Review of 2009 Recruiting: Running Back

Tag: Teric Jones

12May 2021
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Review of 2009 Recruiting: Running Back

Fitzgerald Toussaint (image via Toledo Blade)

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.)


Teric Jones
Ratings: 3-star, #46 RB, #469 overall
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
College: Michigan
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.

Vincent Smith
Ratings: 3-star, #49 RB, #508 overall
High school: Pahokee (FL) Pahokee
College: Michigan
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.

Fitzgerald Toussaint
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #8 all-purpose back, #239 overall
High school: Youngstown (OH) Liberty
College: Michigan
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.

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15Jun 2011
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2011 Countdown: #77 Teric Jones

Teric Jones (#14)

Name: Teric Jones
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 195 lbs.
High school: Cass Tech High School in Detroit, MI
Position: Running back
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #14
Last year: I said Jones would be a backup safety and special teams contributor.  He was buried on the depth chart at running back (3 carries, 7 yards) and played special teams.

Jones is aiming for the first annual James Rogers Award, given to a Michigan player who has no clue what position he’ll play from year to year.  He entered college in 2009 as a slot receiver, moved to cornerback shortly into his freshman season, switched to safety in spring 2010, then played running back once the season began.  He suffered a serious knee injury in the Illinois game and missed the rest of the 2010 campaign, as well as spring practice in April.

I presume that Jones will still be playing running back, although his availability is unclear.  Considering the fact that Vincent Smith returned from his own serious knee injury suffered in the 2009 Ohio State game by the following September, I can only assume that Jones will be ready to play again in 2011.  However, Jones hasn’t done anything particularly special at any position, and there’s no reason to expect that he’ll push for playing time if healthy.  Whether it’s as a running back, cornerback, or safety, Jones’ best bet for getting on the field would be on special teams.

Prediction: Special teams contributor and backup running back; 1 carry for 3 yards

31Mar 2011
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Projected 2011 Depth Chart

Safety Josh Furman has been creating
some buzz this spring.

There have been a lot of questions about where Michigan’s players fit in the new defensive system.  Offensive positions are a little easier to understand, since some position changes have been announced.  I’ll attempt to clarify how the team looks right now, but keep in mind that it’s early in spring practice and only one freshman is in town.  The order of the listed players is a guesstimate at the depth chart based on practice reports, video clips, and common sense.

QB: Denard Robinson (Jr.), Devin Gardner (So.), Russell Bellomy (Fr.)
RB: Michael Cox (RS Jr.), Stephen Hopkins (So.), Fitzgerald Toussaint (RS So.), Vincent Smith (Jr.), Michael Shaw (Sr.), Teric Jones (Jr. – injured), Thomas Rawls (Fr.), Justice Hayes (Fr.)
FB: John McColgan (RS Sr.), Stephen Hopkins (So.)
WR: Darryl Stonum (Sr.), Junior Hemingway (RS Sr.), Je’ron Stokes (Jr.), Jeremy Jackson (So.), Jerald Robinson (RS Fr.)
SR: Roy Roundtree (RS Jr.), Martavious Odoms (Sr.), Jeremy Gallon (RS So.), Kelvin Grady (RS Sr.), Terrence Robinson (RS Jr.), D.J. Williamson (RS Fr.), Drew Dileo (So.)
TE: Kevin Koger (Sr.), Brandon Moore (RS Jr.), Ricardo Miller (RS Fr.), Steve Watson (RS Sr.), Chris Barnett (Fr.)
LT: Taylor Lewan (RS So.)
LG: Ricky Barnum (RS Jr.), Elliott Mealer (RS Jr.), Tony Posada (Fr.)
C: David Molk (RS Sr.), Rocko Khoury (RS Jr.), Jack Miller (Fr.)
RG: Patrick Omameh (RS Jr.), Christian Pace (RS Fr.), Chris Bryant (Fr.)
RT: Mark Huyge (RS Sr.), Michael Schofield (RS So.)

5-tech DT: Ryan Van Bergen (RS Sr.), Ken Wilkins (RS Fr.), Keith Heitzman (Fr.), Chris Rock (Fr.)
1-tech DT: Mike Martin (Sr.), Quinton Washington (RS So.), Richard Ash (RS Fr.)
3-tech DT: William Campbell (Jr.), Richard Ash (RS Fr.), Will Heininger (RS Sr.)
WDE: Craig Roh (Jr.), Jibreel Black (So.), Brennen Beyer (Fr.)
SAM: Brandon Herron (RS Sr.), Cam Gordon (RS So.), J.B. Fitzgerald (Sr.), Jake Ryan (RS Fr.), Jordan Paskorz (RS Fr.), Frank Clark (Fr.)
MIKE: Kenny Demens (RS Jr.), Isaiah Bell (RS So.), Kellen Jones (Fr.), Desmond Morgan (Fr.)
WILL: Mike Jones (RS So.), Marell Evans (RS Sr.), Brandin Hawthorne (Jr.), Antonio Poole (Fr.)
CB: Troy Woolfolk (RS Sr.), Courtney Avery (So.), Terrence Talbott (RS Fr.), Blake Countess (Fr.), Raymon Taylor (Fr.)
CB: J.T. Floyd (RS Jr.), Cullen Christian (So.), Greg Brown (Fr.), Delonte Hollowell (Fr.)
FS: Carvin Johnson (So.), Thomas Gordon (RS So.), Tamani Carter (Fr.)
SS: Jordan Kovacs (RS Jr.), Josh Furman (RS Fr.), Marvin Robinson (So.)


  • I have seen Hawthorne playing both safety and WILL.
  • Greg Mattison stated that the safeties must know both positions (FS and SS) and the defensive tackles must know both positions (3-tech and 1-tech)
  • Michael Shaw, Teric Jones, Troy Woolfolk, and J.T. Floyd have missed all or most of practice so far, so their statuses are a little up in the air.  Shaw might even be the starter at running back, but it’s impossible to tell where he’ll fit right now.
23Mar 2011
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So about all these offers . . .

5-star receiver Stefon Diggs

Many Michigan fans seem worried that the new coaching staff has thrown out offers with what fans deem to be reckless abandon over the last couple months.  At last count Michigan has verbally offered 130 prospects from the class of 2012.

The key word there is “verbally.”  Due to a new rule for this recruiting cycle, high schoolers cannot receive official, written offers until August 1 of their senior year.  That means someone like Stefon Diggs (pictured above) won’t be 100% sure of who’s recruiting him until a little over four months from now.  In the olden days, kids could receive written offers on September 1 of their junior years, meaning Diggs would have been offered several months ago.

One thing to watch is how many kids actually accept offers this early in the process.  Since they can’t have official offers in hand for another several months, kids may be feeling out the process a little longer.  It seems that there have been fewer early commitments in the class of 2012 overall.  Only 19 of the 130 offered have already committed to a particular program.

While offers are coming at a much faster rate this year, they seem to be going to higher level athletes.  Of the 130 offers, 84 of them (56%) are on the Rivals 250 to Watch list, which means they are likely to be 4-stars or higher.  In my opinion, many of the other 46 players have a very good chance of being 4-stars, as well.

By about this time in the past few recruiting classes, Michigan not only had offers out to some lower level guys, but actual commitments from guys like Teric Jones (buried on the bench at RB), Antonio Kinard (a non-qualifier who ended up at Miami), Isaiah Bell (buried on the bench at LB), and Delonte Hollowell (who ended up as a middling 3-star prospect).  This is not to say that those guys won’t end up being solid players at some point, but early offers and commitments should be elite kids.  You can find the Teric Joneses and Antonio Kinards of the world late in the recruiting game, like Michigan has with Ray Vinopal, Jake Ryan, and Russell Bellomy.

Additionally, Michigan’s midwest recruiting base is pretty talented this season, which means the coaches – and recruits – don’t have to travel far.  Forty-four of the 130 offers (34%) are to kids from Big Ten states.

I was not a huge fan of the Brady Hoke hire, so this is not coming from the we-need-a-Michigan-Man-to-right-the-ship perspective:  I am legitimately not concerned with the number of offers the Wolverines have put out there.  This coaching staff seems to have a better grasp on the type of talent Michigan can and should recruit.  I will voice my concern if and when Hoke starts tossing out offers like candy to MAC-level and Big East-level talent, but so far that’s not the case.