You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 : 12:13 p.m.

Michigan running back Vincent Smith 'patient' in return from knee surgery

By Dave Birkett


Running back Vincent Smith expects his right knee to be healthy by next season, and he plans to secure a starting spot in the Michigan football team's lineup. (Photo: Melanie Maxwell |

Vincent Smith can’t stand to watch his Michigan football teammates go through winter conditioning.

When they’re bouncing from circuit to circuit in the weight room or off on their own doing position drills, he’s confined to a treadmill, jogging.

“Every day I see them out there running I’m like, ‘Man,’” Smith said. “But I know I just got to be patient and get my knee back.”

Seven weeks removed from surgery to repair the torn right ACL he suffered in the Ohio State game, Smith said his leg feels great, and he promised he’ll be ready for fall camp.

He walked without a limp while helping out at a youth football clinic last week, and said he hopes to start running next month.

“Everything’s going good,” Smith said. “I’m getting the strength back and getting the balancing back and just walking good and jogging good on it, so everything looks good.”

Smith ran for 276 yards on 48 carries last year as a true freshman and had a breakout 166-yard game against Delaware State.

Michigan’s most effective running back late in the season when starter Brandon Minor was out with a shoulder injury, Smith injured his knee early in the Ohio State game but played through the pain. He caught a touchdown pass in the third quarter before leaving for good after a 13-yard reception early in the fourth.

Despite the injury, the 5-foot-6, 168-pound Smith said he expects to win the starting job this fall.

"That's the goal," he said.

He’ll miss spring practice - Fitzgerald Toussaint, Mike Shaw and Mike Cox, plus freshmen Stephen Hopkins and Austin White, will take the bulk of the snaps - but Smith said that could help his development down the road.

“It’s not going to affect anything,” he said. “My off-season right now, when I’m not playing in spring I’m basically watching a whole lot of film. Just studying and just getting to know the game a little bit more than I did last year.”

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Wed, Feb 17, 2010 : 2:49 p.m.

we need al the help we can get,year 3 rich rod has no excuse now, beat osu and sparty i am tired of being called the new little brother u of m


Tue, Feb 16, 2010 : 7:46 p.m.

Funny u say the RBs will only rack up yards on easy teams but not on UConn, ND, and OSU. Thats ok we have tate and DRob to torch the defense with their dual-threat ability, which will also open up the run. Thats wats so dangerous about UM now. They have experience now. Smith did pretty g last year as a true freshmen. Hopefully he'll comeback soon. If not we have TOUSSAINT!!! i wanna see that guy get the ball. We also have 2 big backs for tough yardage and many more backs so we're all g. hope for a great successful season. funny to see ppl talk crap bout RR knowing he will be successful once he has been given time. LOOK OUT COLEGE FOOTBALL WORLD. GO BLUE!!!!!


Tue, Feb 16, 2010 : 4:14 p.m.

Sean T. I would agree also about using a few different backs to wear them out and throw different looks at the opposing team. I don't agree with the comment about White though, Fitz Toussant is the most complete back, look at his scout videos and how the coachs talked about him last year. He will be the started by week 5-6 would be my guess.


Tue, Feb 16, 2010 : 3:57 p.m.

MOLK will make sure that the boys get their yards. He is looking better than ever...GO BLUE!


Tue, Feb 16, 2010 : 3:35 p.m.

A breakout 166-yard game against Delaware State. Better get his yards this year against Mass,Indiana and BG because they won't be there against Conn. ND, Wisc, Iowa or Ohio State.

Sean T.

Tue, Feb 16, 2010 : 2:39 p.m.

I have to agree with you Tater, utilizing that combination of RB's could wear down teams and keep them off-balance. But Austin White may actually be the most complete of the bunch!


Tue, Feb 16, 2010 : 1:16 p.m.

Couldn' agree with you more theo212.