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Despite injury, Freddy Canteen contributes as unselfish leader for ND

| Friday, November 17, 2017

Transfer graduate student Freddy Canteen has had an impressive career thus far. In high school, the Maryland native was a four-star prospect and ranked by 247Sports as the No. 41 wide receiver in the country.

As a senior at Eastern Christian High School, he played against his future Irish teammates [junior quarterback] Brandon Wimbush, [senior offensive lineman] Jimmy Byrne, [sophomore offensive lineman] Liam Eichenberg and [junior cornerback] Shaun Crawford.

The wide receiver played at Michigan throughout his undergraduate career. As a freshman, he played 11 games and started two of them. However, as a sophomore, he only played in six games due to an injury and was unable to play junior year due to an injury. Canteen graduated from Michigan in just three years.

During graduate school, Canteen made the decision to transfer to Notre Dame.

Michelle Mehelas | The Observer
Irish graduate student wide receiver Freddy Canteen comes off the field with his teammates during Notre Dame’s 49-16 win over Temple on Sept. 2.

“I thought the opportunity here was great. Academics played a huge part, trying to pursue a master’s degree here,” Canteen said. “I’m not sure what yet, but overall [I transferred because of] the opportunity with the coaches and the degree.”

The original idea to transfer was actually initiated by Notre Dame.

“It was random. I got a call from one of my old coaches from high school saying that Notre Dame was interested,” Canteen said. “From there we set up an official visit. I liked what I had seen on campus. I liked what I heard from the coaches, players as well. I kind of thought this is the place for me. As far as academically, I graduated from Michigan in three years so it wasn’t a big deal.”

In terms of the differences between age-old rivals, Notre Dame and Michigan, Canteen said the only major one is in the coaching staff.

“[Notre Dame is] one of the most prestigious programs in football. I don’t really see too many differences,” Canteen said. “The only differences would be the coaches I would say. The atmosphere with the coaches is different.”

After transferring onto the team, Canteen came in ready to prove himself.

“I just wanted to come in to show the players and the coaches what I could do,” he said. “Just show them that I’m here and committed. Obviously, the injury was a little setback, but it’s like I said, again it doesn’t hinder my thought process.”

Canteen started his first two games here at Notre Dame against Temple and Georgia, but unfortunately is out for the season with a torn labrum. Canteen commented on his injury, saying that he is healing well.

“The coaches, the trainers, the strength staff have done a tremendous job in helping me rehab and get back into things. I appreciate everything they’re doing for me,” Canteen said. “They’re with me 100 percent, I’m with them 100 percent. Everything’s going well.”

Canteen has torn his labrum twice, but he said his faith in God has helped see him through the tough times.

“I think everything happens for a reason,” he said. “I feel like my story already written.vThe injuries, I feel, are just the test of my faith, with the Lord. I’ll continue to work hard and do what I do, keep competing and try to fulfill my dreams.”

On and off the field, Canteen considers his role to be the best teammate that he can be. He is closest with junior wide receiver C.J. Sanders, junior running back Josh Adams, Crawford and graduate student wide receiver Cam Smith on the team. He considers God and his mother to be his greatest role models.

Until graduation, Canteen is focused on the rest of this football season.

“For the team of course we want to win a national championship,” Canteen said. “Personally, I just want to continue to be a good teammate, get back to 100 percent and help any way I can and help us reach that goal of national championship.”

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