Canteen Running With The Ones

Submitted by MJ14 on April 1st, 2014 at 7:56 PM

Canteen is practicing with the starters on the inside and the outside, mainly reps with Devin Gardner.

— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) April 1, 2014

Freddy Canteen believes he's the fastest player on the team, believes he'll be a real playmaker this season right away

— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) April 1, 2014

Canteen says he 'always' felt he'd be able to compete at this level. Very confident kid.

— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) April 1, 2014
It looks like Canteen has a real shot to run with the ones this fall. Especially after reading this news:

Drake Harris says he's probably going to sit out the rest of spring with his hamstring injury

— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) April 1, 2014



April 1st, 2014 at 10:15 PM ^

Is that Fred Jackson saying that? Not trying to be (too) cynical, it just sounds like something he would say.

OTOH - I am excited about the (potential ) of our receiving core. Chesson got the blocking down last year. More practice will help on his route running and decision making. Hoping Darboh bounces back and expecting Funchess to be one of the best WR in the B1G.

Mr. Yost

April 1st, 2014 at 11:25 PM ^

This isn't shocking.

His only competition at the true slot position is Dennis Norfleet unless Justice Hayes moves back...and even then it's another converted RB.

I still think Chesson will end up being the 3rd WR, but to me, Canteen has ALWAYS been the #1 slot guy.

I wonder how Moe Ways is progressing because if he's showing flashes, Drake Harris may be headed for a redshirt year.


April 2nd, 2014 at 2:02 AM ^

You're right in the sense that Canteen doesn't have much competition for the slot, but the hype doesn't seem relative to just being out in front for that position. Almost every report I see (which shouldn't be taken too seriously) just gush about the kid. 

Chesson is a guy I'm still excited about. He was probably forced to play a year too early after Darboh's injury, but he fared pretty well. 15/221/1 and a bunch of great blocking. It's part of the reason I'm not terrified of a scenario where Darboh doesn't live up to what we thought he'd be.

I think Harris is redshirting. Ways isn't on campus yet, but I still feel that way. Harris' hammy issue and strength issue signal a redshirt. IMO, if he does play it'll be halfway though the season and we'll end up regretting it.


April 1st, 2014 at 10:10 PM ^

OL is the position that requires the largest physical leap from high school to college, so I don't think it's unreasonable when people are nervous about starting a freshman in OL. Skill positions are completely different. Look back at AP or Julio Jones and tell me they could not have competed in the NFL as freshman? Now name a freshman OL who you htink could have been a starter/impact player in the NFL?


April 2nd, 2014 at 2:07 AM ^

This shouldn't need to be explained, but physically it's just more difficult for OL to come in right away and make a huge impact.

They're completely different positions, so we react differently to them. Pretty straight forward stuff...

Wolverine Devotee

April 1st, 2014 at 8:19 PM ^

Thank you Freddy for giving me a real good reason to go out Saturday excited.

Very disappointed with the athletic department not promoting the spring game. Back to the old days I suppose.


April 1st, 2014 at 8:10 PM ^

Harris again?..... He missed his entire Senior season due to a hammy it flares up again. I'm officially concerned now. How does a highly trained 18 year old not get his hammy to heal up?


April 1st, 2014 at 8:15 PM ^

It is a concern until he can go at least 12 months without it not flaring up again.  Anyone saying otherwise is fooling themselves.

As for Canteen isn't the only slot competition a semi-converted RB and a guy who returns kicks we are trying to make into a WR of some sort?


April 1st, 2014 at 8:17 PM ^

....or at least, it is relative terms, Harris talked a little about this (HERE):

"It's nothing too major, I pulled it, so I think I'm probably going to sit out the rest of spring," Harris said Tuesday. "It's nothing major. I'm just still trying to get stronger in the weight room and get back."

He did mention that it was in a different area and that he could still do certain things, so I am not going to be too worried. Hopefully, he rests it and is good to go for workouts later this year. 


April 1st, 2014 at 8:15 PM ^

I always bought into this stuff, but after last spring's "Frank Clark is the next Michael Strahan" and "Ben Braden is the second coming of Taylor Lewan," I just can't get too excited over this.



April 1st, 2014 at 8:19 PM ^

No one is saying Canteen is the second coming of anything. He's just running with the ones. Receiver is a position that a player can come right in and do well. Lineman is not. I'll spare the long response, but if you can't see Frank Clark's improvement, I don't know what to tell you. Frank came in as a player that was not even big enough to be a linebacker. 

The problem is you read too much into what is said and then cause yourself disappointment. It's not that people are overhyping what is happening in spring practice. It is that readers see what they want to see and then assume things like Frank Clark is the next Strahan, but yet literally no one said that last year. Or anything like that. 


April 1st, 2014 at 8:23 PM ^

We also have 2 returning WRs with game experience including a big fat zero in the slot unless you consider Justice Hayes and Norfleet experienced slot guys...  so it's not too hard to run with our 1s at this point.  Not really many people to jump in front of on the depth chart.


April 1st, 2014 at 8:45 PM ^

Hayes and Norfleet are both extremely good athletes.  I don't know why you're knocking them.  It's no small task to come in as a 17 or 18 year old and immediately win the top spot over a couple of guys with two years in the program.  And Norfleet has been getting good Spring reviews as well so he's definitely not just a returner filling in at the slot position.


April 1st, 2014 at 8:57 PM ^

I am not "knocking them"- it is one thing to play WR for 3-4 years and then be asked to move up to the NCAA level against college level athletes to play it again.  It is another to change positions mid stream and excel at it.  I am simply stating there is little competition there - we are trying to convert a guy who has been returning balls and occassionally running a sweep or reverse and a guy who has limited action as running back into our slot WRs.  So Canteen has a major leg up as he is competing as a position he has experience at.

p.s. wasn't Norfleet a CB for all of 5 weeks at one point?  Again it is not easy to take great athletes and just plug them into new positions. 

Plenty of great athletes can't play certain positions well or can't play football in any capacity.


April 2nd, 2014 at 2:15 AM ^

We heard you the first time. You've had just about enough of the hype! 

We know practice reports are full of crap, for the most part. However, it's the off-season and this stuff was tweeted out today. It's been passed along and we're discussing it. It's a positive sign that a young kid is doing well. Nobody is saying he's DeSean Jackson.

Your little tag line is cute and all, but if you're not going to be able to discuss football for the next five months without being a vagina, you should probably just give this up.


April 1st, 2014 at 8:21 PM ^

I think your view has now become near universal - which in a way is good.  Fans are generally kool aid drinkers but at this point we've been burned constantly.

Right now if Beilein told us he had the next Michael Jordan I'd believe him.  With football, we are all saying show us on Saturdays against legit opponents...and on the road.


April 1st, 2014 at 9:22 PM ^

Completely hear your point ,cigol. I just cannot muster the enthusiasm to absorb the amount of pre-season material that I have for the last 30 years. I am like a deflated balloon. Until this team shows signs of being for real again, my broken heart is in protect mode. 

These coaches have a lot to prove.


April 1st, 2014 at 8:19 PM ^

Other Harris quotes - read what you want into them.  Kids at that age feel indestructable. 

  • "It's nothing too major, I pulled it, so I think I'm probably going to sit out the rest of spring," Harris said Tuesday. "It's nothing major. I'm just still trying to get stronger in the weight room and get back.
  • "It's pretty frustrating, but I've played basically the whole spring (until now). I've learned a lot. So I'll stay focused and stay positive."
  • Harris says the injury took place on the same hamstring that caused him to miss his entire senior season of high school at Grand Rapids Christian . He says the injury isn't nearly as severe now as it was in high school, though, and says it took place at a different spot on his hamstring. "It's a different spot," he said. "(It wasn't really that scary) because the way I felt it this time was a lot different from what I did in high school. I knew it wasn't too bad."
  • Harris was asked if he could practice at this point if he absolutely had to, he responded "maybe, it's pretty tender." He says he can still run on it some, and he's spending most of his time right now working with the strength and conditioning staff.



April 1st, 2014 at 8:54 PM ^

You're really bringing a refreshing negativity to this thread.  Such a unique perspective on a Michigan blog.  

Elite level athletes (and really any athlete) at that age also knows what a pulled muscle feels like.  If he can even jog on it then it's not torn or even badly strained.  We have no reason to doubt what he's saying.