Earlier today, we laid out the names that fill out the roster at running back for the Wolverines. Now it's time to predict how they will stack up on the depth chart.
1. Derrick Green, Junior (5-11, 234)
The offseason debate over whether or not Green deserves the starting role this upcoming season would have been thrown out the window if he didn't go down to a season ending clavicle injury. Green was on pace to reach around 850 yards rushing and close to 10 touchdowns if he was able to play to finish out the final six games, but had to watch the 5-7 debacle from the sidelines.
Green came into spring practice with 14 extra pounds of muscle, a sign that he's molded himself into a more leaner physique. Green has the most experience out of any other tailback in this group, which gives him the early nod before preseason camp.
2. Ty Isaac, RS Sophomore (6-3, 240)
The quarterback spot isn't the only offensive position that's strengthen their depth chart thanks to an arrival of a transfer. Isaac, who was unable to receive full eligibility last season by the NCAA after leaving Southern Cal for Michigan, has yet to participate in a game since the Trojans' 2013 Las Vegas Bowl victory over Fresno State.
Isaac checks in as the largest running back on the roster, which will pay dividends when adjusting to head coach Harbaugh's hard nosed running scheme. The ceiling is high for Issac to become the next star tailback Michigan has been desperately searching for since Mike Hart. If anything, a year backing up Green while splitting carries with the other backups will knock off any rust from missing an entire season.
3. De'Veon Smith, Junior (5-11, 228)
Smith has proven what he can do when given the responsibility of carrying the load as the starting running back, which is absolutely nothing. The following week after Green went down for the remainder of the season, Smith rushed for 24 yards on 12 carries, for a long of seven against Penn State. The person down below ultimately came away with a more stellar second half, but Smith isn't coming into camp with injury concerns.
It's no question that Smith will see the field once in a great while, even more than some may expect if Green doesn't have a strong comeback season and if Issac fails to excel in a regular season game. But as of right now, No. 3 on the depth chart seems reasonable for the former four-star recruit.
4. Drake Johnson, RS Junior (6-0, 207)
Suffering through another torn ACL for the second time in his career at Michigan leaves Johnson at the bottom of the barrel for the starting job. And considering his surging performance in the second half of last season, where he rushed for 333 yards and four touchdowns, knowing that there will be fewer snaps taken with Johnson in the backfield is unfortunate.
Johnson was reportedly back practicing late this past month, so it's obvious that the goal is to get him back to full health before Michigan travel to Utah on Sept. 3.
1 FB. Joe Kerridge, RS Senior (6-0, 249)
The go-to bulldozer for the four players above each week. Kerridge has shown that he can be a reliable blocker, ball carrier and pass catcher in certain situations. His longest rush of his career came last season against Maryland when he gained 52 yards. He also averaged more than 8 yards per catch the previous year as well.
Other RBs: Wyatt Shallman (RS Sophomore | Hartland, Mich.); Karan Higdon (3-star commit | Sarasota, Fla.); Antonio Whitfield (Junior | Canal Winchester, Ohio)
Other FBs: Sione Houma (Senior | Salt Lake City, Utah); Brady Pallante (Sophomore | Naples, Fla.)