November 10, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (28) runs the ball as Northwestern Wildcats safety Jared Carpenter (27) and defensive lineman Quentin Williams (88) defend in overtime at Michigan Stadium. Michigan won 38-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Michigan Wolverines Football Preview: Running Backs

The Michigan Wolverines running game will feature two upperclassmen in redshirt senior Fitzgerald Toussaint and Junior Thomas Rawls. Incoming freshmen phenom, Derrick Green will be also be contending for the starting spot in the deepest position on the Michigan Wolverines Football roster.

Fitzgerald Toussaint

The Michigan running game will be lead by redshirt senior Fitzgerald Toussaint, returning from an broken leg suffered during the Iowa game last season.  In a March interview, Toussaint told ESPN’s Michael Rothstein that he felt 85-90% and that his recovery is ahead of schedule.  Toussaint also described how it felt after having his leg fractured in two places:

“I thought it was a cramp,I didn’t know it was that serious of an injury. I wanted to get back up but I remember somebody telling me sit down, stay down. It may have been a referee. I kind of looked down and went into shock. I looked at it, and it was an ugly look. All out of whack.”

A healthy Fitzgerald Toussaint will go al long way to ensure the Michigan Running game won’t be “all out of whack.” There have been no reports about Toussaint’s condition prior to fall practices but if he remains ahead of schedule look for Toussaint to return to the 5.6 yards per carry back the Wolverines depended on in 2011.

Thomas Rawls

Thomas Rawls has seen limited duty over his career at Michigan. He has played in 18 games and gained 246 yards on 57 carries in 2012. Despite heavy competition from the deepest position on the Wolverine squad, the junior running back feels like he has a good of a chance as any to land the starting job.

 “From me first coming in until now it’s been all about timing. The game has gotten slower to me, I can react quicker, read defenses, and it’s just all about timing. Every player wants to come in and play as a freshman but you’ve got to pay your dues by time. You have to learn certain things and break things down simple to yourself and repeatedly practice over things.”

Derrick Green

Five-star recruit Derrick Green will put pressure on Toussaint and Rawls for the starting running back position. Green was the #1 ranked running back in last years recruiting class according to The 6 foot 215 lbs power back figures to make an immediate impact on the offensive and could be starting by the time the Wolverines kick off the Big Ten season on October 5th. Green was also recently named by ESPN as one of the Top 5 players to watch in the B1G this season.

Touusaint’s recovery will play a major role in deciding who will be the starting running back when the season opens against Central Michigan at home on August 31st. If Touussaint can’t return to form, the starting running back position will be the team most important battle leading up to the season opener.


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Tags: 2013 Michigan Wolverines Football Preview Derrick Green Fitzgerlad Toussaint Michigan Wolverines Football NCAA Football Thomas Rawls

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