Name: Donovan Edwards
Weight: 190 lbs.
High school: West Bloomfield (MI) West Bloomfield
Position: Running back
Jersey number: #7
Last year: Edwards was a senior in high school (LINK). He rushes for 1,021 yards and 17 touchdowns, adding 153 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns.
TTB Rating: 90
Edwards had long been considered “The One” within the state, the guy that Michigan needed to land in 2021. There was a lot of pressure for the staff to sign him, and he made everyone sweat until National Signing Day in December. After flirting with Georgia, Michigan State, and Oklahoma, among others, he finally signed with the good guys. Considered to be a borderline 5-star prospect (247 Composite 4-star and #41 overall) at a position of need, Michigan fans let out a big sigh of relief.
I debated for a long time about how high to place Edwards in the countdown. Michigan needs help at running back after Zach Charbonnet (UCLA) and Christian Turner (Wake Forest) transferred, and while Charbonnet had one of the best freshman years for a running back a couple years ago, it can be a tough transition from high school to college. Edwards has good physical skills, but he also has some bad habits, such as carrying the ball too loosely and celebrating a little too early and too much on some of his big plays.
Michigan rotates heavily at running back, and Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum appear to be 1-2 at the position. The Wolverines only have four scholarship running backs (Haskins, Corum, Edwards, and Tavierre Dunlap), and they don’t even have quasi-running backs like Ben Mason and Ben VanSumeren anymore to fill in for a spell if necessary. The last time Michigan had a full season in 2019, Tru Wilson and Christian Turner tied for #3 on the team in carries with 44 each. I’m not sure that Michigan will be able to redshirt Dunlap, but if they tried, that might mean 60+ carries for Edwards. Michigan also sold Edwards on a plan to use him in the passing game, although I’ll buy into that when I see it.
Overall, Edwards will certainly play quite a bit and he will probably make some flashy plays when he does. But Haskins is reliable and steady, and Corum is a weight room warrior with some quickness. When it gets down to crunch time, Haskins and Corum will probably be on the field.
Prediction: Backup running back
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