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Published: Sunday, 1/27/2013

Top high school running back picks Michigan

Green selects Wolverines over Tennessee, Auburn


ANN ARBOR — Michigan landed the nation’s top prospect at running back when Derrick Green announced Saturday that he will join the Wolverines this fall.

Green announced his decision in Glen Allen, Va., and the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch streamed the announcement on its Web site.

Recruiting Web sites Rivals.com and Scout.com ranked Green as the No. 1 running back in this year’s class. The 6-foot, 215-pound running back ran for 1,285 yards and 20 touchdowns on 184 carries this season at Hermitage High School in Henrico, Va.

Green chose Michigan over Tennessee and Auburn. He will sign a national letter of intent during the NCAA’s football signing period which begins Feb. 6.

Green is expected to bolster an offense that took its biggest hit with the graduation of quarterback Denard Robinson, who had 1,266 yards and seven touchdowns on 177 carries in 2012, and finished his career as the NCAA’s leading rusher among quarterbacks (4,495 yards).

Tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint struggled to create consistency and finished with 514 yards and five touchdowns on 130 carries, before he suffered a season-ending injury to his left leg Nov. 17 in a 42-17 win over Iowa.

After Robinson and Toussaint, there was a dropoff in Michigan’s running backs production. Thomas Rawls, Vincent Smith, and Justice Hayes combined for 419 yards and seven touchdowns on 113 carries.

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

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