Derrick Green (via 247Sports)
From the time Hoke first arrived on campus in 2011, he often spoke of the transition from Rich Rodriguez' read-option offense to an I-formation, "smash-mouth" attack. But with dual-threat quarterback Denard Robinson at the helm, Hoke elected to place the new offense on hold.
Now that Robinson is headed to the NFL, Hoke can dust off the playbook, which was used by Michigan for 35 of the last 40 seasons.
The Wolverines will feature an explosive tailback who will run effectively between the tackles and a quarterback who will be comfortable in the pocket.
Devin Gardner, who subbed for the injured Robinson late in the 2012 season, proved he has the ability to be successful in the new system.
The chief concern is at tailback, where incumbent Fitzgerald Toussaint's availability may be in doubt since he suffered a season-ending leg injury during the Iowa game. In addition, pundits question his ability as a power runner, even though he ran for over 1,000 yards as a read-option tailback in 2011.
Spring practice might not supply the answer, either. Power runner Thomas Rawls, who showed signs of becoming a solid contributor during the season, was surprisingly kept out of the Outback Bowl, while 5'10", 183-pound Justice Hayes is more about speed than power.
Dennis Norfleet is similar in stature to Hayes, but redshirt freshman Drake Johnson could be a pleasant surprise. The 6'0", 209-pounder ran for 2,805 yards his senior year at nearby Ann Arbor Pioneer, while also earning All-American honors as a 110-meter hurdler.
Seriously, Michigan fans see the real battle occurring this fall when the nation's No. 1 rated tailback Derrick Green arrives along with DeVeon Smith, the No. 1 back from Ohio.
Also, keep an eye out for incoming freshman Wyatt Shallman from Detroit Catholic Central. At 6’3”, 245 pounds, Shallman has mentioned playing tailback at Michigan, but will most likely end up at fullback or defensive end.