Historic commitment: Michigan lands Derrick Green, nation's No. 1 tailback (with video)
Michigan has snagged its best high school tailback of the modern recruiting era just 10 days before signing day.
Richmond (Va.) Hermitage running back Derrick Green ended weeks of suspense Saturday afternoon by choosing the Wolverines over Auburn and Tennessee during a ceremony at the Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen, Va.
Green, ranked by Scouts and Rivals as the country's No. 1 tailback, announced the choice by saying "I will be taking my talents to the University of ..." as he reached for a Michigan hat, then a Tennessee hat.
Then he flipped a switch, and a screen rolled up to reveal a No. 27 Michigan jersey.
Green is Michigan's highest-rated tailback since the dawn of the modern recruiting era in 2002. Its best back had been Kevin Grady, who was ranked the No. 4 tailback by Rivals and No. 5 by Scout coming out of East Grand Rapids in 2005.
The 6-foot, 220-pound Green is Michigan's highest-rated overall commit since 2007, when quarterback Ryan Mallett (Texarkana, Texas) was the No. 4 player according to Rivals and No. 5 according to Scout.
Michigan's 2013 recruiting class already is ranked among the top 10 according to each of the major outlets, and No. 1 by Scout, but Green now is the centerpiece of the class.
He could play right away, as the Wolverines' tailbacks are coming off their worst season since at least World War II. Fitz Toussaint, Thomas Rawls and Justice Hayes are the only backs with experience, but none were productive last year.
"He's definitely the kind of back they don't have on their roster," Rivals analyst Tim Sullivan said. "I think when they recruited Thomas Rawls, they were hoping he would be that back. But while they have similar body types, there's a reason why Derrick Green is the No. 1 running back in the country and Thomas Rawls was a three-star prospect.
"It's not necessarily that Thomas Rawls isn't good enough -- it's just that Derrick Green is that good. Big, physical and fast -- he'd fit that pro-style they want to run perfectly."
-- Download the Michigan football on MLive app for iPhone and Android
-- Download the Michigan basketball on MLive app for iPhone and Android
-- Follow Kyle Meinke and Nick Baumgardner on Twitter
-- Like MLive's Michigan Wolverines Facebook page