Zurlon Tipton Makes Michigan Take Notice

You wouldn't usually think that you'd find a Michigan-caliber football prospect at a small school in Sterling Heights, Michigan, a K-12 private school boasting a population of around 200 students. But Sterling Heights Parkway Christian is the home of a sleeper prospect that showed up at U-M's football camp and made the coaches take notice of him. The player: running back Zurlon Tipton.

GoBlueWolverine talked with rising prospect Zurlon Tipton, the young fellow that made quite an impression at Rich Rodriguez's Jr./Sr. camp this past Sunday (click here

for a photo of him in camp-action). Tipton may not have been a name on the radar of U-M fans before now, but thanks to the assist of a rival coach, Zurlon was able to get to Ann Arbor and compete against the big boys. "The Redford Covenant coach got me invited to the Michigan camp," Zurlon told GBW. "I went with some of his kids. I did pretty well against Covenant this season, we played them twice."

Pretty well?

Christian Parkway knocked Covenant out of the playoffs as Zurlon ran for over 200 yards and multiple touchdowns on the day.

Tipton, who plays both ways for Parkway Christian, stands 6-0 1/4 and 195 pounds, runs the 40 yard dash in the mid-4.5's, and is also a standout basketball player having scored as many as 44 points in a game this past season. It is football that has shined the spotlight on Zurlon however. "When I went to the Michigan camp, I figured I would give it my best shot," he said. "I didn't really notice the Michigan coaches looking at me, but Coach (Fred) Jackson starting watching me as I went through my drills. As the day progressed, I noticed more coaches coming to watch me. I tried not to pay too much attention but I knew that I had done well when Coach Jackson came to talk to me and gave me his phone number. "

Did Tipton come to Ann Arbor a sleeper and leave with a concrete official offer? "No, they didn't offer me yet; Coach said he needed to watch me and to look at some film. As a matter of fact, my coach is preparing film to send to Michigan as we speak."

Rushing for over 1,800 yards with a 16 yard-per-carry average this past high school season, Tipton plans to visit other places and show more of his talents. "I attended camp at Ball State and I plan to go to Kansas and Purdue for some workouts."

He's giving Michigan another chance to watch him as well. "I'm already confirmed to come back for Michigan's (week-long) football camp. My coach and I will be up for all the days (this coming Monday - Thursday). I'm not sure if the Covenant guys will be there, but I'm making it up for sure."

With the assist from the Redford Covenant coach, GBW wondered how Tipton fared versus Covenant's Jamonne Chester in the state playoff match up. "I really didn't check Jamonne that much, they didn't throw the ball to him that often. Whenever they did, he was never on my side of the field."

Asked how he ended up at tiny Parkway Christian, Zurlon mentioned his mother, "I played little league football with the son of the superintendent. He thought I would do well at Parkway Christian and my mother agreed."

Zurlon is close to his mom, saying, "I who was very happy that he performed well at the Michigan camp. My mother called to see how I was doing and I told her how well I performed. I told her that the Michigan coaches were watching me and that Coach Jackson liked how I performed. She was happy to hear that."

Zurlon also noticed the progress around the Michigan football complex and couldn't help but be impressed by all of the construction, "The facility was beautiful and I liked it. Even though they are working on new additions, what they had was looking good."

"I like it."

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