Michigan football players pass on life advice to youths at Cass Tech – Detroit Free Press

5 months ago Comments Off on Michigan football players pass on life advice to youths at Cass Tech – Detroit Free Press

The Michigan wide receiver was one of the players mentoring youth at the Youth Impact Program at Detroit Cass Tech on Monday. Video by Perry A. Farrell/DFP

It was Maize and Blue day at Detroit Cass Tech on this afternoon.

Four sophomores and four freshmen from the Michigan football team took part in a mentoring endeavor with the Marines and the Youth Impact Program for athletes in sixth through eighth grades.

A player draft took place with about 100 youngsters being selected for the maize team or blue team.

Ian Bunting, Tyree Kinnel, Grant Perry, Alex Malzone, Jared Wangler and Andrew Robinson showed up for the draft and talk to the youngsters about the importance of athletics and education.

The group will spend two weeks with the players in July 11-22.

Former U-M running back Harlan Huckleby was emcee of the draft and Braylon Edwards and Jimmy King showed up for additional support.

“To be perfectly honest. it’s using your opportunity in football to get what you need,” is Huckleby’s message. “You get an opportunity to go to college and get a higher education. Don’t let the game use you, you use the game. One thing my buddy Russell Davis used to do is that he’d give a speech and bring a deflated football on stage. Sooner or later the air is going to come out.”

Perry and Malzone presented different spectrums of being a Michigan football player as a freshman.

Perry, a late commitment to the 2015 class, played as a freshman. Malzone, his high school teammate and quarterback at Birmingham Brother Rice, redshirted and is fighting to see the field in a deep quarterback pool.

“Right now we’re in spring term taking classes,” said Malzone. “We’re in our discretionary period. Workouts start the second week in June so we’re all pretty excited about that. We’re working out ourselves. We’re working as a team. Quarterbacks and receivers are still working out together.

“I’ve learned a lot about being a better football player and a better person. I think that’s what the University of Michigan forms you into. Obviously, we had a pretty good year last year and we’re looking forward to an even better year this year. Being a part of this is a way of giving back to the program.”

The Birmingham Brother Rice product is one of the mentors in the Youth Imact Program that met Monday at Detroit Cass Tech. Video by Perry A. Farrell/DFP

Earlier in the day, only Alabama was given better odds to compete for the national championship. U-M came in second at 7-to-1.

“That would be awesome,” said Malzone. “That’s definitely one of our goals as a team. I feel like we have a lot of guys coming back that can do it. Playing for Coach (Jim) Harbaugh keeps you ready. We compete every day.”

Perry said he doesn’t pay the playoff talk any attention, but added that seeing the field as a freshman was ‘a fantastic experience.’

“I’ll try to tell these kids to focus in the classroom,” he continued. “That’s what you’re going to have to bank on at the end of the day. Sports doesn’t last forever, so do good in the classroom and do good on the field.”

Edwards, who played for Harbaugh when he was in San Francisco, would like to connect with the current coaching staff.

“It’s good for Michigan to give back to the city of Detroit,” Edwards said. “Detroit has been a pillar of all the athletes who have played at Michigan. A lot of them come from Detroit. We’re emphasizing education and sports. You’re letting them see both sides at a young age.”

Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or pafarrell@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @farrellperry.

Free Press sports writers Mark Snyder and Shawn Windsor talk about the hot U-M topics, and much of it revolves around Harbaugh.

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