Day Two At US Army All Star Practice

Today was a little shorter than yesterday's because the players go to a Rotary Club dinner tonight (where the Player of the Year award is given out). Here's how our day went, including 2nd interviews with <B>Prescott Burgess</B> and <B>LenDale White</B>.

As we were getting out of our car at 8AM at the Alamadome, we saw ESPN's Trev Albert and Mark May walking in. The West team was just beginning practice. We went over and shook hands with Albert and May (I remembered how 'regular' Chris Mortenson was at the Elite 11 camp this summer as we sat and talked for a couple hours back then). Turns out they were not really 'up' on the high school players (and Tom Lemming hadn't arrived yet), so Trev Albert marked his media guide and took notes as we gave them 8-10 kids on each team to be sure were included in the selective interviews they were about to do. Later we did a little interview of our own with Albert and his views on the Big Ten -- Matt will put up that interview some time soon. But Albert and May were friendly and, like Mortenson, just 'regular' guys. Trev is quite a personality! Oh yeah, Trev was listening in during our interview with LenDale White -- finally he sat down and said, "Hey, how come you're not listing Nebraska (Albert's alma mater)?" Lendale: "Nebraska? Are you kidding? I'd rather go to K-State!" We all laughed about that one (and Trev was just kidding with his Nebraska query).

We spend some time talking once again to Garrett Rivas' father. He retold the story of how Garrett became a kicker. "He was a soccer player in middle school. So in the 9th grade when he tried out for football, Jay Feely (the former Wolverine great was also a former Tampa Jesuit player and coached there at the time) came along and said, 'We're looking for a kicker. Anyone here play soccer?' Garrett and a few others raised their hands. After a tryout Garrett won the job. He also played wideout for a couple years -- that was my position when I played with the Saints in their 'Ain'ts' days -- but by the end of his sophomore year he was strictly a kicker." Mr. Rivas also told us about coming to the Washington game for Garrett's official visit. "After the game (in which Michigan missed several field goals before Phillip Brabbs kicked the game-winner) Coach Campbell came in to the stands and said to us, "I TOLD you we need a kicker. NOW do you believe me?" And, of course, Garrett committed at the visit.

We had another nice talk as well with Ryan Mundy's dad, who told us about the innovative technique he used to teach Ryan his coverage skills. Sam Webb will elaboarte on this in a forthcoming report.

It's fun watching the kids off the field as well. Ryan Mundy has become friends with Prescott Burgess. We watched Clayton Richard in a friendly wrestling match with Ill. LB Corey McKeon, and Shawn Crable vs. his friend Mo Dampeer too. And all the kids, on the East team particularly it seemed to me, were fast becoming friends.

We also talked to Tom Lemming, as we did yesterday several times. Lemming said, "Prescott Burgess told me too that he's leaning to Michigan. Crable was there with him at the time and said he is too. So I don't know, but that's what they said."

In the afternoon was the 'Skills Competition'. The 'ball-shooting' machine wasn't operating properly for the receiver competition, so there was a multi-way tie for first in that (that is, the balls were easy to catch). The winner of the passing competition (throwing the ball through small holes in a tarp set up about 10 yards away) was Kyle Wright (who hit on 4 of 5 throws, an amazing mark) with runner-up Clayton Richard. Afterward we asked Wright about Sam Keller: "Sam is great. Big, strong, with a great arm. Hopefully we'll play again some day (Wright is going to Miami)! Who's the better of the two of us? (grinning) I'll never answer that one!"

We got in some interesting interviews again, which are linked to the premium message board as follows:

Prescott Burgess

LenDale White

The Michigan Insider Top Stories