The Wolverine

2021 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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66 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2021 FOOTBALL PREVIEW OLD AND NEW Michigan Can Impress With Veterans, And A Rookie BY JOHN BORTON [ RU N N I N G B AC K S ] E verybody loves a veteran back, one who can be counted on to deliver. At the same time, there's nothing like a newcomer with seemingly unlimited potential. New Michigan running backs coach Mike Hart doesn't have to choose. He's got both. There's redshirt sophomore Hassan Haskins, whose team-leading 375 rush- ing yards last fall project to more than 800 in a normal 13-game schedule. Haskins also delivered a half-dozen touchdowns, along with more defender bruises per square inch than nearly any other Big Ten back. For those embracing projections and anticipation, the Wolver- ines trotted out true freshman Donovan Edwards in the spring. With his 2,968 rushing yards and 53 touchdowns as a prep junior and senior, Edwards electrified onlookers at nearby West Bloomfield High, and figures to bring a jolt to the Wolverines' running backs rotation. It doesn't end there, when Hart starts sorting through his game-day weaponry. Freshman Blake Corum embodied last year's rookie hope, showing flashes with 77 rushing yards, five catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns in his first cam- paign in a winged helmet. There's also true freshman Tavierre Dunlap, a productive prep rusher out of Del Valle, Texas, who showed an ability to catch the football as well and was ranked as a four-star prospect by 247Sports. In other words, despite offseason turnover — former prep star Zach Charbonnet transferred out and veteran Chris Evans moved on to the NFL Draft — Hart's room features a strong heartbeat. "Hassan Haskins is going to be a stud," former U-M All-American lineman Jon Jansen said on his 'In The Trenches' podcast. "He runs so physical and so hard. I liked seeing Blake Corum out there, and the young guys — Tavierre Dunlap and Donovan Edwards — I thought both had some moments where you could see the reasons why they're at Michigan right now." U-M offensive coordinator Josh Gattis agreed with the Haskins assessment. He sees in the veteran Wolverine someone who relentlessly attacks and should enjoy a very big season coming up. "You look at Hassan Haskins and his physicality," Gattis said. "He's a guy who in a normal practice, it's a tag-off period, you're going to look good as a defender, because you're going to be able to just swipe your hands past him and say I tagged him off. "Well, with Hassan's physicality, balance, body control and contact balance, he's one of the hardest backs I've been around to tackle. He's so strong at the point of attack, and he's a guy that's shown that in games." Blake Corum posted 77 rushing yards, along with five catches for 73 yards, and two touchdowns in his first campaign in a winged helmet. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL YEAR-BY-YEAR RUSHING LEADER Year Player Carries Yards TD 2020* Hassan Haskins 61 375 6 2019 Zach Charbonnet 149 726 11 2018 Karan Higdon 224 1,178 10 2017 Karan Higdon 164 994 11 2016 De'Veon Smith 181 846 10 2015 De'Veon Smith 180 753 6 2014 De'Veon Smith 108 519 6 2013 Fitzgerald Toussaint 185 648 13 2012 Denard Robinson 177 1,266 7 2011 Denard Robinson 221 1,176 16 *Only played six games due to COVID-19 pandemic

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