Now that all 27 members of the Michigan Wolverines' highly ranked class of 2013 have officially signed national letters of intent, it is time to examine which prospects have the best chance of cracking the starting lineup as true freshmen.
More than a dozen members of the Maize and Blue's 2012 haul saw the field in their first season with the Wolverines, so head coach Brady Hoke and his staff are more than comfortable giving freshmen quality playing time.
There are two incoming recruits primed to make an immediate impact this season for Team 134. Those prospects are 5-star running back Derrick Green (Richmond, Va.) and 3-star wide receiver Da'Mario Jones (Westland, Mich.).
Although Michigan's backfield already has plenty of depth, it is lacking a standout. All five of the Wolverines' backs only managed to grind out 942 rushing yards for Team 133.
Neither Fitzgerald Toussaint nor Thomas Rawls proved themselves to be the No. 1 running back on the roster a year ago.
Drake Johnson made some positive strides while redshirting last year, but Green is already stockier than his competition and will bring a physicality to the backfield MIchigan fans have not seen since Anthony Thomas suited up as a freshman back in 1997.
According to Chris Balas of TheWolverine.com, long-time running backs coach Fred Jackson had nothing but positive things to say about Green on national signing day:
He's a battering ram guy. If you looked at [former U-M back] Chris Perry, just imagine that's how Derrick Green looks. He's 235 pounds right now, wide shoulders, put together. You hit him, you feel like you're hitting a rock.
He was 260 and muscled down. He's a rock. He can make cuts, can run over you and - according to some guys at the U.S. Army game - he can also run away from you. Add it all together and you've got a pretty good football player.
Green is built to play in the Big Ten Conference and appears to have all of the tools to take over the top spot on the depth chart come Aug. 31.
Another position group lacking a game-changing athlete is Michigan's corps of receivers. Enter Da'Mario Jones.
Though Jones only garnered a 3-star ranking, the 6'2", 185-pounder drew some serious attention from the likes of the Georgia Bulldogs, UCLA Bruins, Florida State Seminoles and Alabama Crimson Tide.
Former 4-star prospect Amara Darboh is one of the favorites to replace departing senior Roy Roundtree, but Jones will have a great chance to become a starter because of his route-running abilities.
The John Glenn High School standout will arrive in Ann Arbor with a chip on his shoulder and he is determined to prove all of the recruiting analysts were wrong about him.
"I want to show people that I can compete at the highest level, and won't succumb to any kind of adversity," Jones told Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. "Basically, I want to show people that I'm a force to be reckoned with."
Jones will need to put on some weight shortly after getting on campus, and is going to have to display some more consistency catching the football in order to become a starter, though I would not bet against him.
Unless Darboh, Joe Reynolds or one of the other incoming freshmen emerge as a deep threat for Michigan early in the season, the door will be left open for Jones to rise to the top of the two-deep.
Wolverine fans should get to know the names Derrick Green and Da'Mario Jones, because they will both be starters for Team 134.
Note: All player rankings are courtesy of Rivals.com.
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