(Rebecca Gallagher/MJ)
(Rebecca Gallagher/MJ)

Derrick Green, junior

2014 rushing stats: 6 G, 82 attempts, 471 yds, 5.74 avg., 3 TD, 78.50 yds/G

A leaner Derrick Green managed to quickly silence critics, cementing himself as Michigan’s lead back after a strong performance in the team’s season opener. Combined with De’Veon Smith’s 115-yard performance in the opener, the Wolverines’ running game, which has been nonexistent post-Denard Robinson, appeared in good shape.

But Green’s promising comeback season soured in a New Jersey homecoming the first weekend of October. He broke his clavicle against Rutgers and was out for the rest of the season.

It’s possible Green could have totaled 1,000 rushing yards if he remained healthy. He excelled at times, totaling 170 yards against Appalachian State and 137 yards against Miami (Ohio), but his overall play was inconsistent. Notre Dame held him to 25 yards on 13 carries, and Minnesota neutralized his abilities for six yards on six carries.

Green’s bid to return as Michigan’s lead man is much tougher this year; former five star Ty Isaac is eligible after transferring from USC last summer. Smith and Johnson will also give chase.