Zach Charbonnet has burst onto the scene as one of Michigan football’s most impressive players through the first two games of the season, but might that hype be slowing down a bit? Rumors started to swirl on social media on Wednesday about a potential injury to the true freshman running back and the Twitter mentions of just about every Michigan beat reporter being filled with questions about what is going on.
The rumor started from Rivals’ Kyle Lamb, who covers Ohio State, and stated that Charbonnet might be dealing with some sort of knee issue that could require a knee scope. Normally, that may be something that gets swept under the rug, but it was brought to the attention of Sam Webb of The Michigan Insider on the site’s message boards and he said he would look into it.
So as to not disclose paywalled information, you’re on your own from here ($) to see what Webb had to say, but the long and the short of it is that nothing has been confirmed, and nothing probably will be confirmed. But he at least took the time to acknowledge there could be some smoke here.
Charbonnet dealt with an injury that kept him out of spring ball, but returned to fall camp and started the first two games against Middle Tennessee State and Army and ran 33 times the last time that he was on the field. Should he be out this weekend or any extended period of time, expect the backfield rotation to revolve around Tru Wilson and Christian Turner with the former set to return from a hand injury that kept him out of the second game of the season.
This could hurt the Wolverines in short-yardage or pass blocking situations, but that is where it becomes so critical for Shea Patterson and the passing game to get things figured out. Things may not be as bleak as they may seem with a freshman potentially not being in the lineup, but Charbonnet has been versatile and impressive. Still, if the offensive line holds up and the ball comes out quickly through the air, along with improved reads in the option game, Turner, Wilson, Ben VanSumeren and Hassan Haskins may just do.
The offense had a lot of questions, but still has a decent amount of weapons, so if the injury news is true (there at least seems to be some smoke here), Jim Harbaugh and Josh Gattis will have to put the guys they do have in positions to succeed, which is something that has not happened as often as they would like early this season.
So...it’s anyone’s guess right now.
Quick note on how rumors are reported
Before moving on, there is something to address quickly as it pertains to rumors and how the Michigan beat reports them.
There’s this narrative that’s out there about the people on the Michigan beat that writers and media members withhold information to protect the program and its interests. Obviously, I cannot speak for everyone here, but it’s mostly false. You know the media in this market and who works hard, and even those people rarely get the answers to your questions you may be looking for.
There’s a reason that football HQ is referred to as “Fort Schembechler.”
Michigan rarely comments on rumors or injuries unless they are season-ending and reporters cannot run with a rumor if they do not have any one to support them or back it up. You’ll also notice that most of these scoops from message boards on the subscription sites. Unless you can confirm a story on your own, it’s unethical to pull from those pay sites. Often times, the people that run with rumors that seem like odd sources are because they either do not care about the ethics of how they report and rip from the boards anyways or the scoop is fabricated or a half-truth.
We’re here for you, not to protect the interests of anyone or anything else. If ever a time comes where we have something reputable to pass along, we will. Just be mindful of how the online rumor mill works.
Colin Cowherd says Michigan and Harbaugh are where they need to be
Colin Cowherd can usually be taken with a grain of salt with many of his takes, but he is actually in the corner of the Michigan Wolverines and where they are at as a program under Jim Harbaugh.
Cowherd said on his radio show that despite cries from the detractors of the program, Harbaugh is “hitting his number” at Michigan.
“Michigan to me is a 10,” Cowherd said. “That means, out of 12 games, if you have a right coach, you should win 10 a year. I’m not gonna say they should beat Ohio State. I’m not gonna say they should go undefeated. They’re in state that has about 12 good high school football players a year. Georgia’s in a state that has 243. Georgia’s number is an 11.
“Also, Michigan has to play nine conference games, Georgia gets to play eight that’s in the SEC — that’s another Citadel.
“So I have a handful of college football teams that — nobody gets a 12. Nobody goes undefeated. I’ve given 7 or 8 teams an 11: Bama, LSU, Oklahoma — again, this is if you have the right coach — Oklahoma, USC is the only program Denver-west that should be 11. They’re in a state with 240 high school Division I players and they have the biggest brand on the West Coast. My number for Michigan is somewhere between 9.5 and 10. And Harbaugh’s hitting it.
“Jim Harbaugh took over a program averaging 6 wins. He’s gone 10-3, 10-3, 10-3 three of his four years. One year they went 8-5, they had three quarterbacks play, Wilton Speight got hurt. He’s hitting his number! My number for Michigan. The state has no high school football talent of note compared to Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, California. Even Ohio doesn’t compare, okay? Ohio State is the only northern program in the country that I give an 11 to. Their state has a lot of high school football stars, and they’re not the academic power. They’re not as academically as good as Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan or even Washington. So I give Ohio State the number of 10.5 to 11. That’s the Alabama territory. And I think if you’ve got the right coach, when Michigan’s had the wrong coach, they’re averaging 8. They’re averaging 10! 9.5 and 10! He’s getting the number!
“Not all programs are even. Academically, Michigan is harder. The state, the weather, the geography. Northern teams don’t get as many good players on recruiting day. Most kids would rather play close to home. I’ve been watching it on the West Coast for years. USC with a bad coaching staff still wins the recruiting race over well-coached Washington teams. Nebraska — their number is 9. There’s no players in their state! They have to convince every kid: ‘Wanna play in 9 degrees?’ That’s harder than LSU saying, ‘Hey! Your high school is there, our stadium is here. Wanna come play?’ ‘Yeah, my girlfriend goes to LSU.’ ‘Come on in, it’s easier!’”
This does not make the mishaps against Ohio State easier to stomach, but in a lot of ways this and the tidbit we posted yesterday about the university being happy with the financial side of things, it’s hard to argue that.
- Speaking of Colin Cowherd, check out this video of him asking Urban Meyer if he knew who LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was. The twist is that Burrow was a recruit of Meyer’s at OSU and transferred out of the program.
Asking Urban Meyer if he knows Joe Burrow and why he didn’t go to Ohio State sure is something pic.twitter.com/7UGH1S6iSU— The Solid Verbal (@SolidVerbal) September 18, 2019
- Peak pettiness this week, as a Georgia grocery store has removed Irish Spring soap from its counters ahead of Georgia football’s showdown with Notre Dame.
- USC’s president apparently is not a fan of the idea of Urban Meyer as its next football coach.
- Arizona State, Florida, Penn State and Washington State will be featured on episodes of HBO’s Hard Knocks-style college football program.