This year's edition of the Sound Mind Sound Body camp was held on the campus of Wayne State University in Downtown Detroit.
Year-in and year-out, the camp features some of the best high school football talent in the Midwest with some of the nation's top collegiate programs, including Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Alabama and more, in attendance to coach up the young men on and off the field.
The two-day event came to a close on Friday afternoon with Maize n Brew in attendance. Here is what stuck out the most:
Harbaugh in Heaven
Perhaps the biggest observation on my end of things on Friday was how much Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh seemed to be enjoying himself. Normally at camps like this, coaches will tend to huddle together and speak among themselves, but he was all over the field not only giving feedback, but being very friendly and outgoing with prospects and fans.
Despite what some pundits would lead people to believe, this is not a self-promotion tour from him. He genuinely seems to enjoy coaching and being around the game and wants to do as much of it as possible. There is little-to-nothing when it comes to "hey look at me" antics. He likes and wants to be there, and many of the other head coaches and staffers in attendance seemed to share that sentiment.
Most of, if not all of Michigan's football staff was present in Detroit on Friday. The media spoke to Greg Mattison, Tim Drevno and Don Brown and others in scrums throughout the camp and the overwhelming response to how the satellite camp tour has gone so far was positive. All three said that it helps to be able to feed off of Harbaugh's energy, but that it has also been a pleasant experience.
I spoke to a handful of assistants from a few other programs throughout the duration of the camp and they all agreed that the recruiting benefits are not as big as they are made out to me. For the most part, these staffs know who they are recruiting and who they are in on and added that they would not be there if they did not want to be.
And yes, there were Alabama assistants in attendance as well, but they have made their way north for this camp pretty much every year recently.
Former and Current Wolverines Lending a Hand
SMSB has produced several collegiate and NFL prospects throughout the years and it is always interesting to see who comes back to be a part of it.
Former Wolverine linebacker Larry Foote, now coaching with the Arizona Cardinals, was one of the first speakers of the day, while former U-M wide receiver Devin Funchess of the Carolina Panthers made his presence known as an on-field instructor.
Michigan running back great Mike Hart, now on Syracuse's coaching staff, was also in attendance. Jack Miller, who retired from football last off-season, is now a graduate assistant with the University of Toledo.
Many current Wolverine players were also at the camp. Wide receiver Moe Ways, who is still working his way back from a foot injury and was in a walking boot, was helping coach on the field. David Dawson, Lavert Hill, Khalid Hill, Ian Bunting and others were also there to help give back to the camp.
Now to the stuff that the people are really waiting for:
How did the recruits look?
It is difficult to make snap judgments when prospects are out there in shorts and shirts with so much game film readily available online to go back to nowadays, but a few guys definitely stood out.
Class of 2017 Detroit King athlete Ambry Thomas had a really nice day and was fired up throughout. Wide receiver KJ Hamler, who will be transferring to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, was all over the place on Friday, as well.
Those are a pair of names everyone, at least most, know. As far as someone that jumped out that maybe some may not know yet was 2018 TE/WR L'Christian Smith out of Dayton, Ohio. He stands at 6-foot-6 entering his junior year of high school and physically looks the part of a college athlete already.
We caught up with a few prospects following the conclusion of the camp, including the above mentioned Thomas. It sounds like he wants to stretch out his recruitment until the end, but has eight or so schools in mind. Michigan, MSU and OSU are all very much in the mix, but he also named Arizona as a school to watch, too.
Class of 2017 defensive back Allen Strizinger says that his heart is still at running back, but is okay with playing defensive back in college, which is where Michigan is currently recruiting him. Syracuse and Michigan State are in play here, as well. He is weighing all of his options and says he wants to make a decision by this August.
We'll have more fallout from SMSB and more throughout the weekend.