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The more (RBs) the merrier
In light of the injuries to running backs Karan Higdon and Ty Isaac, now seems a good time to check on what Michigan has in store for the position in the coming 2018 and ’19 recruiting cycles.
This is a deep position for the Wolverines on the current roster and it figures to stay that way in the next few years. Jim Harbaugh places a heavy emphasis on the run game and there aren’t many teams at the college and NFL levels that rely on just one running back — or running threat, anyway — these days. Michigan will see one of those teams this weekend at Wisconsin with freshman Jonathan Taylor, who is No. 3 in the country with 1,525 yards rushing.
Indeed, more teams are set up as the Wolverines are with multiple backs or a combination of backs and a quarterback who is a running option.
Michigan has two running backs committed for the 2018 cycle in Christian Turner of Buford, Ga., and Hassan Haskins of Eureka, Mo. Turner plays on a team right now that includes Tennessee commit Anthony Grant and junior Derrian Brown, who rushed for 161 yards and 4 touchdowns in a playoff victory last Friday. Haskins rushed for more than 2,000 yards this season.
Blessed to be invited & committed to play for the National USA 19U Football Team in the International Bowl At AT&T Stadium🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/UaXZ5cZOI7
— Christian Turner (@_ChrisTurner28) November 9, 2017
The 2019 class doesn’t have any commits yet, but Michigan is pursing 5-star back Quavaris Crouch, the No. 2 running back in the class according to the 247Sports composite — and pursuing him hard. Noah Cain, the No. 1 back in the class, is due to make an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor on Nov. 25 for the Ohio State game.
The Wolverines are also recruiting 4-star prospects Daniel Carter of St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Eric Gray of Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis. Gray came to Michigan in the summer and participated in the Elite camp along with Cain. He is a 5-foot-10, 185-pound all-purpose back who is more in the mold of Chris Evans than a traditional power back.
Butch Jones firing fallout
Tennessee’s firing of coach Butch Jones was accompanied by the de-commitment announcements of wide receivers Shocky Jacques-Louis and Alontae Taylor. The Vols also lost the commitment of 5-star offensive lineman Cade Mays last week before the decision to fire Jones was formalized on Sunday.
I am officially decommitting from the University of Tennessee……..
— Shocky Jacques-louis (@ShockyMVP) November 12, 2017
Does that put Michigan into contention for any of these players?
Mays is the kind of player who will be on every program’s radar but Georgia and Clemson appear to be at the top of his list. Michigan has had an offer out to Taylor as well, but the 4-star rated player has visits to Georgia, Louisville and Wake Forest lined up.
Jacques-Louis is a 6-1, 175-pound receiver from Fort Myers, Fla., rated a 3-star prospect by the 247Sports composite. He took an official visit Michigan on Oct. 7 for the Michigan State game but has also taken official visits to Michigan State, Kentucky and Tennessee.
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