48 Days Until Michigan Football

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Counting down the days until Team 135 takes the field.

Redshirt Sophomore Drake Johnson, Running Back

Number: 20

Hometown: Pioneer HS; Ann Arbor, MI

Height/Weight: 6'0, 212 lbs.

Three Things To Know About Drake

1. Drake played high school ball about as close as one can get to playing in the Big House.  Literally.  Drake's high school, Ann Arbor Pioneer is right across the street, and you can easily see that field from the gates of Michigan Stadium.

2. So far, that is about as close to playing in the Big House as Drake has been.  He redshirted as a freshman and surprised many by inserting his name into the running back race last offseason.  He came to campus as a major project,.  A lowly rated recruit with all sorts of speed but not much in the way of lateral agility.  Despite his lack of a recruiting profile, it seemed like he might challenge for playing time.  That is, until an ACL injury in the opening game of last season sent him to the sidelines.

3. While Drake was in the discussion last year, the backfield is getting more and more crowded.  Sophomores De'Veon Smith and Derrick Green are still around, and Justice Hayes looks to finally be establishing himself as a contender for time in the backfield after winning a good share of playing time in the spring game.  Ross Douglas has moved over to the offensive side of the ball and out of a logjam at corner.  Finally, Michigan will be adding transfer running back Ty Issac to the mix this year (his eligibility won't kick in until next season).  Add in the long road to recovery from an ACL injury, and Drake has his work cut out for him to reinsert himself into the starting running back discussion.

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