Arnett backs it up

Hall of Fame pitcher Dizzy Dean used to say "It ain't braggin' if you can back it up." Thus, one visitor to Tennessee's recent football camp is merely stating facts when he describes his attributes.

"The thing I do best is set up a defender," heralded wide receiver prospect DeAnthony Arnett of Saginaw High School said by phone from Michigan. "When you get a certain route, you do a quick move, then hit 'em with something else. I also catch the ball with my hands. I'm fast off the line; I know I can escape the jam with my speed. I have acceleration after the catch, and I can go get the deep ball.

"I do pretty much everything well. I'm the total package. I compare myself to Michael Crabtree or Jeremy Maclin."

Crabtree was the 10th player taken in the recent NFL Draft following a standout career at Texas Tech. Maclin was pick No. 19 after a spectacular stint at Missouri.

Exploiting the fast turf and lack of pass rush in Tennessee's camp, the wideouts generally dominated the defensive backs in one-on-one drills. Few of the receivers were more dominant than Arnett.

"Everybody pretty much had their way," he said. "I know I had my way."

Only a junior, Arnett already ranks among the hottest receiver prospects in America. Michigan has offered a scholarship, and many more offers will be forthcoming in the next 18 months ... especially if the slender speedster can add some heft to his 6-0, 165-pound frame.

"I just need to get bigger and stronger," he said. "Those are the main two things I need to work on."

Arnett, who claims a 4.48 best in the 40-yard dash, says he reeled in around 35 catches for roughly 600 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore last fall.

He and teammate Greg Hayes drove all night from Michigan to attend the UT camp. Even so, they were two of the most impressive wideouts on hand. Moreover, they enjoyed the experience thoroughly.

"I thought it was a real good camp," Arnett said. "Everybody went hard, went after one another.

"And I really like Tennessee's coaches. They were really intense ... really into the camp."

Arnett plans to attend the Michigan State skills camp on Friday, the Michigan camp June 16-17 and possibly Kentucky's camp June 19. That's a busy calendar for someone who can't sign a college scholarship for another 18 months but he hopes to make a decision long before then.

"Probably the end of my junior year," he said.


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