Projecting what Michigan can expect from Derrick Green by looking at previous No. 1 RBs
What kind of production can the Wolverines expect from Derrick Green? Projecting recruits is a hit-or-miss game, but the hit rate among No. 1 tailbacks is incredibly high.
Of the 16 running backs to earn top honors from either Scout or Rivals since 2002, only three have busted -- South Carolina's Demetris Summers (2003), Colorado's Darrell Scott (2008) and Tennessee's Bryce Brown in (2009).
A look at the backs, with some reactions at the bottom:
Rivals: Ciatrick Fason, Florida. The only freshman to play in every game for Florida, Fason had nine carries for 27 yards in limited action that first year. Rushed for 583 yards as a sophomore and 1,267 as a junior before declaring for the NFL Draft, where he was taken in the fourth round by the Vikings. Final line: 315 carries for 1,877 yards (6.0 average) and 14 TDs.
Scout: Lorenzo Booker, Florida State. Played in 10 of 13 games as a freshman, racking up 334 yards as the team's third-leading rusher. Gained 887 yards as a sophomore, 552 as a junior and 616 as a senior. Was selected in the third round by the Dolphins. Final line: 497 carries for 2,389 yards (4.8 average) and 15 TDs.
Rivals: Reggie Bush, USC. Gained 3,169 yards in his three-year career, averaging an impressive 7.3 per carry. He was a two-time consensus All-American and won the 2005 Heisman Trophy. Declared for the NFL after three seasons, and was selected No. 2 overall by the Saints. Final line: 433 carries for 3,169 yards (7.3 average) and 25 touchdowns.
Scout: Demetris Summers, South Carolina. Was the team's second-leading rusher as a freshman with 638 yards on 124 carries, but never carried the ball again. Was kicked off the team for failed drug tests. Was not drafted. Final line: 124 carries for 638 yards (5.1 average) and three TDs.
Rivals/Scout: Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma. Turned in one of the best freshman seasons ever, rolling up 1,925 yards on 339 carries (5.7 average), scoring 15 TDs and earning unanimous first-team All-America honors. Was the No. 7 overall pick by the Vikings and just completed the second-best rushing season in NFL history. Final college line: 747 carries for 4,045 yards (5.4 average) and 41 TDs.
Rivals: Jonathan Stewart, Oregon. Touched the ball just 72 times as a freshman, but turned them into nine TDs -- one every eight touches. Made the Pac-10 all-freshman team in 2005, second-team in 2006 and first team in 2007. Stewart was the No. 13 overall pick by the Panthers. Final line: 516 carries for 2,891 yards (5.6 average) and 27 TDs.
Scout: Antone Smith, Florida State. Gained 188 yards as a freshman, 456 as a sophomore and 819 as a junior before tapering to 792 as a senior. Went undrafted. Final line: 493 carries for 2,255 yards (4.6 average) and 26 TDs.
Rivals/Scout: Beanie Wells, Ohio State. Rushed for 576 yards as a freshman, 52 of which came on a go-ahead TD run against No. 2 Michigan. Gained 1,609 yards as a sophomore and 1,197 as a junior before declaring for the NFL Draft. Was drafted in the first round pick by the Cardinals. Final line: 585 carries for 3,382 yards (5.8 average) and 30 TDs.
Rivals/Scout: Joe McKnight, USC. Freshman season hampered by injuries and fumble issues, but still put up 540 yards. Gained 659 as a sophomore and 1,014 as a junior, but was held out of bowl game due to eligibility concerns and he turned pro. Was drafted in the fourth round by the Jets. Final line: 347 carries for 2,213 yards (6.2 average) and 13 TDs.
Rivals/Scout: Darrell Scott, Colorado. Rushed for 343 yards as a freshman, but just 95 in five games as a sophomore before leaving the team due to lack of playing time. Gained 814 yards in one season at South Florida. Went undrafted. Final line: 263 carries for 1,252 yards (4.8 average) and six touchdowns.
Rivals/Scout: Bryce Brown, Tennessee. Gained 460 yards as a freshman, then transferred to Kansas State after the season. Abruptly left Kansas State after rushing just three times for 16 yards, and declared for 2012 draft. Was selected in the seventh round by the Eagles. Final line: 104 carries for 476 yards (4.6 average) and three TDs.
Rivals/Scout: Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina. Named Freshman of the year and a first-team all-SEC selection after gaining 1,197 yards on 249 carries. Gained 818 yards as a sophomore before a leg injury derailed season. Gained 662 yards last year before suffering another injury and declared for NFL Draft. Final line: 555 carries for 2,675 yards (4.8 average) and 38 TDs.
Rivals: Malcolm Brown, Texas. Led team with 742 yards and five TDs as a freshman, and was named freshman of the year in the Big 12. Has 233 carries for 1,066 yards (4.6 average) and nine TDs entering junior year.
Scout: Isaiah Crowell, Georgia. Started seven games as a freshman, racking up 850 yards on 185 carries and five TDs. Named the SEC's freshman of the year.
Rivals: Johnathan Gray, Texas. Gray had 149 carries for 701 yards (4.7 average) and three TDs last season as a freshman.
Scout: Keith Marshall, Georgia. Gained 759 yards on 117 carries during a standout freshman season last year.
Rivals: Derrick Green, Michigan.
Scout: Green, Michigan.
-- None of the 16 tailbacks redshirted.
-- They averaged 624.3 yards as true freshmen, eclipsing each of Michigan's backs last year.
-- The 12 tailbacks who have concluded their careers averaged 414.9 carries for 2,271.8 yards and 20.1 touchdowns in college. That's 5.5 yards per carry.
-- Of the 11 players who already have entered the draft, four were selected in the first round. One was selected in the third, two in the fourth and one in the seventh.
-- Only three of the 11 were not drafted.
Recruiting analysis can be a crapshoot sometimes -- but that's strong evidence that top backs typically pan out in college, and turn into valuable NFL prospects.
And that's good news for Michigan.
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