Movement Among Michigan’s Running Back Board

Eric Rutter

Heading into the weekend, Ohio State received another massive boost to its already-impressive 2021 recruiting class with the commitment of Hopewell (Va.) High five-star running back TreVeyon Henderson. With Henderson in the mix, Ohio State continues to hold its position for the top-ranked class in the ’21 cycle.

While that development may appear to be decidedly bad news for Michigan fans, there may be a bit of silver lining to the situation. In recent weeks, the Buckeyes also picked up a pledge from 2021 Cornelius (N.C.) William Amos Hough four-star running back, and the school kept adding to its backfield with the transfer of former Oklahoma ball carrier Trey Sermon.

While Sermon does not necessarily impact the 2021 recruiting class, it shows that Ohio State is adding to the running back position at a rapid rate. The more carries Sermon picks up in 2020, the less reps will go to other running backs, perhaps allowing the Buckeyes to keep Henderson or Pryor in Columbus for another year.

This pertains to Michigan in adjacent fashion. The Wolverines are heavily in the mix for a few running backs that Ohio State was also considered to be in good shape for. However, it would stand to reason that OSU would slow down its recruitment of the position.

Overall, this should help Michigan with prospects such as West Bloomfield (Mich.) High four-star Donovan Edwards or Cincinnati (Ohio) Roger Bacon four-star Corey Kiner.

For Edwards, Michigan is a familiar destination that he has visited numerous times throughout the recruiting process. Edwards has had an opportunity to bond with Michigan running back coach Jay Harbaugh, and the family nature at U-M is another selling point for the talented in-state product. Georgia is believed to be a threat for Edwards at this point, as is Oklahoma.

Kiner, on the other hand, placed Michigan into his top 10 at the beginning of March, and his recruitment has included a visit to Ann Arbor as well. Kiner reportedly enjoyed his trip to Michigan, and U-M has been a mainstay in his recruitment since that time.

Across the board, however, Michigan still sits in positive position for quite a few other running backs. For example, Elk Grove (Calif.) Monterey Trail four-star Prophet Brown released a top six yesterday, and the Wolverines were joined by Oklahoma, Nebraska, Oregon, Notre Dame and USC in the group.

Michigan entered the fray at the start of the year by extending an offer to the 5-11, 180-pound Brown on Jan. 18, showing that the staff is valuing raw speed in the 2021 cycle.

With 15 offers to his name, Brown is an explosive runner that can cover ground quickly and adds separation the longer he runs. Brown is also a track star for Monterey Trail, and that speed translates to the football field as well.

Ranking as one of the premier speedsters in the 2021 class, Brown is joined by Tulsa (Okla.) Union four-star running back A.J. Green as one of the quickest players on Michigan’s radar.

As an athletic, versatile talent, Green is listed as the No. 11 cornerback in the country by, and his highlight tape repeatedly shows tremendous burst. On offense, Green is a threat to take any handoff the distance, and his offer sheet includes some of the country’s top programs.

Among the 14 schools to offer, Green trimmed that list down to eight schools on Saturday, tweeting out a top group that listed Michigan among the bunch.

Joining the Wolverines in Green’s highlighted group of schools is LSU, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech, Arkansas and Oklahoma State.

At the moment, Green is predicted to commit to the Sooners by a 75% margin on

At the moment, Michigan is without a running back commit in the 2021 cycle, having offered a total of 15 running backs so far, four of which have already issued verbal pledges to other schools.

Which running backs do you think Michigan should push the hardest for? What are the Wolverines’ chances in reeling in Donovan Edwards in your mind? Let us know! 

Comments (3)
No. 1-3

I would be surprised if we get Edwards. Hope that we do but until pen is put to paper anything can happen. An earlier story said the dad of Edwards wants him to leave the state. If he does I guess Kiner will be the next recruit we try to get. Until Michigan extends Jimmy’s contract, recruits will wonder if Jimmy will be the coach.


I like Edwards! I want him more than the other backs anyway.


Do you think we're more likely to get Edwards or Kiner at this point? Someone else?