The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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46 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 BY AUSTIN FOX The argument could be made that Michigan hasn't had an elite running back in its backfield since Mike Hart wreaked havoc on opposing defenses from 2004-07. In fact, since Hart's final season of 2007, the Wolverines have had just one 1,000-yard back — Fitzgerald Toussaint in 2011, when he racked up 1,041 yards on the ground. Although junior Karan Higdon's 994 yards this past season were just six shy of the plateau, it will go down in the record books as the sixth con- secutive season without a 1,000-yard running back for U-M. Perhaps Eureka (Mo.) High three- star running back Hassan Haskins could help break that trend. His head coach, Jake Sumner, ex- plained that Haskins is the physical, bruising type of runner that Michi- gan has been lacking in recent years. In fact, Sumner revealed that trait is precisely what attracted the Wolver- ines to his star rusher. "His physicality is his biggest strength," the Eureka head coach said. "That's what the Michigan staff loved about him so much. He'll be that big physical runner for them who is going to grind out yards on the ground. "Everything Hassan does on the football field just comes so natural to him. Whether it's running the ball on offense or making tackles on de- fense, you can just tell everything is natural." Sumner made sure to clarify that even though Haskins is obviously physically gifted, it's his work ethic that allows him to have so much suc- cess on the field. "He's a nonstop guy out there, and his play speaks for itself," Sumner explained. "His motor is one of the best positive attributes he brings. He plays to the whistle every snap and just loves the game of football. "No matter what he has to do — whether it be block, run or tackle — he'll do it with 100 percent effort. Hassan is just a team guy." Haskins helped lead his Eureka squad to a 12-1 record this past sea- son, with all but one of the 12 victo- ries coming by at least 14 points. Chesterfield (Mo.) Marquette head coach Matt Klein — whose Mustangs squad fell to Eureka 42-0 Sept. 8 — had a chance to watch Haskins de- velop as a player throughout his high Hassan Haskins Can Be The Power Running Back Michigan Has Been Lacking Haskins was dubbed Missouri's 2017 Offensive Player of the Year by USA Today and the state coaches association after running for 2,197 yards and 31 touchdowns. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM STATISTICS Year Car. Yards TD Avg. 2017 255 2,197 31 8.6 2016 242 1,509 19 6.2 2015 144 819 7 5.7 2014 3 23 0 7.6 HONORS • Tabbed as USA Today's Missouri Of- fensive Player of the Year as a senior. • Named first-team All-State for Class 6 as a senior by the Missouri Football Coaches Association and Missouri Me- dia. The coaches also honored him as the 2017 Offensive Player of the Year. • St. Louis Dispatch All-Metro first- team choice as a senior; he was a sec- ond-team pick as a junior. • Was named to the Suburban West American All- Conference second team as a sophomore. In his last two years, he was the league's Offensive Player of the Year. RECRUITMENT • Committed to Michigan on Oct. 29, 2017, during his senior season and never looked around. • Chose the Wolverines over Eastern Michigan, Purdue, Western Kentucky and Wyoming, among others. • Michigan running backs coach Jay Harbaugh headed Haskins' recruit- ment. HASSAN HASKINS RUNNING BACK 6-1 • 207 EUREKA SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL EUREKA, MO. RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE ✪ ✪ ✪ — 40 12 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 70 11 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 55 14 2018 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE 2018 Projection Haskins has some potential as a big back with good balance, but likely won't be needed as a freshman in 2018. He will come in with some promise, but should be able to sit back and learn from the other rushers on U-M's roster who have more experience. A redshirt season is likely in store for Haskins in 2018. 46 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018

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