Michigan running back comes into the 2016 as the starting running back. Last season Smith showed that he's a multi-dimensional play-maker out of the backfield, who can run between the tackles with tremendous power, while also showing steady speed, and reliable hands as a receiving option. Smith finished 2015 with 753 yards rushing, 6 touchdowns, 4.18 yards per carry, and 19 receptions.
Although Smith may be the starter, he realizes that no job is safe, and that there are plenty of talented backs behind him on the depth chart hoping to get a good handful of carries.
"It means I have to work ten times harder because I know if I mess up one little thing they're going to try and take my job. I've been motivated ever since the last game against Florida. I'm not here to lose my job, I'm here to compete."
Ty Isaac, Drake Johnson, Karan Higdon, highly touted freshmen Kingston Davis, and Kareem Walker are all in the mix at halfback.
Running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley expects bigger and better things from Smith and the RB group this year. "His standard has gone up for us, his expectations have definitely went up. He expects more out of us this year. He expects us to be at five yards a carry."
Five yards a carry would be more than good, it would be excellent, and if that ends up the average from this group, it will be reflected in the win-loss record at the end of the season. Teams with that good of an average don't lose many games.
That isn't the only goal set for the unit according to Smith. "As a unit, have people over 1,000 yards rushing that's for sure, protecting the quarterback, know the protections, and make sure we guarantee three yards a carry."
All good goals, all attainable. What are your expectations of Smith and the running backs this season?