For Michigan football it’s unclear who will be featured as the second wide receiver behind junior Devin Funchess, but don’t look past early-enrolled freshmen Drake Harris and Freddy Canteen.
Harris, out of Grand Rapids Christian, was ranked by 247sports as the nation’s 12th-best wide receiver. He has been complimented as a great route runner and is excellent at using his 6-foot-4 frame to make in-air adjustments to the ball.
In his junior season, Harris caught 91 passes, for 2,016 yards, and 25 touchdowns. Unfortunately, Harris missed his entire senior season due to an injury to his right hamstring.
The highly-praised freshman was off to a solid spring practice before suffering another hamstring injury. Although the injury occurred on the same leg, Harris was quick to dismiss any notion that it was the same injury.
“It’s a different spot.” Harris explained on Tuesday. “It’s nothing too major, I pulled it, so I’m probably going to sit out the rest of spring.”
Besides learning the offense, which he’s said to have already gotten a great head start on, the focus will now lie on the weight room. Harris is listed at just 180-pounds and if he wants to remain healthy he will need to improve upon that.
Even though he still has some work to do before the season rolls around, Harris is confident that he can contribute on the field.
“I have good hands, I can stretch the field, and once I get back to my hamstring feeling good, I’ve got pretty good speed,” Harris said post-practice.
Although Canteen may not have been as highly ranked by 247sports, he isn’t lacking confidence, by any stretch of the imagination.
The 6-foot-1 receiver out of Elkton, Maryland (Eastern Christian) could emerge as a star for the Wolverines during his freshman season. (At least, that’s the picture that his personality portrays.)
“I came here to compete, to get an edge on guys, and I think I’ve done pretty well,” said Canteen. “No problems at all, from academics to athletically, I’ve done pretty well (at adjusting).”
Even though it appears that he will spend most of his time lined up on the outside, Canteen said that he has been lining up in the slot as well, assuring that he is comfortable at both positions.
When asked what he expects his role in the fall to be, he caught some reporters by surprise.
“Playmaker. To be honest,” Canteen said with absolute confidence. “I just want to make plays.”
The biggest transition to make from high school football to the collegiate level is speed; the speed of the game as well as the speed of the players.
To say that Canteen has enough speed to make that transition easier would be an understatement. If you were to ask him (which I have), he’s one of the fastest players on this team, if not the fastest.
Brady Hoke wouldn’t suggest that either one of these players will have significant playing time in the fall, however, you can count on them to be included in the conversation.