For Freddy Canteen the summer has been about gaining exposure. Before that, the buzz about his game had been limited by a season shortened due to sanctioning issues for his fledgling high school. But as he made the camp rounds in recent months his profile steadily rose. One of his best camp showings took place in Ann Arbor two weeks ago, eventually resulting in a scholarship offer. Interest from other suitors began picking steam afterward, but the Eastern Christian Academy star had seen all he needed to see. Coincidentally, so too did his teammate and fellow Michigan camp standout Brandon Watson.
“Me and Brandon had both talked about what we were going to do, but I made this decision for myself,” Canteen said regarding his Michigan commitment. “(Friday night) I was thinking about everything and I just came to the conclusion that Michigan is the best place for me. Academically they’re top notch and football wise they’re a powerhouse.”
“I’m just blessed, ready to work, and thankful for the opportunity.”
Canteen ultimately selected the Maize & Blue over Rutgers and Tennessee, but that decision was made a little sooner than expected. The three-star wideout had hoped to return to Ann Arbor with his parents first. In the end they found a way to gain a great appreciation for the school without actually seeing it.
“They did their homework,” Canteen explained. “They reached out to friends because my mom has a couple of friends that went to Michigan. They felt comfortable with their experience. They were fine with everything and comfortable (my decision). We’re going to get out there next month.”
With Canteen’s addition to its receiving corps Michigan gains a great deal of flexibility. He’ll be able to play in the slot or on the outside, and he can make plays on short routes in space or get deep. According to his coach, Dwayne Thomas, no matter where he lines up the precision in his route running will be extremely evident.
“Like Coach Thomas said, people are going to see precise routes when they watch me,” Canteen insisted. “They’re going to see a great amount of speed. And I’m going to just bring a lot to the table. I’m ready to work and help Michigan win a national championship.”
Should he do that he’ll likely win over some of the skeptics about his talent relative to that of some of Michigan’s other receiver targets. Many prospects would use such doubts as motivation. Not Canteen.
“I’m self-motivated,” he said confidently. “Honestly, I drown out what the critics say. I’m just going out there playing to the best of my ability. All I can say is Michigan obviously thought highly enough of me to offer me. They’re pretty skilled at what they do (laughter), and I’m pretty skilled at what I do. I appreciate fans and the way they see things, but they’ll see me and what I can do on the TV screen sooner or later.”