New Blue, Freddy Canteen

USA TODAY Sports

Michigan needed a slot receiver who can create separation on short to intermediate routes, and it got just that when it picked up Maryland prospect Freddy Canteen. How high is his ceiling, and just how soon could he see the field?

The class of 2014 needed at least two wide receivers–preferably three, with one being a slot–and it got its third in Elkton, Maryland slot receiver Freddy Canteen. Canteen attends Eastern Christian Academy, which is an online high school made up almost entirely by its football team. Don't be worried about the kids' ability to qualify: the school has had more than fifteen players come through and leave for college football.

Canteen's recruitment hasn't been too flashy. Rated as a three-star prospect by all but one major scouting network, he hasn't received much attention outside of the east coast. Rutgers, Connecticut and West Virginia all seemed to be in the fold for his services in the early running. Then Freddy attended Tennessee's annual football camp and received an offer on the spot, pushing the Volunteers into his top group with the usual Big East suspects. He came to Ann Arbor a few days later, receiving an unexpected offer from the Wolverines and rendering his recruitment all but over. He committed to Michigan eleven days later on June 29th.

Physically, Canteen looks like your typical pro-style slot receiver. Rivals reports that Canteen stands at 6'3", while everyone else has him pegged around 6'1" or under. He later told Steve Lorenz of 247 Sports that he's 6'1", so we can probably end the debate there. Canteen needs to get stronger, only weighing 175 pounds, but a playing weight of around 190 pounds won't be too hard to achieve with another year in high school and a few months in a college weight training program.

Freddy's feet are what make him such a valuable commitment in this class. Michigan really wanted elite athlete Artavis Scott to fill the void in the slot, but Canteen is much more polished as a route runner and as a receiver in general. He's living proof of why ladder and cone drills can improve a player's ability to cut:

Canteen beat corners at Michigan's camp with sharp, precise route running and should be able to put up solid numbers in college because of his ability to create separation on routes, much like Jeremy Gallon does. Canteen isn't slow by any means, but I still don't think he's going to be a true deep threat in college; I would peg him in the mid 4.5s if I had to guess. That number won't matter if Al Borges puts him in the slot and gives him the opportunity to beat corners with double moves and slashing routes. Combine his route running skills with his solid hands and you're looking at a kid who could contribute in year one, especially if Da'Mario Jones ends up being moved around.

The commitment from Canteen almost certainly ends Michigan's pursuit of wide receivers in this class. Artavis Scott is set to announce in favor of Clemson at The Opening, and any other receiver is either leaning away from Michigan or completely out of the fold at this point. The need to take another receiver isn't there when Michigan already has an all-around talent in Drake Harris, a big-bodied project in Maurice Ways, and a quick slot in Freddy Canteen.

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