think this race comes down to Blanzy and Cousino.

    1. You are speaking of Josh Zemmin from GI.

      Yes he, Hines and Flint are excellent players. They will have the season to prove if the are the DPOY. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if either of them were.

    2. another good defensive player from cc is the other defensive end, Masson Gullen. He is the counter part to Gus Flint. Those two have caused problems ever since they were a sophomore on varsity. Gullen is taller and like to use more of a bull rush when trying to get to the QB. Gus is stronger than sullen but likes to use more of his quickness and first step. Cannot wait for this year.

  4. Some incredible talent on this list! Looking forward to seeing Tommy back! He’s an incredibly talented and focused player. His speed and movement are faster than I’ve seen and he’s HUNGRY to get out there.
    Quality list here w Cousino and Blanzy as well. Both are phenomenal talents in the HL.

    1. Yes Gary we do especially his parents lol
      But on the real side of things
      Yes he’s back for his Senior Season, He’s put in a tremendous amount of work to get back to we’re he’s at
      He knows what he has to do this year, so he’s made a goal for his self
      We he reach it who knows but he’s got the ability too if health and things go right all season
      But our team is not based just off him we do have a lot of talent young and older kids so this should be an exciting season
      The Huron League has a lot of talented kids to watch this year
      Blanzy,Hines,Cousino,of course Tommy, Chambliss, Davis
      And that’s to name just a few
      Don’t forget there will be kids that come out of no where and shine

  5. how can a defensive player come from a team that probably gave up 35+ plus last year??

    I am interested to see this Gardner kid and how well he will come back from his ACL injury, because those can be questionable. Cousino and Blanzy are at the top for me right now because I have just seen them play before. Both strong and physical kids. Blanzy moves better than Cousino side to side. It will be a good year. I choose Sam because GO FALCONSS!!!

    Could we also have a blog post about coach of the year for the Blog?

    1. It’s true that as a the View we’ve given up some points/big plays but as a sophomore who was pulled up the 3rd/4th game (don’t remember which) he had 9 sacks and was absolutely someone every team had to gameplan for.
      Having said that, Cousino is a monster I honestly expect we’ll hear a lot of Cousino, Gardner and certainly Blanzy for end of year honors. Here’s to a healthy season and future for all 3!

  6. Fan of Erie mason

    Elijia Ariaza should be the defensive player of the year and John frank from Erie mason. They are both gonna have one great year this year just watch they should be in the voting!!!#EAGLENATION

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