Why Michigan Is Far Better Fit Than the SEC for 5-Star RB with NFL Speed

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIOctober 10, 2012

Via Rivals.com
Via Rivals.com

5-star running back Derrick Green could choose to go the SEC route, like many great running backs before him, or he could break the mold and commit to the University of Michigan.

He's an extremely talented back with the type of speed that would make some NFL running backs jealous, and he fits what the Wolverines are trying to do on offense perfectly. They need a superstar running back, and that's a need the Senior out of Hermitage High School in Virginia can fill.

He's 6'0'', 220 pounds according to Rivals.com, and he runs an incredible 4.40 40-yard dash. This is a high school Senior putting up NFL combine numbers folks. Green is the real deal. He's the perfect back to succeed in a pro-style offense, and he can help carry the load for the Wolverines.

Green has two SEC schools, Tennessee and Auburn, and Michigan on top of his interest list according to 247Sports.com. While the SEC will always be a big draw for talented players, especially running backs, it's easy to see that Michigan is the best option for Green.

When was the last time Michigan had an elite rusher in the backfield? They certainly didn't have one under Rich Rodriguez, and you can't count Denard Robinson in this situation, so let's give that honor to former running back Mike Hart.

Hart rushed for over 1,000 yards three times in his four years with Michigan, and he finished his career with 5,040 yards and 41 touchdowns. I think it's fair to call Hart an elite back during his time with the Wolverines.

Since Hart though, the Wolverines have struggled to find any relevant production in their backfield, and you can easily point to that as one of the many reasons Michigan experienced a fall from grace in the college football world.

Things are slowly but surely changing for Michigan with Brady Hoke at the helm though, and a big part of that change is moving back to a pro-style system of offense. In order for his offense to truly succeed though, Hoke needs to find a premier back, and Green can be just that.

Junior Fitzgerald Toussaint has been a revelation in the Wolverines backfield, but I wouldn't call him a premier back by any stretch of the imagination, and he won't be a long term guy in Hoke's system.

Green on the other-hand can come in with a fresh slate and learn the system from day one. It just makes too much sense.

His other two options in the SEC, Tennessee and Auburn, are currently really struggling. The Tigers are 1-4 (0-3 SEC) and Tennessee is 3-2 (0-2 SEC). Michigan isn't having the greatest year themselves at 3-2, but they are 1-0 in the Big Ten and Hoke's 2013 recruiting class is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation according to Rivals.

The future looks bright for Michigan. They have a commit from 5-star quarterback Shane Morris, who should be the right fit for the system, and Hoke is attracting a ton of talented players via recruiting.

Green has a chance to be one of those talented players, but it's so much more than that as well.

Green could go to the SEC and be another good back, or he could commit to Michigan, and be elite back that put the Wolverines back on top of the college football world. He certainly has the talent to do so. He's big enough to play strong between the tackles, but his speed makes him a home run threat.

The Wolverines are the best option for Green. In the SEC he could become a good back amongst many others.

At Michigan, he could become a legend.

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