ALLEN PARK, Mich. - Some of the best high school football players in the state visited Lions practice Tuesday, getting a glimpse of where hard work can take them.
Understandably, every set of eyes was squarely focused on one man: Calvin Johnson.
"I was looking at Calvin Johnson. I can't believe he's really that big," East English Valley Prep tight end Khalid Hill said.
Even his teammates stare in awe sometimes.
"We'll be in the huddle, and I'll still be amazed looking at this dude. He's 6'5" and 240 pounds and runs like me," wide receiver Stefan Logan said.
Since every player can't be nicknamed after a giant metal robot, the prep stars looked on at some of the Lions they better related to.
"I was watching the linebackers out there, working their butts off. The hard work they go through is incredible," Brother Rice linebacker Jon Reschke said.
Reschke, committed to Michigan State, said playing on Sundays is a long term goal. He explained his motivation after seeing the professionals practice at such a high level.
"It sets my goals high."
Stephen Tulloch recalled watching his own favorite players, and one interaction that changed his career.
"I remember like yesterday, being in high school, having Zach Thomas come to my school. Seeing him, he wasn't the biggest player. It motivated me to be here today," he explained.
Detroit Martin Luther King quarterback Davaun Williams spent the morning watching Matthew Stafford and the Lions signal callers. He said picking up "pro habits" was the highlight of the morning.
"He is probably a heck of a lot more talented than I was in high school. That's for sure," Shaun Hill said.
"It takes constant reputation to make it look relatively natural. I say 'relatively' because I don't think I look too natural out there."
Whichever way you look at it, it was a chance to watch the Lions, and maybe take a peek into the future.
"These guys are NFL, it's crazy to think in the next four-five years I could be in the NFL, looking back, like I was just doing that interview with Channel 7," Kahlid Hill said.
The players were in Allen Park as part of the promotional tie-in for the Detroit Sports Commission Prep Kickoff Classic Aug. 24-25 at Tom Adams Field on the campus of Wayne State University.
Brad Galli is a Sports Reporter at WXYZ. Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradGalli .
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Latest Lions Headlines
He's an NFL wide receiver, a fan favorite and now, Nate Burleson can add 'Emmy nominee' to his name. He picked up a nomination for his work on WXYZ's Ford Lions Report Live. INSIDE: Watch the segment.
The Lions have escaped from the problem that is Titus Young, but Titus Young can't seem to escape trouble. The former Lions wide receiver was arrested for the third time in a week, according to reports.
Top Sports Headlines
Damien Brunner and Brendan Smith scored in the second period and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 Saturday in Game 2 to even their Western Conference semifinal series.
Miguel Cabrera went 3 for 4 with a go-ahead double in the sixth inning to back Rick Porcello and lift the Detroit Tigers over the Texas Rangers 2-1 Friday night in a matchup of division leaders.
As Detroit gets ready for Game 2 of its Western Conference semifinals against Chicago, we have found someone who might just be the No. 1 Red Wings fan in Detroit.
Geovany Soto ended Justin Verlander's night with a three-run homer that capped a seven-run third, and Yu Darvish lasted eight innings even though an anticipated pitching duel fizzled in the Texas Rangers' 10-4 victory against Detroit on Thursday.