Palmetto Florida's Brandon Tarpley (6-1, 190) is yet another Florida prospect that has the Michigan Wolverines high on his prospective college list. Only with this prospect, not the usual skill position type that has become customary in Ann Arbor of late ... he's a kicker. Nonetheless, he made a two day visit for Michigan's kicking camp, and put on quite a show.
"We had part of the competition yesterday," he told GoBlueWolverine, "and they selected seven of the more elite kickers at this camp and had them kick in front of the coaches. We woke up this morning, and did the same thing again ... but then they selected two kickers and I was one of them along with Mike Sadler."
While it's clear that Sadler is one of the top special team players in the nation, Tarpley showed that he was just as up to par.
"I feel that we were about even," he said humbly (to see why, click for Kicking Camp: Day 2 Punting-Competition.). " He's obviously a very good kicker. I think in kickoffs it seemed I had the edge, but he beat me in field goals. But in punting I believe we were about the same. We were pretty even."
It seems abundantly clear that Tarpley and Sadler are the two prospective punters that the Wolverines have in mind to handle the upcoming duties as current Wolverine punter Zoltan Mesko heads into his final year. The thought of joining the Maize and Blue is something Tarpley can definitely see.
"That would be amazing," he said. "I'm looking for my first offer right now, and if I was to get that offer, that would be amazing. Michigan is one of the top five schools in the country, and that's something every kid dreams of."
If the said offer should come, Tarpley isn't quite sure he'd jump right at, but the temptation would definitely be there.
"I don't know. I'd have to speak with my parents about it, but they're definitely one of my top schools."
The conversation with his parents, should it come to that, could be a short one ... Michigan sold Tarpley's mother, who accompanied him on his trip north.
"She loved it. She's seen the other schools we've gone too, and she thinks it's a very good school and she likes it a lot. I feel the same way."
Kicking wasn't the only thing on Tarpley's docket for his 48 hour stay. He got the full treatment of a prospect on an unofficial visit would.
"They showed me around the athletic facilities and showed me the new additions they're doing. Also, I toured around the campus. It's definitely one of the most beautiful campuses I've ever seen."
Making the long trip from Florida to Michigan on your own dime is not something many prospects and their families choose to do, unless the interest is very serious on both sides. With Tarpley and his family, it was seemingly a no brainer.
"What sold me was their interest and how big of a name it is. Not every kid gets invited to come up to Michigan and kick in front of the coaches to try and win a scholarship. I'm glad it was me, and it was an amazing experience, and it was an honor."
While no official offer has made its way to any specific punter yet, Tarpley could potentially be that man. As camp was wrapping up, Tarpley got some words of encouragement from members of the Wolverine coaching staff.
"They said that I'm a very high prospect. Coach Frey said I did very well today and they would definitely keep in contact with me."
"They were very impressed."
Tarpley Puts On A Kicking Show in A2
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