- Chantel Jennings, ESPN Staff Writer
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan’s summer football camp has always been a place for under-the-radar talent to be seen by the Wolverine coaching staff. Last summer, the camp produced an offer and commitment from 2013 cornerback Channing Stribling.
Last week, 2015 offensive lineman Jon Runyan Jr. (Philadelphia/St. Joseph’s) turned his camp offer into a verbal commitment. And on Saturday, two more camp offers turned into commitments.
The Wolverines picked up commitments from high school teammates Brandon Watson (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) and Freddy Canteen (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy), Eastern Christian Academy coach Dwayne Thomas confirmed to ESPN.com via phone.
“When you put together the combination of athletics and academics together, for them, Michigan was a no-brainer,” Thomas said.
Canteen and Watson are the Wolverines 12th and 13th commitments in the 2014 class.
Watson will play exclusively as a cornerback for Michigan, so he’ll join Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic), the No. 1 CB in the nation, in Michigan’s secondary. Canteen is Michigan’s third wide receiver commitment, joining two in-state commitments -- Drake Harris (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) and Moe Ways (Beverly Hills, Mich./Detroit Country Day).
Eastern Christian Academy is not the typical high school. It has produced several top recruits, including 2015 USC quarterback commit David Sills (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy), but it doesn’t have a typical high school foundation.
It lacks “any traditional school components, such as a building or full-time faculty” and is “partnered with National Connections, a nationally accredited online institution, to design and administer courses for the students,” according to a September 2012 Washington Post article.
So while the headquarters for Eastern Christian Academy is in Maryland, the two boys are actually from Delaware, which has been a reason why the two prospects haven’t had a ton of attention, according to their coach.
“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.”
Canteen chose Michigan over offers from Hawaii, Maryland and Rutgers, while Watson picked the Wolverines over Boston College, Connecticut, Rutgers and Temple.
However, Thomas believes the two were under-recruited and will excel at Michigan under the tutelage of secondary coach Curt Mallory and wide receiver coach Jeff Hecklinski.
“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.”
5dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney