Michigan's Roundtree has surgery

Hoke says suspended Toussaint and Clark to rejoin team

Backup quarterback Devin Gardner could take snaps at wide receiver this season for Michigan.
Backup quarterback Devin Gardner could take snaps at wide receiver this season for Michigan.

ANN ARBOR -- Brady Hoke didn't waste time breaking the news at Sunday's media day for the Michigan football team.

First, the Michigan coach announced that receiver Roy Roundtree underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee last week to remove cartilage. Second, Hoke announced that tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint and defensive end Frank Clark will rejoin the team for today's practices.

"As teammates, we love them, but there's consequences for their behavior," Hoke said at Sunday's football media day at Schembechler Hall. "They have paid a price, and they will continue to pay that price for a little bit."

The coaching staff suspended Toussaint last month in the wake of a drunken-driving charge, and on the same day suspended Clark, who was arrested in June after he was charged with second-degree home invasion, accused of stealing a laptop from a dorm room.

"Both of them realize they have an outstanding opportunity to play at the University of Michigan," Hoke said. "They understand that there's a standard of performance from the community side, a standard of performance from the academic side, and a standard of performance from the football side.

"They paid a hefty price, and they will continue to pay a hefty price for actions unbecoming of a Michigan football player."

Hoke did not say if he planned to reinstate Toussaint and Clark to the team for its season-opener Sept. 1 against Alabama in Arlington, Texas.

"I won't make that decision for a while," Hoke said.

Is there a chance they could be available?

"I wish I could tell you," Hoke said.

Hoke also confirmed that sophomore defensive back Tamani Carter has decided to leave the football program.

Toussaint and Clark were not made available to the media.

While Toussaint will rejoin the backfield for practices, offensive coordinator Al Borges said last week that Thomas Rawls is the first in line among the backs to compete for the spot left vacant as a result of Toussaint's suspension.

Rawls said there's a standard at his position, regardless of the depth chart.

"As a Michigan running back, we always compete," said Rawls, who ran for 79 yards on 13 carries. "No matter what the situation is or who it is, we're going to run. Every down, every play, just like a Michigan running back. The expectation is for the position."

Roundtree had 19 catches for 355 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games last season, but his absence during preseason might be felt by the receiving corps in the short-term. But Hoke said the prognosis for the senior's return is positive.

"He didn't do it practicing, he just needed to get it done," Hoke said of Roundtree's injury and surgery. "He kind of felt it a little bit walking back to the huddle. But with him, he's one of the great kids on this football team and as a senior, he'll do a great job of bouncing back."

With Roundtree's absence, inserting Devin Gardner at wide receiver seems like less of an experiment and more of a contingency plan for the Michigan coaching staff.

Gardner, a junior quarterback, has only one career reception but believes he can help the offense.

"It's really a chance to give my teammates a break," said Gardner, whom Borges said is Michigan's No. 2 quarterback right now. "Our receivers would be dead if we didn't give them a break, because we don't have a lot of depth. Adding one more makes a big difference for all of them. And those are my friends off the field, so it's great to be around them, to give them a break."

Contact Rachel Lenzi at: rlenzi@theblade.com, 419-724-6510 or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.