After tweaking the hamstring that kept him out of his entire senior season at Grand Rapids Christian in 2013, freshman wide receiver Drake Harris has been limited in recent days at Michigan's spring practice and confirmed on Tuesday that he likely won't play for the rest of camp or in the spring game.
Harris said the following, per Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com:
It's nothing too major, I pulled it, so I think I'm probably going to sit out the rest of spring. It's nothing major. I'm just still trying to get stronger in the weight room and get back.
It's pretty frustrating, but I've played basically the whole spring (until now). I've learned a lot. So I'll stay focused and stay positive.
It's a good sign that Harris has dismissed the severity of the hamstring pull, also saying that "The way I felt it this time was a lot different from what I did in high school." If he's telling the truth, he should be a full go for fall camp and be ready for the start of the season.
That would be big for the Wolverines. Per the 247Sports composite, Harris was the No. 7 receiver, No. 67 overall player and No. 3 prospect from the state of Michigan this past cycle, ranking higher than each of Michigan's other early enrollees and second highest in the class behind 5-star athlete Jabrill Peppers.
At 6'4'', Harris has the size to become a target on the outside as immediately as his true freshman season. Especially with four of the five leading wide receivers gone from last season—chief among them Jeremy Gallon, but also including Drew Dileo, Jeremy Jackson and Joe Reynolds—there is opportunity for a player to see the field no matter his age or experience level.
In Harris' wake, even more opportunity will be afforded to fellow early enrollee Freddy Canteen, who has enjoyed a strong camp to date and is making a push for early playing time. He is shorter (6'1'') and faster than Harris, angling more to replace Dileo in the slot than Gallon on the outside, but now, at the very least, more coaching attention can be focused on Canteen's development.
New offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier was never afraid to play true freshmen at Alabama—e.g. Amari Cooper in 2012.
If Harris or Canteen (or both) earn their spot on the field, they will not have to wait long before seeing it.
Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT