Commit #13 & #14
|Watson on left, Canteen in white shirt. Image|
Meet Brandon Watson Meet Freddy Canteen
Scout: NR Scout: 3-star, #80 WR, NR OVR
ESPN: NR ESPN: NR
247Sports: 2-star, #120 WR, NR OVR 247Sports: 3-star, #103 WR, NR OVR
Rivals: 3-star, #56 CB, NR OVR Rivals: 4-star, #43 WR, NR OVR
Early yesterday morning, Michigan received commitments from teammates Brandon Watson and Freddy Canteen, who has my vote for name of the year, by the way. Watson is a physical, in-your-face corner while Canteen is a slot type, route running machine. Both attend Eastern Christian Academy in Maryland, but hail from Delaware. Here's Canteen's reaction:
Blessed and Committed to the University of Michigan #GoBlue! God is GoodLet's just dig right into what you all really want to know...why are these kids under the radar? Looking at their rankings, we see Watson being rated as high as a 3-star, but NR on two sites. Canteen is the more known prospect, receiving an impressive 4-star from Rivals, who has the most up to date rankings. He still get's 3-star status on Scout and 247Sports, and ESPN has nothing. Size wise? As I mentioned above, Canteen is a perfect fit for the slot at 6'0 170. Rivals tends to disagree, listing him at 6'3" (!!) which if true, this is an even bigger steal and my excitement level just skyrocketed through the roof. Watson is a big, long DB standing 6'1 (ESPN & 247Sports say 5'11") weighing 185 or so; Scout goes as high as 190.
— Fredd Canteen (@FreddCanteen_) June 29, 2013
Now to answer your question. Last season, ECA was only able to play 3 football games due to cancellations. Canteen finished the year with only 6 catches for 114 yards fergodsakes. Not a big enough sample size. So much of their rankings are solely based on that. It's not until camp season that these kids can get out and show what they can do. And just wait, the rankings will trend upward on the next go around. Here's proof from ECA's head coach Dwayne Thomas via ESPN:
“Being that we’re from Delaware, a lot of coaches don’t get a chance to see them in the spring because there is no spring football,” Thomas said. “So as they get out and get to camps, schools get a chance to see what their talent is.”At this point, all we can do is trust the Michigan coaches and their judge in talent. Both kids received their offers at Michigan's camp, the first time the coaches were able to see them perform. That says something. Coach Thomas believes Michigan is getting "the best route runner in the country" and a "unique player" in Watson:
“Freddy Canteen is, in my opinion, the best route-runner in the country. I think every camp that he goes to, people get a chance to find that out,” Thomas said. “And Brandon has this unique combination of speed, strength and hip flexibility that will allow him to be physical with the big receivers, and he’s agile enough to run and defend the smaller receivers as well.”Now I know this is their coach and you hear this kind of high praise all the time, but I think it's legit in these two cases. Every camp they go to, they both get rave reviews, out performing more well-known talent. For instance, Tom Loy of 247Sports ranked the top performers at PA SWAG 7on7 tournament a few months back; Watson comes in at #2 (!!!) and Canteen at 11:
2) CB Brandon Watson – Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian While most knew about Watson heading into the weekend, nobody expected the show that he put on. The 6-foot-0, 187-pounds cornerback rarely got beat and won the matchup against Godwin in the semi-finals. He displayed terrific ball skills, great speed and excellent footwork. Watson holds offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Temple and Rutgers with heavy interest coming from Syracuse and Maryland.
11) WR Freddy Canteen – Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Sills and Canteen connected often during this weekend. The 6-foot-0, 175-pound receiver was very difficult to defend and his routes were some of the best out of the entire camp. Canteen did plenty of talking on both days, but he backed it up every time. He currently holds offers from Maryland, Hawaii, Rutgers, Temple and others, but Canteen doesn’t claim a leader at this time.If you take a look at the article, a few things stand out. The #1 performer, WR Matt Godwin, lost his matchup with the #2 ranked player on the list, Watson, who rarely got beat?? Suuure. Canteen finished 2 spots ahead of WR target K.J. Williams. Most surprising is ATH Monte Nicholson coming in at #16. He has offers from everywhere! Even more praise for Canteen from ESPN's Jared Shanker:
Said this when #Michigan offered but Kareem Ali, a 2015 CB w/ offers from likes of Clemson & PSU, said Canteen the best opposing WR hes seenAnd he's not kidding. Ali will be a top prospect in the '15 class. Being a nightmare on the field for a top prospect: priceless.
— Jared Shanker (@JShankerESPN) June 29, 2013
Michigan now (technically) has 3-4 spots left. But have no doubt, this class will go beyond that limit and expect 6-7 more to join; Way to much talent still left with significant interest (Hand, McDowell, Williams). I'd say this closes the door on WR for the class, especially with Artavis Scott dropping Michigan from consideration after they accepted Canteen's commitment. Best of luck where ever he ends up. I'd say Hoke and co are done with the CB position, but still wants a safety in the class. It'll come down to a 3-headed battle between Parrker Westphal, Juju Smith, and Monte Nicholson.
Both had similar offers: UConn, Rutgers, and Temple. Watson also held a Boston College offer. Canteen's list was a bit more impressive with Tennesse, Maryland, and Hawaii also in the mix, with USC and West Virginia showing interest.
Could not locate any highlights, interviews,or clips for Watson; Nothing. Here's a small clip of Canteen's highlights via his Hudl page. And a small interview from a 2011 camp where Canteen earned WR MVP honors:
Something Scary to Think About
Michigan now has their slot receiver to weave in and out between the skyscrapers that Michigan has recruited to play on the outside, making him the 2014 version of the 2010 Roy Roundtree. Seeing action as a freshman is a good possibility. At CB, Watson will play opposite Jabril Peppers, providing Michigan with the most physical defensive backfield in the county with Dymonte Thomas holding down the safety position. Them providing a blanket over opposing receivers won't even compare to the physicality they will bring to stopping the run game.