Michigan Football will begin spring practice on March 16. In all they will have 15 practices that will conclude with the annual spring game at Michigan Stadium on April 13.
In this series I will break down each position group and make some way too early projections on who will be starting.
The running back position will remain clouded well into fall camp. It’s unclear when Fitz Toussaint will return from a major knee injury he suffered late last season. Michigan does have a good crop of young backs including incoming freshmen Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith.
RB Fitz Toussaint (Sr) He started 10 games last year, missing the opener due to suspension and the final 3 games because of injury. He was Michigan’s second leading rusher with 514 yards and 5 TDs. Toussaint rushed for 1,014 yards two years ago and is also a good receiver out of the backfield. If healthy, and it sounds like he is making good progress, Toussaint will start.
FB Sione Houma (So) He appeared in all 13 games last year on special teams and also made a few appearances at fullback.
Derrick Green (Fr) Green is a load at 6-foot, 220 and he is an ideal fit for the type of power running scheme Michigan wants to run. He was considered by many the top high school running back in the nation last year. Michigan has featured freshman backs before. Mike Hart took control of the RB position early in his freshman season and this Michigan staff will play the best players regardless of class.
Drake Johnson (RS Fr) He is a big back at 6-foot, 210 pounds. As a senior in high school he rushed for 2,805 yards and 37 touchdowns. The coaching staff likes his skill set and he impressed on the scout team last year.
Thomas Rawls (Jr): When Toussaint went down last year, Rawls wasn’t able to seize control of the job and he could get lost in the shuffle with all of Michigan’s big backs.
De’Veon Smith (Fr) Don’t sleep on Smith he is a very talented back and at 5-11, 218 he is yet another big, powerful running back that Coach Hoke covets.
Joe Kerridge (RS So) He is a very good blocking fullback and will see a lot of action this fall.