Canfield Focusing on Three Schools

Life for quarterback Mike Canfield of Lansing (Mich.) Everett High School hasn't been the same since Aug. 27, 2004, when he led the Vikings to a 34-14 win over Mount Pleasant High School. His standout performance that night landed him an offer from Central Michigan University three days later.

Lansing Everett head coach Marcelle Carruthers doesn't mince words when people ask him about his star quarterback Mike Canfield.

"I don't think there's a finer all-around quarterback in the state this year," Carruthers said. "Mike is a big, strong, athletic kid who carried us on his shoulders this year. He will flourish in college. Mike's ready to step-in and compete right away at the next level because of his study habits."

Carruthers is uniquely qualified to rate Canfield. He was a highly-touted quarterback himself coming out of Lansing Eastern High School in 1983. Carruthers was recently rated by the Lansing State Journal as the top area quarterback in the last quarter century.

Central Michigan won the recruiting battle for Carruthers, beating out Michigan State and Tulsa. A generation later, the Chippewas hope to sign Carruthers' protege', Canfield, who Carruthers said CMU offered a scholarship to three days after watching him play against Mount Pleasant High School in August 2004.

Carruthers said he still remembers that game at Mount Pleasant in August of last year when Lansing Everett defeated the Oilers, 34-14. In the crowd watching the game that night was his old college coach, Hall of Fame head coach Herb Deromedi, who guided the Chippewas to 110 victories from 1978-93.

After watching Canfield's performance that night, including two touchdowns passing and one rushing, Deromedi reportedly remarked that Canfield was the finest high school quarterback he'd ever seen in all his years of coaching.

"That game everything was clicking for me," Canfield said. "I think that might have been one of my best games ever. I like to have the ball in my hands when the game is on the line."

Canfield is a muscular 6-foot-2, 215-pounder with a rocket for a right arm. He's been clocked at 4.67 in the 40-yard dash, but perhaps Canfield's finest trait as a quarterback is that he is a great student of the game.

"I love to watch film," Canfield said. "I love the game of football period."

A four-year varsity starter, Canfield played his freshman year at Lansing Eastern before transferring to Everett his sophomore year and running the Vikings spread offense. This season he completed 146 of 263 passes for 2,093 yards and 23 touchdowns. Canfield also ran for 317 yards and five touchdowns. Last year he threw for 2,100 yards and 17 touchdowns while rushing for 500 yards in leading the Vikings to an 8-3 record.

Canfield has also been studying his college options and has narrowed his focus to three schools: Central Michigan, Northern Illinois and Toledo. All three MAC programs have offered and Canfield has scheduled two December official visits, NIU Dec. 2 and CMU Dec. 9. He said he'd like to schedule a visit to Toledo too before making a decision on where he will play his college football.

The Chippewas might be the team to beat for Canfield though.

"CMU is nice because it's close to home for my family and friends to watch me play," Canfield said. "I like the campus and facilities, plus I'm good friends with (CMU freshman wide receiver) Jean Pitts."

Canfield said he realizes with Kent Smith graduating at CMU it could provide an opportunity for him immediately. He is well aware of what quarterback Tim Hiller accomplished at Western Michigan this season, starting as a true freshman.

"Definitely, I feel I could come in and play right away," Canfield said. "The CMU coaches told me if I work hard I might be able to play right away and CMU's first game next year is against Michigan in the 'Big House.'"

Whichever school is fortunate enough to sign his star pupil, Carruthers feels will be getting the next great MAC quarterback.

"There's nobody I'd rather have on my team than Mike," Carruthers said. "He's going to be one of those MAC quarterbacks that people say, 'How did he get away?

"The first thing I told Mike is that you have to go where you feel most comfortable," Carruthers added. "Would I like him to go to Central Michigan? Absolutely!"


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