When Michigan signed Derrick Green this winter, many Wolverines fans and myself thought it was a foregone conclusion that the four-star running back would be the starter as soon as he stepped foot in Ann Arbor. However, the highest rated running back recruit to come to Michigan in recent memory could be serving as an understudy to Fitz Toussaint provided he’s recovered from his broken leg suffered last year.
According to Michael Rothstein of WolverineNation on ESPN.com, he thinks the starter will be Toussaint because of inexperience along the offensive line. He explains that his experience will be valuable in trying to find creases and alleys that an untested running back may not be able to.
That’s certainly a valid point because outside of Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield, the Wolverines will have to rely on green players to occupy the interior of the line. However, that shouldn’t be reason enough to keep a player as talented as Green on the sideline.
The only way to get experience is to play and even if Toussaint is recovered from his injury, he doesn’t have the potential that Green has. At 6-0 and 215-pounds, Green won’t have to use experience to find holes. He can simply run over and through defenders. Sitting Green behind Toussaint or any other Wolverine back risks upsetting him and you don’t want to have a sulking running back on your roster.
Toussaint only had 514 yards last season, five touchdowns, and will be coming off a devastating injury so it would be unrealistic to expect him to be himself in the early part of the season. If he impresses in summer camp, then he’ll still receive carries, and maybe even start. However, the player that should lead the team in carries is Green and it shouldn’t even be close.
With Al Borges moving to his customary pro-style offense with Devin Gardner under center, it only makes sense to go with the back that perfectly fits the system and that’s Green.