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Michigan opens the 2018 season Sept. 1 against Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.

Michigan walk-on Tru Wilson emerges as third option at RB

Rachel Lenzi

During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Wolverines answer questions on the minds of Michigan fans. Submit a question or suggest a topic by sending a tweet here to Rachel Lenzi or here to Kevin Goheen. Check back Monday through Friday as we answer the Michigan Question of the Day. Go here to see our previous answers.

A walk-on as the third running back? That doesn’t seem good. What about the running back room as a whole? — Jason Miller, via Facebook

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh couldn’t say enough about Tru Wilson, a walk-on from Warren, Mich., who could plug the hole as the Wolverines’ third running back this fall.

“He’s done a real nice job,” Harbaugh told reporters last week at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp in Allendale, Mich. “It’s important to him and he produced on the field with all 15 practices.”

In two seasons, Wilson has played on special teams and had 1 carry for 1 yard against Illinois in 2016. Wilson is at best, a diamond in the rough. At worst, he’s a project.

Regardless, Harbaugh gave Wilson a vote of confidence with the mention to the media.

Harbaugh said he saw the most growth in Wilson this spring in running the football, catching the football and in pass protection. Pass protection has been a particular point of emphasis for the Wolverines following the 2017 season. It was more like a misnomer last year; Michigan lost two quarterbacks to major injuries and caught only 9 touchdown passes.

Unless Harbaugh is deflecting, he’s taking a flyer on Wilson.

“His talent, his effort. He improved in all areas,” Harbaugh said of Wilson.

To answer the second question: Here’s how the running backs room looks as Michigan enters the summer.

Wilson is part of a group of running backs that is deep, even with the reported departure of Kareem Walker, a former 4-star recruit who didn’t pan out at Michigan.

Karan Higdon and Chris Evans return; the duo combined for 1,679 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2017.

Joe Hewlett, a fifth-year senior, and sophomores O’Maury Samuels and Kurt Taylor also return. Christian Turner, Hassan Haskins and Michael Barrett join the position group as freshmen.

Read more answers to questions about the Michigan Wolverines here.