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De'Veon Smith had seven carries for 57 yards (8.1 YPC) during Michigan's 42-41 loss to Ohio State in 2013. Sadly, that's actually a gold star on the backfield's resume as it enters 2014.
With the addition of Ty Isaac, one would assume that Michigan's backfield would be incredible this fall. And that'd be correct, except there's one thing: Isaac, a USC transfer, has to get cleared by a hardship waiver in order for the NCAA to grant him eligibility. Otherwise, he has to wait until 2015.
But that doesn't mean that the Wolverines will be weak without him. They already had a promising set of sophomores ready to lead the way: Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith, who were two of the top backs of the 2013 class, mind you.
Now, let's assume that Isaac won't play this season. That's no big deal. Green and Smith have another year of experience and could provide upward of 1,500 yards when combined. Now, throw in Isaac and we're talking 2,000-ish at a minimum.
Note: Nussmeier is known for working a multiback system, so expect Smith and Green to see plenty of action; and should he be available, the same goes for Isaac. Smith is listed at No. 1 due to a stronger finish in 2013 and initial impressions. He could get the most touches this fall as the featured runner, while Green and (maybe) Isaac contribute as late-down backs.
Also, Drake Johnson, a 6'0", 212-pound RS SO, is expected to compete for playing time once he's fully recovered from an ACL injury sustained in Week 1 of the 2013 season.
Joe Kerridge, a 6'0", 247-pound redshirst junior, will likely be the starting fullback. With Nussmeier in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he could resurrect the position every now and then.
||De'Veon Smith (5'11", 223; SO)
||Derrick Green (5'11", 227; SO)
||Ty Isaac (6'3", 240; SO)