Name: C.J. Stokes
Weight: 190 lbs.
High school: Columbia (SC) Hammond
Position: Running back
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Stokes was a senior in high school (LINK).
Michigan beat out Louisville, Minnesota, Missouri, Penn State, and South Carolina for South Carolina native C.J. Stokes. Stokes ended up ranked as a 3-star, the #63 running back, and #798 overall. Playing in a small school league, he dusted the competition on his way to 1,000+ yards in each of his final three seasons and a 13-0 record as a senior.
I have no real reason to distrust Michigan’s running back evaluations. Jim Harbaugh has a track record of production there, even with guys whose talent I didn’t love, such as Karan Higdon and De’Veon Smith. I think Stokes can be a solid college running back. He’s built low to the ground, has some decent agility, and seems to have a good, hard-nosed attitude. Sometimes he seems a little slow to find holes and accelerate through them, and his top-end speed is a little questionable. But Hassan Haskins had some of the same issues, and he turned out just fine. Even so, Michigan has a great 1-2 punch at running back with Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, and the big back role seems to be a battle between Tavierre Dunlap and Kalel Mullings. Add in walk-on Leon Franklin, who got a decent number of carries last year, and Stokes is going to be fighting for scraps or redshirting.