Michigan Football Tidbits: Position Group — Running Backs

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Running Backs:

Probably besides the offensive line group, the running backs are the deepest position group on the team. In addition, expectations are high that the running game will be the most improved part of the team in 2009.

Minor: Is this finally the year that he stays both injury-free AND consistent throughout the year? As stated in last post, many were not happy with his comments at the end of the year, though we all saw flashes of his talent.

Truth is, since being at Michigan, he has stayed neither healthy, nor in shape, for an extended period of time. Let us review: after a promising first year, expectations were high for him going into his sophomore year.

As it turned out, Hart again received the bulk of the carries, while Minor lost his good work ethic and started hanging out with some questionable people, and at times, was written off by coaching staff.

Last year, after the coaching change, Minor returned to his role as a model player and was the MVP of spring practices until a combination “other issues” and injuries re-emerged.

Minor was reacquainted with the bench, this time behind true freshman McGuffie. While most posters assumed McGuffie’s emergence was because of Coach Jackson’s favoritism, the facts are Coach Jackson had a choice between McGuffie or Shaw during the first part of last year.

This year Minor must continue making progress and show some leadership on — and off — the field. If he does, there is no doubt he will be our #1 back in 2009.

C. Brown: He will be in a battle with Shaw for primary back-up, and most are betting against Carlos. He just has never put it all together at Michigan. He has shown flashes, but facts are he simply cannot stay healthy, and when he does, he is just way too inconsistent in both games and practices.

He needs to have a big spring, stay healthy, and show up daily. If he does, he could be our #2 back in 2009.

Shaw: Our money is on Shaw. He showed some real progress in 2008. What the coaches really liked is his ability to play, even though he was hindered last year with a nagging groin injury.

Even then, he had some explosive moments. Early in workouts, he is showing the speed that everyone talked about. Shaw is stronger than people think and could be a featured back at Michigan before his time is done. In addition, his pass-catching ability has really improved.

Grady: We wonder just how much desire he has left in him. It’s possible he sees some action, since Michigan may run some two-back sets at times, and we could see him in short yardage or a when running back is needed to block, but I am not expecting any more in 2009 than we saw in 2008, though we hope we are wrong.

Cox: One of the kids on our list-to-watch during spring. How will they use him? How much bigger is he? Is he in line for a possible position switch? Do not know the answers to any of those questions.

All we know is Cox is a quality kid who really works hard and is completely healthy. We think the kid is a football player and we’ll be rooting for him. Minor’s success can only help Cox’s chances, since Cox really is our only other big running back on campus.

>>> (Tomorrow we will be talking about incoming freshmen running backs, the tight end position, and the full backs.)

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Written by MaizeMan, CoachBt and ErocWolverine