Michigan Football Tidbits: Running backs
Going into 2009, it looks like Michigan is deep at running back. However, the landscape could drastically change in 2010.
To maintain the depth at this position, look for running backs to become a big priority in the 2010 recruiting class, with Michigan going after at least one, and probably two, top recruits. Our guess is they land one in-state running back, and then bring in one from out of state.
Keep in mind that in this offense, sometimes the running back/slot receivers (e.g. Teric Jones) are lumped together with the pure running backs. Just to be clear, I'm talking about the players that strictly play running back.
The 2010 scenario:
1) Minor, Grady, C. brown—gone.
2) Toussaint—may or may not qualify.
3) Shaw—injury issue has been discussed (groin), but he seems to be one of those kids who needs to mature in terms of academic responsibilities. It is not uncommon for some football players to be on the edge and need increased help to accomplish goals, but Shaw really needs to step it up.
From a coaching standpoint, when players continue to be an issue academically, and are borderline from semester to semester, contingency plans need to be put in place.
We hope that, since he is a freshman, he will mature. Many players go through this phase, but some do not make it. If this happens, and Shaw washes out, it would leave Michigan with Smith and Cox next year.
So look for new running backs to be a huge need.
When considering the 2010 recruiting class, one thing to keep in mind is who actually plays this year.
Cox might be the only "big back" that will be around next year, but I do not see him getting a lot of snaps this year unless injuries force the issue. Coach Rod and the assistant coaches can use this to recruit the "elite" running backs.
They can sell the fact that Minor, who is/was a two-year starter, and will probably see a lot of snaps this year, is gone, and there isn't another "big back" with a lot of experience.
So the chances of a new "big back" recruit getting early playing time are high. This should be a big plus in Michigan's recruiting efforts for a pure running back.
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Written by ErocWolverine and MaizeMan