The Wolverine

March 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 71 of 213

Freddy Canteen was only a soph- omore when Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy head coach Dwayne Thomas first thought his standout had a chance to play at the high-major collegiate level. He'd been a tireless worker since middle school, Thomas remem- bered, but when his body started to match his work ethic, it made for some- thing special. It took a while, though, before Canteen started getting the offers he hoped for. He started catching scouts' eyes dur- ing the seven-on-seven season heading into his junior year, earning offers from Rutgers, Maryland and Hawaii. His strong showing last spring with New Level Athletics seven-on-seven took him to another level, allowing him to demonstrate his outstanding route running and quickness. Canteen put those skills on display at the June 2013 Michigan camp over the summer, earning an offer shortly thereafter. He pledged to the Wolver- ines about a week later. "His work ethic is unmatched," Thomas insisted. "When you watch him, regardless of what's being done in practice, he's going to do it on his own. He and [fellow U-M signee] Brandon [Watson] will bring out cones, ladders and everything else and just work. "He's like [NFL Hall of Fame re- ceiver] Jerry Rice the way he's go- ing to work his skill. He's very, very focused and motivated on being the best ever. He's talking about being on the Mount Rushmore of receivers when all is said and done, so he puts in that kind of work. "Freddy's not a partier, a kid who has any distrac- tions — there's nothing he does that's not productive to being the best student- athlete he can possibly be. I saw that work ethic in middle school." Offers didn't come un- til later in his prep career, though, and even then, they weren't pouring in over the summer. He finally reached four-star status ( by the end of Au- gust, but still only checked in as the nation's No. 47 receiver. Some players use the rankings as motivation, the chip on their shoul- der that makes them even better. Canteen, though, never paid atten- tion to them. "Honestly, I don't care about that," he said. "I've been underrated all my life, so I'll just continue to work. I feel I've got the route running and the speed — every camp I came out and went as hard as I could go." He earned offers at each of the camps he and several of his East- FREDDY CANTEEN HOPES TO PLAY EARLY AT RECEIVER rates Canteen as a four- star recruit, the No. 9 prospect in Maryland and the No. 47 wide receiver nationally. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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