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Posted on Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 7:08 p.m.

Vincent Smith, David Molk among 6 Michigan players out for spring practice

By Dave Birkett

Vincent Smith stood on the sideline, helmet on, watching Michigan's first spring practice Tuesday. But the sophomore running back won't be taking part in any of the Wolverines' 15 workouts this spring.

Smith and five other players are still on the mend from off-season surgeries.

He and center David Molk both underwent surgery to repair torn ACLs; receiver Junior Hemingway and linebacker Brandon Herron had minor knee procedures; and defensive tackle Mike Martin and special-teams standout Zac Johnson are coming back from shoulder injuries.

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said Molk, who hurt his knee in the Penn State game last October, "will be able to do some limited things" during spring practice, but won't take part in any contact drills.

Martin and Johnson may return in a limited capacity as well, and Rodriguez said he hopes Hemingway will be back toward the end of spring practice. The Wolverines' spring game is April 17.

With Smith out, Michigan will audition several new faces at running back this spring. Mike Shaw, Michael Cox, Fitzgerald Toussaint and true freshmen Stephen Hopkins and Austin White ran through drills Tuesday. Only Shaw and Cox saw playing time last year, both in limited capacites.

Smith was Michigan's top returning running back with 48 carries for 276 yards.

"It’s going to be those five guys and we still may put some of the slot receivers at running back as the spring goes along," Rodriguez said.

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.



Thu, Mar 18, 2010 : 7:04 a.m.

theo212, you are right, speed is an asset in modern college football. You are also right, the scoreboard operator just might need a third hand, good stuff theo212 I'm glad to see your on board with this great new program, good for RR.


Wed, Mar 17, 2010 : 10:47 a.m.

Let's hope Molk can finally have a healthy year. No knock on Schilling, but run game was noticeably worse last year the minute he would leave a game. A year of consistency up front would be huge in helping all these thousands of WRs, RBs and QBs develop.

Sean T.

Wed, Mar 17, 2010 : 2:19 a.m.

Molk is pretty good but he's not nearly the road-grader that some of you claim he is. Austin White will win the job because he has better overall skills than the others. I saw him up close at the Nike camp in ohio and he is impressive. Good hands, pass-blocking is decent and he hits the hole with explosion!


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 8:05 p.m.

Yes, we'll need these guys to contribute up guys. See ya in the summer practices.


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 7:59 p.m.

No worries... there's still plenty of speed on this team to cover ANY injuries!


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 6:26 p.m.

Let's hope Molk gets well soon and completely. I am guessing that, had he been present, they would have won 2 0r 3 more games. Only a guess, but he is awfully good.