The future in Michigan’s backfield may belong to über-recruit Derrick Green, but the here and now belongs to the incumbent.
Fitz Toussaint, the Wolverines’ leading rusher among running backs last season, missed the last two games of the season after breaking his leg in a win over Iowa last November. Returning from that injury that kept him out of spring practice as well, Toussaint has put considerable distance between himself and, among others, Green to win the starting job again.
At least, if the season began today he would.
“If we’re going to get technical about it, Fitz would be the starter,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said about the opener Aug. 31 against Central Michigan. “There’s a clear separation that Fitz is the guy.”
As for Green, it appears he’s a ways away from making any type of meaningful contribution.
Green, a five-star member of UM’s most recent recruiting class rated as the No. 1 RB in the country by Rivals.com, came to summer camp a bit on the hefty side and missed several practices due to an ankle issue. While Hoke said he’s looking to get the talented back additional reps, he also cautioned that the jump from high school to college, even for someone like Green, is a lot harder than it looks and comes with a steeper learning curve.
“Like most freshmen, they’re highly-touted and tremendous players and all those things,” Hoke said. “But that next step is a step that’s bigger than they may think.”
Interestingly, the Detroit News wrote, “Hoke mentioned, in order, Drake Johnson, Thomas Rawls and Justice Hayes as backs who have performed well, particularly in last Saturday’s scrimmage.” There was no mention of Green in that instance.