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The running backs: Michigan 2018 positional rundown

Michigan has an elite duo at running back, but how does the depth look behind Batman and Robin?

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The running back position for Michigan is one of many on the roster that feature good depth. Running back 1A and 1B could be the best duo in the Big Ten, and then there are interesting options behind them.

After a 2017 season where the unit had some shining moments while also committing hiccups with fumbles and lapses in pass protection, the 2018 unit will look to limit the mistakes and maximize success.

Here is a rundown of what Michigan has to offer at the running back position.

Karan Higdon, SR

Higdon went from a backup to the bell-cow bank in the span of a season and was quite impressive in 2017.

Finishing last season with 994 yards, Higdon is chomping at the bit to reach over 1,000 yards rushing. At Big Ten Media Day, Higdon predicted he would reach that milestone while also saying he may have headed to the NFL this season if he had gotten to 1,000 in 2017.

My NFL comparison for Higdon is LeSean McCoy. Higdon can get to the edge in a hurry, has great stop and go quick acceleration in the open field, and excellent vision as a runner.

Another thing Higdon has going for him is his increased muscle weight, 16 pounds to be exact. Higdon says he is one of the strongest players on the team.

Chris Evans, JR

If Higdon is Batman, then Evans is Robin. While Higdon will likely lead Michigan in carries, Evans will receive a healthy chunk as his skill-set compliments Higdon’s well.

Evans is fast, really fast, and has proven to be an asset in the passing game. Last season Evans rushed for 685 yards, 6 touchdowns, while also hauling in 16 receptions. His receiving totals should go up with a better quarterback throwing the rock.

Christian Turner, FR

Turner is an intriguing option who may be the third string back behind Higdon and Evans. The 3-Star Georgia recruit has been called explosive by Jon Runyan, saying Turner runs really hard.

Turner has a solid shot to see the field this season.

O’Maury Samuels, SO

Samuels only had a few touches last year, but he’s another guy vying for playing time in 2018.

Running backs coach Jay Harbaugh said earlier this month that “he’s improved in a bunch of different areas, he’s playing as fast as he ever has, and he’s a really fast guy. When he gets closer and closer to playing at that full speed, which is smoking fast, it’s going to be scary, and he’s definitely on that track right now.”

Tru Wilson, JR

Wilson came to Michigan as a walk-on, but now he’s put himself in the conversation for snaps behind Higdon and Evans. In July Harbaugh said how Wilson has improved and that getting better as a RB is important to him.

Rest of the bunch

Michigan also has a few other guys who may see the field at some point this season. Kurt Taylor Jr., Joe Hewlett, and Hassan Haskins. All three of these guys I’d consider the wild-cards of the bunch and they have an uphill battle to climb up the depth chart. But who knows, maybe one of them will surprise.

CLICK HERE for our RB depth chart prediction by Von Lozon

CLICK HERE for our five questions at the RB position by Sam Dodge