Weight: 234 lbs.
High school: Richmond (VA) Heritage
Position: Running back
Jersey number: #27
Last year: I ranked Green #29 and said he would be a backup running back with 120 carries, 500 yards, and 5 touchdowns. He had 82 carries for 471 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 2 catches for 26 yards.
It was an up-and-down season for Green last year. He was overweight and out of shape as a freshman, and then he worked himself into pretty good condition for 2014. Things started off great with a 170-yard game (including a 62-yard run) against Appalachian State, went downhill against Notre Dame, improved against Miami of Ohio, went okay against Utah, went terribly against Minnesota, and then went pretty well at Rutgers . . . until he broke his collarbone, anyway. Up until that point, he was the starting running back and lead rusher by a long shot. He missed the final six weeks of the season and finished second in rushing to De'Veon Smith (519 yards).
I have had a hard time sussing out the running back situation this off-season. Drake Johnson looked the best to end 2014, but he tore his ACL in the season finale. De'Veon Smith looked the best in the spring game, but that's largely based off of one run and he has had plenty of opportunities in the past to distinguish himself, which he hasn't done. Ty Isaac was the most talented of the whole group coming out of high school, but he was nursing an injury this spring and rumors persist about his mental toughness. Toss in Wyatt Shallman and Karan Higdon, and nobody really knows what to expect.
So where does Green fit in? Green is not a guy who can create for himself. Despite being built like a bowling ball, he is more of a Nerf ball. Green goes down way too easily on contact, although if I'm being fair, his issues stem from lacking balance in the lower body. If he has a chance to lower his shoulders and square up a defender, he can gain extra yards. If the defender picks a dandelion and hurls it at Green's knees, Green will fall flat on his face. I think his vision is solid, his speed is decent for a big guy, and he has some nifty feet in the hole, but he needs a good offensive line. (He is also reportedly the best pass blocker of the group.) With a good offensive line, he can be a 1,200-yard rusher and earn some fringe all-conference accolades. With a mediocre offensive line, he will be what he has been. As of right now, I think Green is a very solid #2 back but not a guy who can put the team on his back and will it to victory. I don't know if Michigan has that guy right now. This will probably be a running back-by-committee type of situation when all is said and done, even though Jim Harbaugh has a history of picking one horse and riding him until the cows come home.
Prediction: Backup running back; 80 carries, 400 yards, 4 touchdowns