clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Michigan Football Mailbag: Addressing Derrick Green's Disappearing Act

The former five-star running back appears buried on the depth chart until further notice. Also, is Shane Morris going to transfer?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We are going to start running a weekly mailbag here at MnB, where our readers are free to email or tweet their Michigan questions our way.

In this week's edition, there was a theme to a few of the questions that came in:

Derrick Green, the much-hyped former five-star recruit from the class of 2013, has been a virtual no-show for the Wolverines through three games this season. He has 13 carries for 46 yards and a touchdown and looks to be buried on the depth chart behind De'Veon Smith, Ty Isaac and Drake Johnson. Ross Douglas has also been out there a few times.

I'm not exactly sure what his deal is right now. When he was healthy last season, it looked like he was the best running back they had on the roster, but he just has not been able to crack the rotation thus far. There were rumors that he was in Jim Harbaugh's doghouse following the Utah game, but this looks to be a performance-based decision to not play him more. He looks like the odd-man out here for now.

The good news for him is that it looks like Michigan is going to ride the hot hand in the running game this year instead of settling on a lead back. He could get chances for carries if the other guys are struggling.

As far as if he could transfer or not, I do not know. It is possible, but we shall see.

Rudock and Ball Security

This is a tough question. Jake Rudock has done his part at times, but he just has not been great for the Wolverines thus far. He was touted as a guy that did not take many chances and could limit turnovers.

It seems as if he is still struggling to learn the offense and that he is being asked to make reads and go through progressions more than he was at Iowa. The timing with the wide receivers is still a bit off, too, so that does not help.

Rudock is going to remain Michigan's starter because, well, he's really all they have. Because Harbaugh has the Midas touch when it comes to quarterbacks, I think they will be able to find a way to get him settled in, but he is not going to win games with his arm. He can only lose them.

Shane Morris Redshirt

I guess it depends on what your definition of "good" is. In fact, it's more of a damning development than anything else.

Shane Morris redshirting gives him the opportunity to save a year of eligibility instead of sitting behind a stop-gap in Rudock. Instead, he can get a year off, develop and rejoin the equation in 2016 with an even more crowded quarterback battle that he might be in a better position to win if he improves his game.

Morris was supposed to be in line to be the starter leading up to fall camp. He lost the battle to Rudock and has pretty much fallen off of the map since then. Usually the quarterback that loses the battle is the de facto number-two, but Wilton Speight was the first guy off the bench on Saturday.

I still think it's too early to pull out the "bust" card on him, but he was another player from the Brady Hoke era that came in under an insane amount of hype.

Some are throwing around the rumor that he could transfer. It all depends on what his personal goals are. If he wants to play, he should go somewhere else. If he wants to compete for his final two years, have a chance to win the job and make it to the NFL, there is not a better coach to play for. Even if that doesn't work out, you could do much worse than leaving Ann Arbor with a degree from the University of Michigan.

Unless an injury occurs, it does not appear you will see Morris take a snap for the Wolverines this season.

Updated Expectations

I'm fascinated with this question and cannot say with any certainty I have an answer until we see how this game against BYU goes on Saturday. Michigan should beat Maryland, but Northwestern has been very good and their defense could provide some problems when they come to the Big House on Oct. 10.

Assuming the Wolverines take care of business against BYU, I still have them at 8-4 with losses to Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State.

Ask me again next week, Craig!

About those Spartans and Buckeyes...

I see what you did there.

Let me start off by saying this: I've been telling people for weeks that I think Michigan matches up better against Ohio State than Michigan State, though I still think the Buckeyes will beat the Spartans.

MSU and OSU are currently the top two teams in the country, per the AP Top 25. With that being said, neither of them are without flaws. The Spartans have injuries on defense and the Buckeyes will not be tested until the last two weeks of the season. Michigan has the advantage of hosting both teams at home and the Harbaugh effect on its side, but I still think they are a year or two away from beating either of those teams.

That's it for today! Be sure to send your questions for next week on in using the hashtag #MnBmailbag on Twitter or email at