The Wolverine

2013 Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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be it," Toussaint said. "I want to go to the championship game. That's the only thing that matters to me." Jackson believes the senior tailback can improve upon his 2011 figures, knowing that with a full season as the No. 1 ball carrier, a powerful offensive line paving the way, and an aerial attack that achieves balance, Toussaint can carve out an individual legacy. However, there will be hurdles to clear before he's back in peak form. "Over those last eight games his sophomore year, I saw his confidence skyrocket," Jackson started. "When you're not 100 percent sure what you want to do, the game is too fast for you. But when you know by recognition and technique, you just react, the game gets slower, and as the game slows down, you're faster, and that makes you a better player, and that's the point he was at before the injury. "And that's the thing you don't know — can he pick up where he left off? I think he can, but he has to be 100 percent confident in himself physically, because even a little bit of self-doubt will affect his entire approach. And on this team, with the competition we have, he can't afford to not be at his best." Internally, Toussaint has to battle himself. Externally, he'll face challengers in three veteran backs vying for time and two freshmen eager to make an impression. Rookie Derrick Green could be his greatest threat, but Toussaint understands that competition will only help. It already has, fueling his offseason rehab. "The way I see it is, I want to do everything I can this summer so that when I get to camp, there are no excuses," he said. "If I don't win the job, it's not because I'm not 100 percent, but because someone was better. "I don't want to say, 'If I only did this I could have been the guy.' I want to take care of all the details now and be ready to go the day we put on our helmets for camp. If you're going to beat me out, you'll have to out-compete me." ❑ Toussaint is aiming to be back on the field for Michigan's season opener this fall, just nine months after suffering a broken leg on this play in the win over Iowa. photo by per kjeldsen First-And-10 With Fitzgerald Toussaint First Car He Drove: "It was a Ford Spirit. It was a bucket. My father had it and gave it to me. I was a junior in high school and everyone had these cool cars, and I didn't want to be seen in it, so I always parked all the way in the back of the lot and waited for everyone to get out first." First Major Sports Event He Attended: "My sophomore year I went to a Syracuse-Pittsburgh football game." First Concert He Went To: "It was a Flo Rida concert. I'm not a huge fan, but I did enjoy it." First Autograph He Asked For: "None that I can remember." First Loss That Made You Cry: "It was in Little League, playing for the Northfield Knights and I was actually hurt because I had a broken ankle. We were in the championship game but lost. I probably could have played, and I felt like I could have contributed, but it didn't hap- pen so I was devastated after that loss." First Wolverine Hero: "Chris Perry." First Jersey He Bought: "I used to have a bunch of throwbacks so I had an Oakland Raiders Bo Jackson jersey. And I also had a Paul Pierce jersey with the Boston Celtics." First Class He Took At Michigan: "English 125. It was tough. I had never written a paper until I got here. I didn't even know how to really use a computer and that was my first exposure." First Team He Ever Played For: "Back when I was 7 or 8, it was the Northside Raiders." First Rival He Hated: "Back at Liberty High School, when we played Girard. I hated them with a passion. I put up big yards on them, but we never came out on top and that drove me mad." — Michael Spath The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview  ■ 87

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