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Saturday, January 26, 2013
Derrick Green a perfect fit for Michigan

By Tom VanHaaren

With the commitment of Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage), Michigan has landed its highest-ranked running back since 2006. Green, the No. 5-rated running back, is the only ESPN 150 back to pick Michigan during that time frame.

He isn’t the first running back commit for the Wolverines in the 2013 class, as Deveon Smith (Warren, Ohio/Howland) and Wyatt Shallman (Novi, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) are also committed, but Green is a huge get for a number of reasons.

Green, the No. 38 overall player in the ESPN 150, is now the highest-ranked commit in Michigan’s 2013 class, but more importantly he fits exactly what the Wolverines are looking for on offense. He is a power back who can get downhill quickly. His commitment could help Michigan’s transition to a pro-style offense.

Add in the fact that Michigan has picked up seven four-star offensive line commits in the past two classes and Green and Smith will have some big-time blockers in front of them as they attempt to cure the Wolverines’ run-game troubles.

Quarterback Denard Robinson was Michigan’s lone 1,000-yard rusher last season. Fitzgerald Toussaint came off a fantastic 2011 season to rush for only 514 yards in 2012, averaging 4 yards per carry.

Some of those problems came from the offensive line, but Michigan has been in need of a boost at running back. That sentiment has been evident by the efforts in the 2013 class to add solid options for the future.

With Green's commitment, Michigan has added depth, built competition at the position and potentially added a future star at a position of need.

Green’s pledge gives Michigan 27 total commitments, 10 of whom are in the ESPN 150. The Wolverines likely have only one spot remaining in the 2013 class but could end up sticking at 27 come signing day.