Michigan Football Recruiting: Freshmen Who Will Come Up Big for Blue Next Season

Steven SlivkaCorrespondent IIIJanuary 30, 2013

Brady Hoke has done a solid job recruiting this year.
Brady Hoke has done a solid job recruiting this year.Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

After an exciting first year in 2011 under head coach Brady Hoke, Michigan had a down year in 2012.

The future looks bright for the Wolverines, though, as they quickly put together one of the top recruiting classes in the country once again.

The kids are buying what Hoke is selling, as the maize and blue continue to be the colors of choice for several of the nation's top recruits.

Here are a few of the prospects who will make an early impact on a Michigan team that looks to rebound from a five-loss season.

Derrick Green, RB

The No. 5 running back in the country according to ESPN is sure to make an immediate difference in the Wolverines' running game.

Michigan averaged 184 yards per game on the ground last season, but a majority of those yards came from quarterback Denard Robinson, who has already entered the NFL draft.

Running back Fitzgerald Touissant had a down year in 2012 after rushing for over 1,000 yards the year before. Injuries sidelined Touissant throughout the season, and it's unsure how effective he'll be once he returns.

That is why Green's arrival is so vital to this team.


Taco Charlton, DE

What can be said that hasn't already been said about a guy named Taco?

The Ohio native committed to Michigan back in February of 2012, and the Wolverines will be getting a 6'6, 249-pound defensive end to rush the versatile quarterbacks in the Big Ten.

Rivals.com gave Charlton a four-out-of-five star rating when they scouted the defensive end, and his eagerness is sure to translate on the field once he dons the maize and blue next season.


Ross Douglas, CB

To say that Michigan was bitten by the injury bug last season is nothing short of an understatement.

Cornerback Blake Countess was done for the season after he tore his ACL in the team's opening day blowout to Alabama.

Ross Douglas will help out the Wolverines' secondary with his range, as well as his speed.

He ran a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, which helps make up for his undersized 5'10, 180-pound frame.

Head coach Brady Hoke praised sophomore Raymon Taylor last season for improving his game as he was forced to take the reigns in the secondary.

J.T. Floyd is gone and Countess is coming off major knee surgery. Douglas could see action sooner than anticipated once the Wolverines open the season.


Chris Fox, OT

The Wolverines were able to land the top offensive lineman from the state of Colorado when Chris Fox committed to Michigan last February.

Fox is listed as the 11th-best offensive tackle in the country according to rivals.com, and the Wolverines will need him to help set up running lanes for fellow freshman Derrick Green.

Fox also received offers from Colorado, Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue and Tennessee, but Michigan was the only school he visited.

The Wolverines also recruited Patrick Kugler from Pennsylvania to help build one of the best offensive lines in the country.