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Posted on Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 7 p.m.

Fitz Toussaint, Frank Clark held out of Michigan football team's first practice

By Kyle Meinke


Fitz Toussaint led Michigan's tailbacks in rushing last year, but has yet to return to practice after an offseason drunken-driving arrest.

Melanie Maxwell |

This story was updated at 7:50 p.m. with quotes from Brady Hoke and Denard Robinson.

The Michigan football team opened its fall camp without two key players.

Wolverines coach Brady Hoke said Monday that suspended tailback Fitz Toussaint and defensive end Frank Clark did not practice with the team during its initial workout. He gave no timetable for when they would return to action.

"Don't know that," he said.

Hoke said he has not yet determined whether either will play in the season opener Sept. 1 against Alabama. When will that decision be made?

"When I make it, I guess," Hoke said. "When? I don't know."

Toussaint, a junior who was arrested last month in Ann Arbor on a drunken-driving charge, is Michigan's starting tailback. He crossed the 1,000-yard barrier in his first season as the starter.

Quarterback Denard Robinson, the other half of Michigan's prolific running attack, said Toussaint told him he's determined to rejoin the team.

"He knows he wants to be out on the field, and he's going to do whatever it takes to get back on the field," Robinson said.

Hoke has not outlined publicly what Toussaint or Clark must do to join the team.

Sophomore Thomas Rawls and senior Vincent Smith are expected to vie for the starting spot if Toussaint is held out against the Crimson Tide. The pair, along with redshirt freshman Justice Hayes, received the bulk of the carries in practice.

Clark, a sophomore, was expected to contend with former linebacker Brennen Beyer for the starting job at weak-side defensive end.

If Clark is held out against Alabama, Beyer is expected to start. Hoke said sophomore strong-side linebacker Jake Ryan and true freshman end Mario Ojemudia could fill a backup role behind Beyer at the position.

Another player who had a run-in with the law, receiver Jerald Robinson, did practice with the team. The sophomore pleaded guilty earlier Monday to a misdemeanor charge of destruction of property.

His punishment is complete, Hoke said.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Tue, Aug 7, 2012 : 10:23 p.m.

Hoke is a Joke. Holding him/them out of a few practices? And we thought that the Detroit Lions had a "tough" off season! Where's the threat?


Tue, Aug 7, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

Quote from Denard as per the DetNews: [[Denard Robinson said he has spoken to Toussaint and knows he's having a difficult time sitting out camp. "He's going to do whatever it takes to get back on the field," Robinson said."]] OK--whatever it takes. Even if means he'll go to the bar and speed through the city streets of Ann Arbor hoping not to run people over to get to practice!! People make mistakes, but I hope that Hoke has the fortitude to penalize this DUI (and if the press is right, it was way over the limit) with a severe penalty. This was not a small mistake, and Touissant should have thought of that before he stepped behind the wheel. Whatever it takes, to me, means DON"T DRINK AND DRIVE. Be responsible to society and to your team and coaches.


Tue, Aug 7, 2012 : 2:50 a.m.

Didn't Will Campbell have an issue with the law as well? Something about public drunkeness and vandalizing a vehicle? It was probably just a misdemeanor too. Tough to be Hoke. If Toussant plays, its an embarrassment to the university. If he doesn't, Alabama embarrasses the university.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 3:33 a.m.

Do you mean embarrass as in the guy who got out of jail and played the next day for your Sparts, or embarrassed as in your 49-7 pasting against Bama? Just trying to clarify...


Tue, Aug 7, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

Coach D has given some second chances that I did not agree with either. I'm not saying Campbell should be suspended its just that his incident that he was guitly of was not mentioined in the article and I think Hoke does have a tough choice to make or he would have made it at least publicly by now. Maybe he thinks he can get in Alabama's head by not tipping his hand.

Blue Marker

Tue, Aug 7, 2012 : 1:22 p.m.

This from a fan of "Second Chance U".


Tue, Aug 7, 2012 : 3:22 a.m.

Alabama won't embarrass Michigan, with or without Toussaint. He's good, but hardly irreplaceable because we've got decent depth at the position. Anyway, my vote is that Toussaint and Clark should miss at least a few games and then be on probation for the rest of their careers here.


Tue, Aug 7, 2012 : 2:40 a.m.

Good to know they're not just getting a pass.


Tue, Aug 7, 2012 : 3:58 a.m.

I must have used a bad word in my reply that got deleted... oops! The point I was trying to convey, Tom, is that I respectfully disagree with your first sentence, and dismissively ignore your whole comment (as much as I can, seeing as I'm writing back) once I come to your repetitive use of Dantonio's quote.


Tue, Aug 7, 2012 : 3:26 a.m.

The definition of a pass would be "no punishment at all". Toussaint currently is indefinitely suspended, which is at the very least "some punishment". Hence, it's not a pass.


Tue, Aug 7, 2012 : 3:12 a.m.

Looks like they're getting a pass to me. Where's the threat?

Steve McQueen

Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 11:30 p.m.

Go Blue!

Billy Bob Schwartz

Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.