The 2009 recruiting class was Rich Rodriguez’s first full recruiting class in Ann Arbor, and he brought in some diminutive running backs whose quickness and speed he thought could be successful in the Big Ten. The three backs he landed were all between 5’7″ and 5’10” (some measurements even had Vincent Smith at 5’6″), and he targeted some tiny slot/running back combo guys, too.
- Kevin Grady (RS Sr.)
- Carlos Brown (Sr.)
- Brandon Minor (Sr.)
- Michael Shaw (So.)
- Michael Cox (RS Fr.)
Ratings: 3-star, #46 RB, #469 overall
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Other notable offers: N/A
Scoop: Jones committed to Michigan after a weekend visit on which he was offered. It was his first and only offer of the recruiting process. Known as a speedster, he never really showed it off at Michigan. Playing special teams and some defensive back, he made 9 tackles as a freshman in 2009. Then in 2010 at running back, he notched 3 carries for 7 yards. He quit football after that but remained at Michigan as a student.
Ratings: 3-star, #49 RB, #508 overall
High school: Pahokee (FL) Pahokee
Other notable offers: Tennessee, Wisconsin
Scoop: Smith was listed at 5’7″ and 159 lbs. during the recruiting cycle, but that didn’t stop some big programs from offering him. He ran for over 2,000 yards and scored 29 touchdowns as a high school senior. He was the #3 option as a freshman, but jumped to #1 at running back in 2010 when quarterback Denard Robinson was the primary running option. Smith was a willing blocker despite a lack of size. Overall, he ran 272 times for 1,269 yards (4.7 yards/carry) and 10 touchdowns, caught 46 passes for 435 yards and 7 touchdowns, and even threw a touchdown pass. He went undrafted in 2013 and did not play in the NFL.
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #8 all-purpose back, #239 overall
High school: Youngstown (OH) Liberty
Other notable offers: Illinois, Pitt, West Virginia
Scoop: Until the recent drafting of Chris Evans, Toussaint was Michigan’s best pro prospect since Mike Hart graduated following the 2007 season. After redshirting in 2009 due to an injury, he was once again limited in 2010, running just 6 times for 87 yards and 1 touchdown. He became a great 1-2 running punch with Denard Robinson in 2011, when Toussaint had a career-best 1,056 rushing yards on 5.6 yards/carry with 9 touchdowns. For his college career, he ran 510 times for 2,290 yards (4.5 yards/carry) and 28 touchdowns, adding 31 catches for 298 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was not drafted in 2014, but he signed with the Ravens and then the Steelers as an undrafted free agent. His NFL career lasted four seasons and saw him run 44 times for 137 yards, adding 8 catches for 69 yards.
Hit the jump for a look at the rest of Michigan’s quarterback recruiting efforts in 2009.read more