Recapping Michigan’s Open Spring Practice at IMG Academy

By now, Michigan’s spring break trip to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida has been well covered and documented. And for good reason. Not only did the camp draw up a ton of attention off the field, it was also a huge success on the field.

I was able to speak with Michael Robinson, aka Sleep, from SleeperAthletes.com about his trip to Bradenton on Friday to see the Wolverines in action.

“I loved it! (First thing I thought was) Was this the Big House Jr? There were so many Michigan fans that it took me 45 minutes just to get into the stadium”, Sleep said. But UM fans weren’t the only people in attendance. He also mentioned the funny moment when a couple Ohio State fans were booed by the Wolverine faithful.

One of the main reasons the spring break trip was such a big deal was because of the fuss brought up by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. Well, Sleep had a similar take on it as most Michigan fans. “(They’re just) mad they didn’t think of it first”.

Everyone knows the real reason Sankey and others were against the trip: Recruiting advantages. Well, from the outside, it looked like a huge advantage for UM but, according to Sleep, it wasn’t able to be seen by many recruits because of the time and date.

“Not many recruits were able to make it because it was during the day and they were all in school”. He also added that because of The Opening Miami camp and 7v7 tournament happening this past weekend, most players from South Florida were unable to make the drive to Bradenton.

Don’t let that be confused with players not being interesting in Michigan. Sleep is dialed into the South Florida recruiting trail better than most and has already seen the interest pick up with top players out of the area thanks to the 2016 haul (Devin Bush Jr., Josh Uche, Devin Gil and Josh Metellus specifically).

As for the practice itself, there were a large number of players that Sleep mentioned as standout performers, including several early enrollees:

  • WR Ahmir Mitchell
    • “Great kid. Definitely looks the part and I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts this fall”.
  • QB Brandon Peters
  • DE Taco Charlton
  • CB Jourdan Lewis
  • S/LB Jabrill Peppers
    • “Peppers always looks good and is really adjusting to the linebacker position”
  • CB Channing Stribling
  • LB Devin Bush Jr
    • “Bush Jr. should start this fall”
  • QBs Shane Morris and John O’Korn
  • RBs Kareem Walker and DeVeon Smith
    • “Kareem really turned the corner well”
  • TEs Jake Butt and Sean McKeon

While Michigan’s players looked good, Sleep left the open practice with a new favorite college football coach:

“Man, after Friday, (Harbaugh) is my favorite coach of all time! The reason why, he does not beat around the bush….I see what he’s doing I see his vision and I get it. (Like myself) He holds his players accountable for their mistakes”, Sleep said. He talked about the moment early on in practice when Harbaugh started calling out players individually for their drops.

“I love Harbaugh. He’s a different type of dude. He has a ‘Us vs the World’ mentality”, he added. “He’s smart and doing everything he can in recruiting. He’s doing what he has to do to get the best players to come to Michigan.”

The mix of Harbaugh’s coaching, the returning talent and the young talent he’s brought in has Sleep believing Michigan is in for a top 10 year in 2016 and setting themselves up for a run at the College Football Playoffs in 2017. Especially after they bring in some more talent.

Make sure to check out and follow @SleeperAthletes on Twitter and like them Facebook for great picture and updates on South Florida recruiting, including some of Michigan’s top recruiting targets.

Photo Credit: TIFFANY TOMPKINS/Bradenton Herald

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