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Name: Zach Charbonnet
Weight: 220 lbs.
High school: Sherman Oaks (CA) Oaks Christian
Position: Running back
Jersey number: #24
Last year: Charbonnet was a senior in high school (LINK). He had 215 carries for 1,795 yards and 17 touchdowns; he also had 3 interceptions on defense.
TTB Rating: 90
I would like to start off by apologizing for liking Zach Charbonnet so much.
Hit the jump for more.
I will refer you to my commitment post for him for a full explanation (LINK), but I have a long history of liking guys (Brandon Minor and Michael Cox, for example) who can’t seem to get off the bench and “disliking” – or liking guys less – who are the apple of Michigan head coaches’ eyes.
Charbonnet reminds me of Georgia running backs in recent years, such as Nick Chubb. They’re well rounded backs who can run over you, make you miss, or run past you. Michigan hasn’t had a guy like that in a while. Even Brandon Minor, who’s my favorite Michigan running back since Mike Hart graduated, was either going to run over you or run past you, but he only occasionally made people miss. For Charbonnet’s long-term health and career longevity, I hope he finds the sideline a little more often than he did in high school.
Now Michigan has an Under Armour All-American who enrolled early but missed the spring due to meniscus surgery. He’s ranked here at #19 as a freshman for several reasons, but the biggest one is that Michigan needs someone with his talent. Starting running back Karan Higdon graduated and went to the NFL, and his expected successor, Chris Evans, got booted for academic issues. As a result, the Wolverines have a room full of unproven running backs. The named starter is Tru Wilson, a former walk-on without much explosive play ability. The wild card is sophomore Christian Turner, who has been banged up during his year on campus so far, too. Charbonnet is the most hyped back to pick Michigan since at least Derrick Green, but the athletic differences between Charbonnet and Green are stark – in a positive way for Charbonnet. On top of the athletic differential, Charbonnet has already made a reputation for himself as a weight room junkie.
I don’t expect Charbonnet to start the whole season, but he’s an excellent piece to have. Wilson brings the steady hand, while Charbonnet is the exciting guy who could break off some big plays. If you want to be an elite team, you need at least one explosive running back. I don’t know if Michigan will be elite this year – they have questions at running back and cornerback, among other spots – but if they do go 12-0 or 11-1, Charbonnet is going to be a big part of it.
Prediction: 120 carries, 600 yards, 8 touchdowns
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