- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
Over the next two weeks, WolverineNation will break down the 10 players who need to play to the peak of their abilities for Michigan to have its best possible season, going from 10 all the way to No. 1.
At the beginning of last season, he was in the middle of a competition, a player who had potential but little expectations to have the breakout season he did. By the middle of last season, though, Fitzgerald Toussaint became Michigan’s featured running back and ended up rushing for 1,041 yards in essentially 10 games last season.
Now, whenever he returns to the field from a suspension for a drunken driving arrest on July 21, Toussaint must hit that same potential almost immediately for Michigan to have success. He showed he could be a 1,000-yard rusher despite missing games last season and he’ll have to do it again, this time fighting off the emerging Thomas Rawls as much as opposing defenders.
His running style, though, is a complement to Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson and in order for Robinson to play at his best -- which means the Wolverines offense is at their best -- Toussaint needs to find the constant production he brought in the final month of the regular season last year to the entirety of this season.
Toussaint rushed for 120 yards or better in four of Michigan’s last five games and scored five of his nine touchdowns last season in those games. That consistency is critical for the Wolverines to have their second straight successful season.