UM Camp 2008: In Pictures - Part 3

In today's photo essay, we again feature some of the camp's best performers. Among the players covered today, a couple of percocious underclassmen, some instate sleepers and a big legged kicker from the Lone Star State.

Jumping the gun: Saginaw freshman wideout DeAnthony Arnett tore up the younger defensive backs at the camp on day one and was quickly moved up the top group of upperclassmen. When he did the same thing to then, the eyes of the college coaches in attendance lit up just a bit. They also took notice of his 4.49 forty yard dash time. Also one of the top basketball players in the state for his grade, Arnett showed his potential in football.

Lineage: Detroit Crockett has sent a couple players to Michigan including John Thompson and Brandon Graham. This year, the Rockets have a fine prospect yet again in lineman Aaron McCord. McCord held his own at both offensive and defensive line during 1-1s.

Slash?: Inkster quarterback Devin Gardner tried some receiver too. Much to the surprise of several would-be defensive backs, the 6'4, 200-lber is quite a receiver as well. Making tough grab after tough grab, Gardner's athleticism was on display. However, he switched back to quarterback and did well there as well, proving he can be a player no matter where he lines up.

Stone's Throw: With Pioneer High School right across the street, QB Nader Furrha didn't have to travel far to get to the camp. He did have to do some work to grab the attention of college coaches in attendance though. Furrha did just that, showing a strong arm and good accuracy. Although the Wolverines have two quarterback commits, they offered him a preferred walk-on spot, but if his strong performances continue, he should end up on scholarship somewhere.

That's the Kicker: Anthony Fera came all the way up from Texas and kicked for the Michigan coaches. The big legged Fera boomed balls through the air, but was visibly nervous and as a result, did not have his best day. Still, he is on the team's short list of potential kicking prospects.

Watchful Eye: Troy (MI) linebacker Will Schwarz runs through a drill as a coach pays close attention. Only making it in for one day, the various coaches in attendance were eager to see the 6'4, 215-lb Schwarz in action.

Addicted to Speed: Cass Tech junior to be Dior Mathis runs his 40-yard dash. After running a 4.43 his first attempt, Mathis guaranteed a much faster time on run two. After his time of 4.28 was announced, Mathis and his teammates exploded into celebration, with Mathis shouting out, "I told you!"

Instate Battle: Two of the state's top sophomores, Mathis and Gardner go head to head in 1-1s. Although Mathis would stick right on his hip and almost get a hand on the ball, Gardner made a circus catch in the corner of the end zone on this play.

Back Again: After a nice performance as a freshman last summer, Waubonsie Valley (Naperville, IL) linebacker Ricky Simpson returned to Ann Arbor this year and was even more impressive. Simpson won the smokehouse race, earning the title of fastest linebacker at the camp.

Late Bloomer: Last summer at camp, Damond Smith was 5'7, 155-lb kid with such a babyface that he earned the nickname "Baby D." They might want to start calling him "Big D" now, not only because he grew to 5'10, 175, but also has developed into a fine defensive cover man. Smith continued his strong run of camp performances in Ann Arbor and is now up to four scholarship offers, all from MAC programs.

Three's Company: With two Cass Techers already in the '09 class (Teric Jones, William Campbell), the team's QB Thomas Gordon has not made it a secret that he would like to join his teammates at Michigan. The 5'11, 195-lb Gordon worked out as a safety and made three interceptions during 1-1s and 7-7s. He also ran a 4.51 and had Jones, who was not working out, singing his praises on the sidelines. After his performance that day, Gordon might not need the help.

Making a Name: With a name like Zurlon Tipton, you would think people would not forget about the Sterling Heights Parkway junior running back. But even after rushing for over 1800 yards last season, Tipton was still under the radar. After his fine recent camp performances and first offer from Ball State, you can bet more people will know his name than just the defenders reading the back of his jersey.

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