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Jim Harbaugh talks Michigan’s RB rotation

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Two RB 1’s and an explosive freshman will look to bolster Michigan’s rushing attack this season.

Michigan v Rutgers Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

The Michigan Football roster has a number of starting positions that will be fought for during fall camp. However, one unit where the pecking order appears solidified is at running back.

At Big Ten Media Days head coach Jim Harbaugh talked about Michigan’s top three options at running back — Hassan Haskins, Blake Corum, and Donovan Edwards.

“Hassan and Blake, they’re kind of like running back one and one. We’re sitting here today, those three are up there right to where it would be a three-back type of rotation. Leaning on Hassan and Blake the most,” Harbaugh said. “Donovan’s got the ability to hit the big ones. So does Blake and Hassan. Got a vision of it being extremely good.”

Haskins was one of Michigan’s most consistent players last season (375 yards, 6 touchdowns, 6.1 yards per carry in six games) and possesses a good balance of power, patience, speed, vision, and open-field elusiveness.

Harbaugh called Haskins a “freak athlete” with “freak athleticism and strength”.

“He is arguably our best special teams player, most productive, he can play kickoff/kickoff return, punt/punt return. Whatever the play is (run) blocked for he’s at least getting another yard or two”, Harbaugh said. “If it’s blocked for zero, he’s probably going to get one-yard. If it’s blocked for two he will get four, if it’s blocked for four he’ll get six. He’s a real football player.

Harbaugh went on to call Haskins “tough as can be” and a player who could have became a pro this season but came back to Michigan to end his collegiate career on a winning note. “He’s got our back, our front, our side — he could have been drafted this year,” Harbaugh said.

Corum, the other RB1, appears to have bulked up this winter and spring after a 2020 season where he flashed glimpses of his explosiveness and versatility as a pass-catcher.

Four-star freshman Donovan Edwards is someone who has already impressed his teammates with explosiveness, with Harbaugh saying Edwards will be in the mix right out of the gate this season.

“Donovan is going to be really good. He’s got that—there’s such a competitive part about him. The thing Donovan understands is that it takes the whole team. It takes a whole team to win a championship. Nobody is winning any championships unless there’s a team. He speaks that team language as good as anybody that I’ve been around,” Harbaugh said. “He’s been a blessing that way. He won a championship, he won one at West Bloom. He knows. He’s going to be in the mix, you’ll be seeing Donovan Edwards game one.”