Jim Harbaugh lauds over Michigan's 'loaded' running back room
There’s a lot on the offensive side of the football that Michigan has to replace heading into the 2020 season. Nearly the entire starting offensive line, the starting quarterback and two of the top receivers from last year’s squad have departed.
Michigan may endure some growing pains this fall with all that was left vacant.
But, if there’s one position offensively that should be a strength for the Wolverines, the running back position should be it. Three really talented backs — Zach Charbonnet, Chris Evans and Hassan Haskins — will all be occupying the backfield during the upcoming season.
Jim Harbaugh knows that position is in good hands.
“It’s a loaded room,” Harbaugh told Inside Michigan Football with Jon Jansen, per Angelique Chengelis of The Detroit News. “A real strength for us.
“Zach Charbonnet [is] really playing well. He is 100 percent. Chris Evans is providing great leadership. Hassan Haskins does so many things well. Blake Corum, just a freshman, he looks extremely good.”
Charbonnet an Haskins were the two leading ball carriers for Michigan offense in 2019 during the team’s 9-4 campaign. Charbonnet led the way with 726 yards and 11 touchdowns, a program record for a freshman. Haskins backed that up with 622 yards and 4 touchdowns of his own.
Evans didn’t play last season as he dealt with some academic issues. However, he’s been welcomed back to the team and is hoping to pick up where he left off at the end of the 2018 season. Evans was the team’s second-leading rusher that year, totaling 423 yards and 4 touchdowns as Michigan finished 10-3.
Michigan does get some help along the offensive line, as Jalen Mayfield opted back in on the 2020 season after initially declaring for the NFL Draft. He’ll be the only starter up front who is returning from last year’s team.
The offensive line could be a concern, particularly early in the year. If it doesn’t provide gaps for the backs to run through, Michigan will struggle in the run game. But if they figure things out up front, Michigan’s backs are talented enough to have a really big year.