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June 20, 2013

Michigan Camp: Final Day Notes

The final morning of Michigan's 2013 summer camp was as notable for the off-field action as what took place on it. Only a handful of the best prospects from the week remained to compete in Thursday's half-session.

That included new U-M offer Jon Runyan Jr., who had one last go-round playing mostly tackle. The 2015 product of Philadelphia St. Joseph's Prep had his ups and downs, but the offensive line on the whole lost the competition against the defensive linemen.

Once more, that unit was led by Matthews (N.C.) Butler 2015 defensive tackle Jalen Cousar. While his 5-11, 270-pound frame isn't going to wow college coaches, he simply has what it takes to get the job done on the inside. Whether he plays at a lower level, grows to BCS size, or simply finds a coaching staff willing to take a risk on a smaller guy, Cousar should be productive despite his size at the next level.

Another defensive lineman who I saw plenty of this week - but had mostly struggled - was 2014 Hawaiian tackle Kalani Vakameilalo. He was much better on this day, overpowering some of the less prominent offensive lineman.

It wasn't all bad for the offense. 2014 San Diego (Calif.) Scripps Ranch offensive lineman Aaron Miller once again looked good. Although it looks unlikely that Michigan will have room for him in the 2014 class, he's one whose development the Wolverines' coaching staff will monitor.

At other positions, the banner talent wasn't quite there. Many of the top running backs, linebackers, and other skill players had already left.

A player who camped all week - but caught my eye for the first time Thursday morning - was Grandville (Mich.) 2014 cornerback Danil Young. He already holds an offer from Ohio University, and seems to prefer football over high-level interest in baseball.

Quarterback Joshua Jackson - whose father, Fred, is U-M's running backs coach - looks the part physically, and while he has some footwork to clean up, could be a potential option down the road. He's not quite as tall as older brother Jeremy, but has a thicker build.

Finally, the off-field action. The Michigan coaches (particularly headman Brady Hoke and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison) gave impassioned speeches about the virtues of Michigan, and what sets U-M apart from other colleges in terms of standards in the classroom and expectations on the gridiron. A couple highlight videos to tie the whole thing together ended the week for campers.


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