2009 Countdown: #74 Fitzgerald Toussaint

Tag: 2009 Season Countdown

27Jul 2009
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2009 Countdown: #74 Fitzgerald Toussaint

Name: Fitzgerald Toussaint

Height: 5’10”
Weight: 185 lbs.
High School: Liberty High School in Youngstown, OH
Position: Running back
Class: Freshman
Jersey Number: #28
Last year: 237 carries, 2243 yards, 9.46 YPC, 24 TD (high school)
Prediction for 2009: Redshirt

Toussaint should probably redshirt, unless he can provide some help in the return game. However, with three seniors graduating at the position and Michael Shaw being the only other back to see game action so far, it’s possible that Toussaint will see limited action. Game experience is overrated at the running back position, however, so a redshirt would be prudent.
27Jul 2009
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2009 Countdown: #75 Isaiah Bell

Isaiah Bell makes a tackle in the Under Armour All-American Game.

Listed at 6′ and 209 lbs. by Rivals, reports on true freshman Isaiah Bell’s size varied significantly throughout the recruiting process. His height was anywhere between 6′ and 6’2″ and he weighed from 200 lbs. up to 220 or 225. So I’m just going to assume he’s 6’1″ and 212.5 lbs. He comes to Michigan from Liberty High School in Youngstown, OH, and was the high school teammate of Fitzgerald Toussaint.

Ultimately rated as a linebacker by the scouting service, I have always thought Bell would make a better safety. He has tremendous ball skills when the football is in the air and he was also a good kick returner in high school. I’m sure his return days are over, but I’d like to see him roaming centerfield for Michigan in the next few years. If Greg Robinson and his hybrid-heavy defense stick around for a few years, Bell is probably headed for the “Spinner” position, which is a safety-linebacker combo (the same position that Steve Brown will occupy this fall). But with Brown entrenched as the starter and a couple early enrollees (Mike Jones, Brandin Hawthorne) getting reps there in the spring, I’d guess that Bell is headed for a redshirt this year. But as with the entire defensive backfield, one or two injuries could change that in a hurry.

27Jul 2009
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2009 Countdown: #76 Teric Jones

Another true freshman from Cass Tech High School, Teric Jones arrives as a slot receiver or running back; he is most likely headed for the slot receiver position, but he could provide depth and versatility in the backfield if necessary. Jones is listed at 5’9″ and 186 lbs., so he’ll have enough size to take a bit of a beating if he plays some running back.

Jones will probably watch from the sideline for the entirety of the 2009 season, but he has excellent speed (he reportedly ran a 4.37 forty at last year’s Army All-American combine) and considering Michigan’s poor return teams last season, if Jones can help in the return game, the coaches will let him. However, I expect that last year’s skill players will iron out their issues with fumbling and muffed punts, so that probably won’t be necessary.

27Jul 2009
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2009 Countdown: #77 Thomas Gordon

Thomas Gordon is a true freshman free safety from recently-established Michigan pipeline Cass Tech in Detroit. His Rivals profile listed him at 5’10” and 199 lbs., although that seems a bit generous, at least in the weight department. Gordon played quarterback at Cass Tech for the entirety of his career until his senior year, when he also took over their starting free safety job.

Being a recent convert to the position, as well as being undersized, Gordon is almost surely headed for a redshirt in 2009. But because of a lack of depth in the defensive backfield, if there are any injuries at all, Gordon might find himself forced into playing time. Gordon’s scholarship offers came mostly from MAC schools plus the two in-state powers, Michigan and MSU. I would find it surprising if Gordon plays a significant role on defense at any point in his Michigan career. He’s a bit small, and late-high school or early-college position changes typically take a bite out of any chances to make an impact early.
11Jul 2009
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2009 Countdown: #78 Adrian Witty

Adrian Witty (left), Denard Robinson (center)

True freshman cornerback Adrian Witty committed to Michigan on National Signing Day, along with prize recruit Denard Robinson. Despite being recognized as “the other guy from Deerfield Beach,” Witty could potentially be an impact corner down the road. At 5’9″ and 175 lbs., he’s approximately the same size as Boubacar Cissoko was as a freshman last year.

Fortunately for Witty, there’s a dearth of scholarship players in the defensive backfield. Unfortunately for Witty, he’s probably still headed for a redshirt this year. He missed his junior year and a bit of his senior year due to a torn ACL. But he’s a track star with decent ball skills who, in my opinion, will be an impact player at Michigan before his career is over. Whenever Donovan Warren departs, I think Witty could make a charge for the open cornerback spot.