notebook: Michigan football team running backs adapt to supporting roles; Wolverines will honor Ron Kramer
Six running backs vied for time in the crowded backfield during summer camp. They didn’t know it at the time, but they were auditioning for a supporting role with the Michigan football team.
Perhaps you’ve read something about this, but Denard Robinson has been the team’s primary ball carrier, rushing for 455 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 8.0 yards per carry.
The rest of the Wolverines have combined to carry 45 times for 140 yards in the team’s first two games.
Lon Horwedel | AnnArbor.com
That’s just fine with Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, who isn’t necessarily looking for someone other than Robinson to serve as the team’s featured back.
“I’ve been really pleased with their play so far,” Rodriguez said. “Our biggest improvement in the running backs needs to be, not in the running, but in the other aspects of that, some of the blocking and route running.”
Starting Saturday against UMass (noon, Big Ten Network), he hopes to add more players to the rotation, which thus far, has included Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw.
Fitzgerald Toussaint, out with a sore ankle for the first two games, is listed as probable. Michael Cox, Stephen Hopkins and even Teric Jones, who switched from safety to running back in camp, could see action. Ron Kramer will be honored
Michigan players will wear No. 87 stickers on their winged helmets Saturday to honor Ron Kramer, who died last Saturday at age 75.
The Wolverines will also air a video tribute for the three-time all-Big Ten selection prior to the playing of the national anthem.