Saturday, March 07, 2009

Michigan Football Tidbits: Running Back's

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 2010 recruiting class with Michigan going after at least one, and probably two, top running backs. Our guess is they land one in-state running back and then bring in one from out of state.

Keep in mind, in this offense, sometimes the running back/slot receivers (example: 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 Shaw 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 needs to really step it up.

From a coaching standpoint, when players continue to be an issue academically, and semester to semester, are always borderline, they have a tendency to look at that player as one who "If they are around … great … but we have to have contingency plans".

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, this would leave Michigan with Smith and Cox next year.

So look for running back 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 -- 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 any other "big back" with a lot of experience. So the chances of a new "big back" recruit getting early playing time is high. This should be a big plus in Michigan's recruiting efforts for a pure running back.

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Written by MaizeMan and ErocWolverine


Jimmy jack said...

yikes, you are stating that Shaw has academic issues that could make him ineligible if he doesn't step up and take his studies seriously?

ErocWolverine said...

Jimmy jack:

He has work to do just like a lot of players this time of year. Some times players struggle not only on the field, but in the classroom.

When it happens on the field sometimes it happens in the classroom as well.

Hopefully he can get the help he needs and get healthy as well.

He can be a huge part of this offense this year if he is 100% healthy.

Jimmy Jack said...


He has no choice now to focus solely on his classes as he recoups from hernia surgery, which hurts like a bitch! He'll enjoy those vicodin.

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